Matei Canavra

Matei Canavra is the Chief of Staff on the core Athens team, and handles running Athens Research as a company in parallel with enterprise sales.

  • Name: Matei Canavra

  • Title: Chief of Staff

  • Area of focus: Operations

  • Location: Washington, D.C.

  • Discord: @mateic

  • Twitter: @_mateic

Ask Me About

  • How we run [[Athens Research]]

  • What we're working on, how we plan to get "there", and how we measure success

  • Who to talk to when the need is broad, cross-functional, or unclear

  • Gut checks on "how we're doing" as a company and as a team

  • How to get hired at [[Athens Research]]


I was born in Romania and spent much of my early life back & forth between a loose-goose beach town and settled suburban life in the US. The contrast was pretty stark, and I never really fit into either place—"the American" over there and "the Romanian" here.

I couldn't do much beside let time pass & hopefully grow into one or the other. But as time did pass, I noticed the opposite: this theme of sitting "in between" things—between people, places, ideas, cultures, communities—became widespread throughout my life.

For a while I tried to fight it, hoping I'd be able to squeeze myself into some kind of role where I could say, "this is me." But resistance, of course, is futile. Turns out the more deeply I dove into any one function or area of study, the more I noticed its connectedness with the broader world, and inevitably bounced back out.

Eventually I experienced this pattern enough times (from leaving school to "starting-up" three times in 7 years) that it hit me: the most interesting things actually happen at the boundaries. That place where things are ambiguous, uncertain, messy, weird, awkward. That place where conflict (both internal and external) is the driver of growth and synthesis is the holy grail. That place... is where the real party's at.

So that's where you'll find me: "in between." Within Athens, that means I'm in between teams, projects, timelines, and channels. A bit of a wild card, sure, but all with the goal of synthesis: iteratively building the processes & systems to keep our engine running, our vision evolving, and our community thriving.

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