The Greene Scholars Program transitioned to its own self-sustaining non-profit organization from a program founded by Debra Watkins, under the auspices of the California Alliance of African American Educators (CAAAE). We are energized by the significant accomplishments of the legacy of Silicon Valley Engineering Council's Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Frank S. Greene, Jr. His vision of the value of a diverse Silicon Valley technological workforce is a remarkable foundation to elevate our scholars to unparalleled heights.
Ayodele Thomas, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Board Member
Dr. Ayodele Thomas is the inaugural Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging in University Human Resources at Stanford University. For more than 30 years, Dr. Thomas has been dedicated to developing and implementing strategic, effective diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, inspired by her own experiences as the first Black woman to receive a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. She served on the Board of Directors for the Stephanie Brown Cadet Foundation which provided scholarships to Bay Area high school graduates who excel in volunteerism from 2008-2016. In 2015, she became the Director of the CAAAE Greene Scholars Program, a STEM enrichment program for African American grade school students in the San Francisco Bay Area and in 2016 became the Executive Director of Greene Scholars. Ayodele resides in Santa Clara, California, with her husband and two children, both of whom are Greene Scholars.
Brian C.B. Barnes, Ed.L.D., M.Div.
Dr. Brian C.B. Barnes has focused the past 20 years of his career on bolstering Black youth through education, programming and ministries, and entrepreneurship. After graduating from Morehouse College with a B.S. in mathematics and minor in secondary education, Dr. Barnes began his career as a middle school mathematics teacher in Boston Public Schools. He followed this with serving as the principal of a small middle school academy, district-level leader catalyzing community- and faith-based partnerships, and as the director of youth ministries in Roxbury’s Charles Street A.M.E. Church. In 2014, Dr. Barnes co-founded and became CEO of TandemEd LLC, an education company that consults institutions serving in Black communities to be responsive to community leadership; and in 2015 received his doctorate in education leadership from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dr. Barnes is married and is father of three beautiful children, one son and two daughters.
GSP Founder, Board Member
Debra Watkins earned Master's degrees in Education from Stanford University and Counselor Education from San Jose State University. Debra had spent her entire career of 35 years in the East Side Union High School District (ESUHSD) of San Jose before retiring in May 2012. Debra founded the California Alliance of African American Educators in 2001, and in 2018 the CAAAE's name was officially changed to A Black Education Network (ABEN) because of its shift to national work. Debra was also a founding member of the Santa Clara County Alliance of Black Educators approximately 35 years ago and served as its president from 1994 to 2001. When Debra established the CAAAE in 2001, she also created the Dr. Frank S. Greene Scholars Program (GSP). In 2011, she created a school-based model of the GSP at the Dr. George Washington Carver Elementary School in the San Francisco Bayview/Hunter's Point neighborhood.
Kim Bomar, Esq.
Secretary, Board Member
Kim Bomar is a Silicon Valley business lawyer with a commitment to education. Kim obtained her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College, and graduate degrees in Asian Studies (MA) and Law (JD) from Stanford. In addition to serving as a Greene Scholars Program Manager, she also serves on the board of directors and is its Secretary. A French Horn enthusiast since high school, Kim is a director of Quadre, a professional French Horn quartet that partners its artistic programming to social justice issues. Kim also pursues social justice in her community as a trustee of the First Congregational Church of Palo Alto. Kim resides in Stanford, California, with her two sons, a current Greene Scholar and one alum. In Kim’s free time, she enjoys hiking, swimming, reading and spending time with her sons.
Treasurer, Board Member
Ken Crawford currently runs Harp Ventures, an investment company investing and operating in a diverse set of companies ranging from manufacturing to high technology. Prior to starting Harp Ventures, he was the Technology Finance Controller for Google with financial responsibilities for all of the technology groups within the company. His career in high technology has included finance and business development positions at Intel, JDS Uniphase and Apple. He began his career with General Motors where he developed software for aircraft navigation systems.
