Leadership

We believe in the power of diverse teams and the importance of succession.

A message from our CEO

Our leadership structure reflects our values and beliefs. We formed our leadership teams to be responsive to the needs of our people, our clients, and our communities. Our teams are built to be collaborative and nimble. We are a “flat organization” and believe it’s critical to remain that way as we grow into the future.

As a succession-minded organization, leadership transitions are viewed as part of the journey. Our people gain intentional experience long before they step into a new role. We take great pride in our commitment to serve our teams any place and any time they need us — without a designated headquarters — across 120+ geographies in the U.S. and expanding globally in the future.

CLA will continue to evolve to meet the expectations of those we serve. We are well-positioned for years to come as we strive to create opportunities for our clients, people, and communities.

Jen Leary, CEO

Our Leadership Team

Jen Leary

Jen Leary

Chief Executive Officer

Jen’s extensive background in assurance, consulting, and mergers and acquisitions includes time spent abroad serving clients globally. As a leader, she believes transparent, authentic communication helps the firm and its people move forward — creating a seamless experience for clients and inspiring careers for its people. She helps CLA continue to build a stronger future through its focus on succession and growth.

“CLA operates very intentionally. We stand on the shoulders of giants — the many leaders who came before us to create our CLA legacy. I’m proud to lead within a firm where succession is evident at every level.”

Scott Engelbrecht

Scott Engelbrecht

Chief Geographic Officer

Scott always knew he wanted to be an accountant. From his early days serving clients to now helping drive the firm’s growth, he does it with a nod to the human factor and deep care for the CLA family. He has a passion for business and believes that accounting is the science of a sustainable organization.

“Align your passion with your purpose. It’s the best fulfillment you’ll have in life.”

Nancy Brown

Nancy Brown

Chief Culture and Engagement Officer

From her beginnings in audit, finance, and accounting to her significant work building teams, Nancy’s newly created role draws on her wealth of experience. She connects directly with the CLA family to engage our teams and embed the firm’s values, helping us build an energetic culture that is inclusive, inspiring, and designed for all to succeed.

“Whether you call it creating opportunities for people, leaving a legacy, or creating an environment where people can live their dreams, my passion is about people finding joy and purpose in how they spend their time.”

Yassir Karam

Yassir Karam

Chief Solutions Officer

As our resident problem solver, Yassir leaned into his experience in consulting and valuations when he pulled together disparate parts to create cohesive outsourcing services for the firm. Today, he collaborates with teams firm-wide to leverage data and elevate our seamless client experience, integrating innovation and technology solutions to lead us to a place of digital transformation.

“CLA’s entrepreneurial spirit is critical to our digital transformation journey. With an ever-changing market and evolving technology, we are constantly forging the way to help our clients and our people experience change that feels seamless.”

John Langan

John Langan

Chief Industry Officer

From founding an accounting firm exclusively serving nonprofits to overseeing all industry teams at CLA, John has a passion for industry specialization. He helps our people actively engage with clients and bring innovative teams to the table, believing preparation and communicating expectations are keys to success.

“The thing that inspires me most about leadership is the ability to work with people smarter than me to make me better.”

Cathy Clarke

Chief Quality Officer

Cathy’s roots in consulting, accounting, and auditing services helped her grow through the ranks to take on the responsibility of overseeing the firm’s quality systems and risk management. She loves taking on new challenges and getting to know the people she helps along the way. And once a challenge is conquered, she looks for more.

“At CLA, the expectation is that each new leader will take the position to new levels. This frees up the new leader to forge their own path.”