Jesse Combs

Jesse Combs, a graduate of UC Berkeley, is the co-founder of Clearstream Consulting LLC, a firm providing project management services, supporting information technology (IT), and strategic planning. A key piece of Jesse's work hinges on his skill in facilitating highly effective corporate and interpersonal communications.

Increasingly, communication skills are being recognized as among the most important tools in a project manager’s repertoire.  Jesse has worked diligently over the years to develop his expertise in this area. Along with being Sharon Strand Ellison's son-in-law, he has over 200 hours of formal training in the Powerful Non-Defensive Communication process and has taken other communication and management training courses as well. Jesse consistently receives rave reviews for his project management skills and his ability to effectively teach team building and management skill sets to clients.

Jesse began his 20-year career as a molecular biology researcher working on the Human Genome Project at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.  He spent the next 10 years in the biotech/pharmaceutical field. Throughout his scientific research career, Jesse was always drawn to the IT aspects of his projects, and in 2000 he switched over full-time to IT. 

Over the last decade, Jesse has managed a wide variety of IT projects, focusing on software application development, data center, digital signage, and network infrastructure implementations.  His highly organized, dedicated and focused approach enables his teams to remain on track, even under difficult project conditions.  He has developed best practice project management tools and methodologies which he has implemented, providing training to support adoption and mentoring project managers in the use of the process and tools.

As a software development and project management consultant, Jesse also has experience in leading IT strategic planning and establishing governance practices to align IT initiatives and projects with overall corporate strategy, facilitating high-value discussions between business stakeholders, IT and senior management teams. He is a current member the Project Management Institute (PMI), the Institute of Management  Consultants (IMC), and the Software Association of Oregon (SAO).

Jesse’s rare mix of research, IT, project management, and communications skills puts him in a unique position for customizing an approach based on the client’s unique organizational characteristics and needs. He can understand and satisfy his client’s technical requirements, guiding managers and employees in the development of integrated team skills to achieve project goals and deadlines while developing strong relationships with their own client population.


Jesse's Areas of Expertise: Project management services; supporting information technology (IT); software application development; data center, digital signage; network infrastructure implementation ; strategic planning designed to establish governance practices to align IT initiatives and projects with overall corporate strategy and the design and implementation of  best practice project management tools and methodologies. In addition, Jesse provides workshops and training programs in Powerful Non-Defensive Communication for the public.


Jesse Has Worked For and/or Consulted with Many Organizaations, including: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Systemix, Affymax, Theravance, Pharmacofore, Achaogen, REC Silicon, and Nike.


Comments about Jesse's Skills as a Project Manager, Strategic Planner, and Consultant:

Jesse is absolutely the best Project Manager I have ever worked with, hands down. Unlike other IT project managers that I have worked with in the past, Jesse actually takes the time to listen to and engage with the IT department when setting time lines for projects. Jesse is also great at taking a project and breaking it down into its constituent tasks. He is able to think the requirements of the project through from beginning to end, refining the fuzzy parts of the plan into well-defined tasks. Jesse also has a great way of driving projects without resorting to nagging the task owners. The end result is that you end up with an accurate and coherent project plan that is expertly driven to completion.

—Kelly Mendenhall, Information Systems Engineer, REC Silicon

Jesse has a rare combination of a scientific background and software development experience that makes him a valuable resource in either discipline. In addition, Jesse has experience satisfying customers in big and small organizations, and a track history of success in all his work. With his relaxed, friendly personality you have someone who inspires success and teamwork wherever he goes.

—Matt Clark, Clark Consulting

At Theravance Jesse helped to strategize, design and deliver a functional PMO group to assist in the delivery of IT projects supporting the Theravance organizational strategies and goals. His implementation of the appropriate methodologies combined with the appropriate amounts of rigor and teambuilding led to the successful delivery of numerous projects for the Theravance team. He is a pleasure to work with while maintaining high standards of delivery quality.

Paul Slaughter, Director of Operations, E5 Systems, Theravance

I absolutely recommend Jesse! With his skilled scientific background, creative development and implementation of macro data analysis software and project management prowess, Jesse is successful wherever he puts his heart and mind. He is talented, creative, thoughtful, personable, smart . . . Jesse led a team who delivered our electronic notebook (ELN) software for use in medicinal chemistry. His ability to lead this project team, find creative solutions to all user issues, and be able to support the ELN application are a testament to his dedication and vision. The ELN application directly impacted our department's increased productivity in the lab. I hope I am lucky enough to work with Jesse again in the future.

—Tim Church, Scientist, Medicinal Chemistry, Theravance

Project management is a practice that many people attempt, but few do well, and Jesse does it very well. But he is not just an excellent project manager, he is also a strategic thinker, effective collaborator and possesses a strong work ethic that helps him lead by example. I worked with Jesse on an IT consulting project for a manufacturing company and was continually impressed with his skills, ability to create and adapt processes that fit the client environment, and his breadth of knowledge of the IT profession. Jesse was also someone I sought out for advice and feedback, and deeply appreciated his insights about the project, its challenges and how to best address issues. I hope to work with Jesse again soon and have already used some of what I learned from him to improve my own project management skills and processes in my consulting work. I recommend him highly.

—Amy Winkelman, Consultant/Contractor, Amy Winkelman Consulting LLC

Jesse is a calming and centered partner in helping clients put their hands around conflicting priorities and projects. A gifted listener and communicator, Jesse does a tremendous job of capturing enormous bodies of information and miscommunication and translating them into clear and understandable issues that can be agreed, prioritized, and addressed. Jesse continues to be a trusted partner in assisting clients with organization-changing activities, from leading strategic planning efforts to implementing project management best practices.

—Toby Lucich, Business Practices Consultant, Return Consulting


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