Taryn Grogan is the Director of Admissions at The Nueva School in Hillsborough/San Mateo, California (PK-12). She successfully achieved enrollment goals (from 350 to 900+) over a middle school expansion and launching the new upper school. She’s served on the Trustee Finance Committee, Advancement Capital Campaign Team, Marketing and Outreach Committee, and Co-Chair for the CAIS/WASC accreditation process. Equity, access, justice and inclusion have been critical areas of focus throughout her personal and professional career. Taryn continues to work with many community-based organizations and brings new programs forward to assist students. Nueva’s Summer EXCEL (Excellence, Collaboration, Enrichment, Leadership) for OUSD Black and Latinx students in 1st-3rd grade, the Identifying Gifted Students of Color Conference, and the THRIVE program, supporting enrolled underrepresented students, are three initiatives Taryn co-created to support equity and inclusion in schools and society at large. Taryn enjoys family time with her husband, mother, and two young children, future hopeful Greene Scholars.
Marvin is a partner in KPMG LLP’s (KPMG) Internal Audit and Enterprise Risk practice in Silicon Valley. He has more than 30 years of financial and Internal Audit experience in life sciences, technology, automotive, professional services, and manufacturing industries. Marvin has extensive experience delivering audit and risk advisory services. He has experience leading large multidisciplinary engagements where he has personally overseen internal audit, Sarbanes-Oxley Advisory Services domestically and internationally.
He leads KPMG’s African Ancestry Network for employees in the Silicon and San Francisco Business Units. In addition, Marvin is a national Instructor for KPMG and has taught classes on numerous technical topics.
Marvin is happily married, and he and his wife Robin are the proud parents of a fourteen-year-old son. In his spare time Marvin enjoys traveling with his family, trying new restaurants, and cheering for the Golden State Warriors.
Saron Ephraim is an alumna of the Greene Scholars Program, class of 2006. She graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a B.A in Public Health Policy and B.A. in African American Studies. During her undergraduate studies, Saron spent time at the University of Ghana, Legon in Accra.
Saron's public health career began as a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fellow and was stationed in Buffalo, New York for two years. She then went on to join the Georgia Department of Public Health in the Immunization Program where she spent most of her time in the field and the last year as the Adult and Adolescent Immunization Program Coordinator for the State of Georgia.
She joined the American Cancer Society in 2019 where she served as a Cancer Control Strategic Partnerships Manager working with Federally Qualified Health Centers, hospitals, health plans and public health departments on quality improvement projects to increase cancer screening rates and improve patient outcomes. Saron returned to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this year and she serves as a Public Health Analyst for the Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services. Saron is very passionate about reducing health disparities and addressing social determinants of health.
Saron resides in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband.
Bryan Brown, Ph.D.
Dr. Bryan A. Brown is a professor of teacher education. His research interest explores the relationship between student identity, discourse, classroom culture, and academic achievement in science education. He focuses on the social connotations and cultural politics of science discourse in small-group and whole-group interaction. Additionally, his research work in science education examines how teacher and student discourse serve to shape learning opportunities for students in science classrooms. Dr. Brown's work in science education in urban communities focuses on developing collaborative curricular cycles and classroom pedagogy based on developing discourse intensive instruction for urban learners. His research has expanded beyond his focus on science education, to include issues of college access in urban communities. His recent work explores how classroom and school culture shapes access to higher education. He conducts mixed methodological work exploring how race, language, and culture impact students learning in urban science classrooms.
Director of Development and Outreach
Tasha Castañeda has a unique background that includes 20 years working in Silicon Valley tech companies and 10 years of teaching in low-income public schools in East Palo Alto and San Francisco. Tasha earned a BS and MS in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and has worked at semiconductor companies in engineering, marketing and alliances. In the classroom, she taught bilingual kindergarten – third grade students. She served as the board president of the East Palo Alto Kids Foundation, which works to narrow the equality gap in East Palo Alto schools and as the advisor for a National Society of Black Engineers and Scientists Jr. Chapter, which provides activities to help students discover firsthand how engineering and technology relate to the world around them. Tasha resides in East Palo Alto and is the proud mother of one daughter who is a Greene Scholars Program alum and a recent Spelman College graduate.