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Staff Spotlight: Claire Holba

Updated: Jun 22

“My highest purpose is to cultivate within others a deep feeling of love, belonging, and interconnection.”

Claire Holba is the co-founder and Director of Policy and Advocacy at Patchwork Indy, a not-for-profit organization connecting and empowering diverse cultural communities across the state of Indiana. She currently leads their work as a refugee Private Sponsorship Organization under the new U.S. federal government Welcome Corps program. Claire also serves as a Policy Analyst with the Niskanen Center in Washington D.C., where she leads Niskanen’s U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) and humanitarian policy portfolio. She primarily focuses on building support and developing policy around Welcome Corps, Welcome Corps on Campus, and Welcome Corps at Work, including opportunities to engage states in sponsorship opportunities. 


Claire started her career as an Auditor with Ernst and Young in the New York City Financial Services Office where she gained international business experience working in the Japanese Business Unit. In 2016 she began working as a Compliance Examiner for The National Futures Association, the self-regulatory body for the Commodities Trading industry. Her time in New York City allowed for an understanding of process flow and risk assessment. Most significantly, living in New York City and working with an incredibly vibrant team of international colleagues allowed Claire to learn from and cultivate relationships with colleagues holding diversified perspectives. She uses her knowledge of the international business realm to inform new possibilities to further human rights dialogue and international development. 


In 2017, Claire left New York City to pursue a path in alignment with her deeper calling to uphold environmental and human justice. She pursued an AmeriCorps national service term with the Nevada Conservation Corps on a physically demanding crew team operating out of the Mojave Desert.


In August of 2018 Claire found home deep in the jungles of Thailand as a teacher in Mae Ra Moe refugee camp with survivors of conflict and persecution in Burma. She is forever indebted to the radical hospitality of the people of Burma who welcomed her in. Claire returned to the U.S. with a fierce commitment to pursue avenues of peace development and has led research and human rights projects overseas with refugee communities in camps in South and Southeast Asia, developing education access for students displaced by conflict and building capacity of NGOs to document and report human rights violations to bodies such as the United Nations. 


Claire holds a Master of Science in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies from DePaul University with a geographic focus on the Asia-Pacific. Her research on complementary pathways out of protracted displacement has been featured in the United Nations Refugee Higher Education Global Newsletter. She was a 2023 recipient of the U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship, a program equipping select graduates to contribute to U.S. economic competitive and national security. Through the program, she completed an intensive Mandarin Chinese language program in Taiwan during summer 2023 and she continues to study Chinese. She serves as a board member with several other multi-cultural non-profit organizations including Hope for Tomorrow and The Crane Center for Mass Atrocity Prevention.


Clairea​ born and raised a Hoosier, grew up in northwest Indiana by Lake Michigan and the Indiana Dunes national park! She comes from a big family and is the oldest of five children. Claire believes in the importance of curiosity and cherishes getting to know new stories of human expression and brilliance. She is brought fully alive by shared moments where we as humans awaken to our oneness while completely reveling in what makes us unique.

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