Shona L. Brown



Shona L. Brown was elected to Knight Foundation’s board of trustees in 2019. She serves on the Governance and Program Committees.

Brown is a technologist and business strategist. She joined Google’s executive team in 2003. She served as senior vice president of business operations until 2011 when she transitioned to a role leading Google’s technology for social impact efforts; in January of 2013, she moved into an advisory role with the company. 

Currently, Brown is an independent board member for a portfolio of private technology startups. In addition, she serves on the board of PepsiCo and Atlassian Corp. She is also a board member of several nonprofit organizations, including Code for America, The Nature Conservancy and The Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford. 

Prior to joining Google, Brown was a partner at McKinsey & Company, where her focus was working with technology companies on growth strategy and portfolio transformation. She is the author of “Competing on the Edge: Strategy as Structured Chaos,” which introduced a new strategic model for competing in volatile markets. Brown has a bachelor’s degree in computer systems engineering from Carleton University in Canada, a master’s degree in economics and philosophy from Oxford University (which she attended as a Rhodes scholar), in addition to her Ph.D. from Stanford.