Board of Directors

The Aurora School Board of Directors is a supportive and forward-thinking group comprised of Aurora parents and friends who care deeply about the school. This group of leaders volunteer their time and expertise to ensure that Aurora stays fiscally strong and that the Aurora mission continues to thrive for years to come.
John Brown, President

John Brown, President

John has been a marketing professional for more than 20 years. He currently heads the marketing department of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, a Silicon Valley law firm focused on technology and growth enterprises. His previous work experience includes positions with Robertson Stephens, Montgomery Securities, The Washington Opera, and The Kennedy Center. John received a graduate degree in Public Communication from American University in Washington, D.C. and undergraduate degrees in communication and theater from U.C. Santa Barbara. He and his wife Jenny are the proud parents of Sophie, an Aurora 5th grader, and Alex who is an Aurora 1st-grader.

Peter Siebel, Vice President

Peter Seibel, Vice President

Peter is either a writer turned programmer or programmer turned writer. Originally an English major with plans to be a journalist, Peter is currently the tech lead for Twitter’s internal tools group. He has also written two books, Practical Common Lisp, and Coders at Work, a collection of Q&A interviews with fifteen notable programmers and computer scientists. He lives in Berkeley with his wife Lily, and daughters, Aurora 5th grader Amelia and Aurora 1st grader Tabitha.

Elayne Chou, Secretary

Elayne Chou, Secretary

Elayne wears many hats. Professionally, she is a Senior Consultant with Leadership Alliance, a talent management boutique consulting firm where she helps companies with their executive hiring, executive coaching, and leadership development needs. She also owns a private practice where she provides psychotherapy to adolescent and adult Asian-American adoptees, as well as career assessment and counseling services to people exploring career options or making career transitions. Her educational background is in counseling psychology, with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. In addition to Aurora School’s Board, she serves on the Advisory Board for PACT, an adoption education and placement organization in Oakland, California. But her favorite role is being Mom to Mimi, an Aurora 3rd grader.

Byron Kennedy, Treasurer

Originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, Byron has lived in the Bay Area since 1996. He’s a seasoned information technology and business leader with over twenty years experience leading cross-functional teams through a variety of projects, including large-scale technology infrastructure transition, new product launches, application integration, systems migration, operations, finance, and customer service. As a technology and business consultant, he’s worked with small businesses, rapid-growth startups, non-profits, and large organizations in the fields of education, media, government, financial services, retail and high tech. He received his BS from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and his MBA from the University of San Francisco. Byron and his wife, Sung, are the proud parents of Aurora students Zoe, Tristan, and Ainsley.

John M. Barrie

John is a proponent of bridging disciplines. He received his undergraduate degree in Rhetoric from the University of California at Berkeley, which he then used to talk his way into a Ph.D. in Biophysics/Neurobiology also from U.C. Berkeley. His research concerned how the neocortex transduced the sensory world into the neuro-world and how those brain patterns changed with time, learning and drug use. After his time at CAL, he became the creator, president and chairman of, the Internet-based service used in tens of thousands of schools around the world to screen hundreds of millions of student works for plagiarism. John sold Turnitin in 2014. He now spends a lot of his time as an artist, writer and brewer. He and his wife Michelle are the proud parents of Ian, an Aurora kindergartener and Chloe, a Head-Royce 4th-grader.

Evan Gilbert


Jamie Jefferson

Jamie Jefferson is a Deputy Attorney General in the environment section of the California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General. Her experience includes litigating cases under federal and State environmental laws related to planning, resource conservation, toxics and hazardous waste remediation. In addition to litigation, she counsels state agencies and defends state agencies on environmental compliance. She is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley and UCLA School of Law, a devoted yogi, and proud mom to Aurora second grader, Avery.

Janet Nudelman

Janet Nudelman serves as Director of Program and Policy at the Breast Cancer Fund (BCF) where she draws on 30 years of experience working in the social change arena as a political organizer and lobbyist on women’s health issues. Under her leadership, the BCF’s advocacy efforts are making breast cancer prevention a priority in statehouses around the country and the halls of congress. The BCF’s work has resulted in the passage of some of the nation’s most important environmental health legislation creating the nation’s first municipal precautionary principle ordinance and statewide biomonitoring program to measure the “pollution in people.” Another successful BCF-sponsored bill sparked the introduction of similar bills across the country and resulted in the 2008 passage of a federal ban on toxic phthalates in kid’s toys and childcare articles. Ms. Nudelman directs BCF’s Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and Cans Not Cancer. Janet earned a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the George Washington University.

Don Shaffer

Don Shaffer serves as President & CEO of RSF Social Finance. As leaders in social finance, RSF is transforming the way the world works with money through its innovative investing, lending, and giving services. Since 1984, RSF has made almost $300 million in loans, with a 100% repayment rate to investors, and facilitated over $130 million in grants. A graduate of Cornell University, Don has been a social entrepreneur for many years, growing an education-related business, a software company, a sporting goods manufacturer, and BALLE. He lives in Berkeley with his wife Jennifer and their two children – one an Aurora second grader and the other, a preschooler who is a frequent Aurora visitor.

Julian Whitaker

Julian Whitaker

Julian has been helping companies design and develop software for 18 years. He began his career at Autodesk and worked with many of their top products and teams. This experience formed a deep foundation of engineering and development best practices that has proved invaluable over time. Julian’s subsequent experience includes working with large consultancies, small startups, SAS, and mobile companies. Several of Julian’s products have garnered national recognition and proved visionary in emerging markets. When not designing, Julian’s efforts are focused around home design/build projects and never-ending garage re-organization. Julian is the proud father of Aurora kindergartener, Rayna.