The daughter of a Tanzanian mother and an American father, both documentary filmmakers, Clea was born in London and spent her childhood in England, Tanzania, Kenya, and the United States. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Anthropology from Stanford University, was trained by Dr. Walt Birkby in the Master's program in forensic anthropology at the University of Arizona, and earned a Master's degree in Anthropology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Between 1996 and 2000, Clea worked as a forensic expert for the United Nations International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda (ICTR) and the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The Bone Woman, first published in 2004 and now published in nine languages and more than 14 countries, is a memoir of those experiences.
Clea was Co-coordinator of the Anthropology Laboratory of the United Nations Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus in 2006, working on behalf of Equipo Argentino de Antropolgia Forense. Until 2012, she worked for the Missing Persons Identification Resource Center, the California non-profit she founded in 2005 and which was profiled by Judy Muller on ABC World News Tonight Weekend.
Clea now writes fiction. Freezing, a Jayne & Steelie Mystery, was published in 2011 and in French in 2012. It is available in bookstores and online, as well as for delivery as an e-book to NOOKs and Kindles. For more information, reviews, and an excerpt of Freezing, please visit the home page for the Jayne & Steelie Mysteries: www.cleakoff.com.
Author portrait: Copyright © David Ignaszewski
The high volume of emails only allows Clea to respond to some messages but she appreciates all communications.