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Head of Shona Brown leaving to advise nonprofits and startups

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Shona Brown
Shona Brown

Shona Brown, a longtime Google executive who currently runs the humanitarian-focused project, is moving on. Brown is the Senior Vice President in charge of, which helps fund nonprofit groups and research on things like renewable energy or disaster relief — the Flu Map, for instance, uses search trends to track the spread of influenza. Now, she will maintain an advisory role at Google, but her primary work will be as a consultant to startups and nonprofits. Brown is already on the board of directors at several nonprofit organizations, including San Francisco's Exploratorium and The Nature Conservancy.

Upon joining Google in 2003, Brown built its People Operations and Business Operations departments, helping to scale up the company around the time of its initial public offering. Among other things, she was behind Google's internal ticketing system and the way it dealt with DMCA takedown requests. In 2011, she moved to as part of a company-wide organization after Eric Schmidt stepped down as CEO. Brown is part of Google's relatively small pool of female executives, and her departure comes not too long after that of Marissa Mayer, who left to become CEO of Yahoo earlier this year.