Tech Moves: Microsoft IP chief Erich Andersen is leaving; Kristen Hamilton joins board of education software startup; and more

Kristen Hamilton at Startupday 2015
Kristen Hamilton, then CEO of Koru, on stage at GeekWire Startup Day.

Entrepreneur and startup advisor Kristen Hamilton joined the board of Toronto-based Top Hat, an education software company.

Since selling Seattle-based Koru, where Hamilton was CEO and co-founder, in an unusual exit earlier this year, Hamilton has also joined the board of directors at Aduro and become a senior strategist for the Entangled Group, a higher education venture studio. She continues to serve as an advisor for Madrona Venture Labs and on the board for the Washington Technology Industry Association.

Microsoft’s Chief IP Counsel Erich Andersen will be leaving the company after more than 20 years. In a post on LinkedIn, Andersen said he will be moving to a new city and take on the role of general counsel at another, unnamed company.

Microsoft President Brad Smith congratulated Andersen on LinkedIn, commenting, “It has been great working with you in so many successful roles over so many years at Microsoft, and we all wish you well as you move forward!”

Before joining Microsoft, Andersen was an attorney at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP. He received his law degree from UCLA.

Dr. Joan Palmiter Bajorek.

Dr. Joan Palmiter Bajorek joined Melbourne-based VERSA as one of its first three hires in Seattle, part of an international expansion. Bajorek will be head of conversational research and strategy for the agency that designs voice, digital and mobile products.

Bajorek’s PhD research at the University of Arizona explored the future of voice technology, bias in AI and multimodal user experiences. She will continue to lead Women In Voice, a community for women in voice technology.

— Global communications firm Weber Shandwick appointed Christiaan Brown as executive vice president, corporate for the U.S. West region. Brown was EVP of technology and director operations for Edelman’s Seattle office for more than six years.

“Over the past 20 years, Christiaan has built a tremendous reputation as a trusted advisor to executives and communicators at some of the most important American companies, including Starbucks and Microsoft,” said Will Ludlam, president, U.S. West, Weber Shandwick.

Brown previously held roles at Hill+Knowlton and Porter Novelli. He will continue to be based in Seattle.

Moein El-Aarag. (HNTB Photo)

Engineering and architecture firm HNTB hired Moein El-Aarag as manager of the transportation structures department for its Bellevue office. El-Aarag’s experience includes bridge design and construction including the Ballard Bridge Planning Study and WSDOT Bridge Seismic Retrofit Program.

Blueprint Technologies promoted Chris Carter to the new role of vice president of technology. He most recently served as the managing director of technology. Carter will be responsible for unifying the nationwide technology solutions firm’s products, services and solutions.

Blueprint also hired Paul Faultner as a SharePoint solution architect. He most recently was a senior system analyst at Starbucks.