Former NPR national correspondent Chitra Ragavan will join the blockchain analytics firm Elementus to lead the company’s strategic direction, TheWrap has learned.
In her previous capacity as a nationally-recognized reporter, Ragavan covered American law enforcement and national security, penning nearly a dozen cover stories for U.S. News and World Report magazine.
Ragavan also served for eight years as a senior strategic advisor to Palantir’s CEO and for two years as advisor to the CEO of blockchain and crypto startup Gem. In her new role as Elementus’ chief strategy officer, Ragavan will handle strategic direction and communications around using the company’s tech to take on national security threats, criminal activity and regulatory compliance.
“Covering these issues as a journalist prepared me for leadership positions at companies at the cutting edge of the tech sector,” Ragavan told TheWrap. “Reporters use data to uncover patterns that connect to the bigger picture. Those same skills help me understand large scale data integration and analytics platforms like Palantir and Elementus — which use similar connect-the-dots methodology — and communicate their power and value to customers, strategic partners, investors, and the media.”
Founded in 2017, Elementus analyzes financial transactions on the blockchain, “identifying security vulnerabilities, exposing bad actors, and providing market intelligence for making informed investments in digital assets,” according to the company’s LinkedIn profile. Since all financial transactions for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies occur on a public ledger, this data can be mapped to examine irregularities, which is an extensive project, given the volume of activity on the blockchain.
“Chitra brings a wealth of experience in big data analytics and blockchain and cryptocurrency startups,” Elementus Co-founder and CEO, Max Galka told TheWrap, “And her deep expertise in law enforcement, intelligence, national security and media is exactly what we need at this key moment in our growth and trajectory.”