Board of Directors
Ronald C. Cohen - President
Ron is a parent of Zachary (PBA class of 2018) and Milo (Oakland Tech class of 2019). He is a Professor of Chemistry and of Earth and Planetary Science at UC Berkeley. http://cohen.cchem.berkeley.edu/. At UCB he pursues research on the chemistry of air pollution and climate change. His teaching includes one-on-one mentoring of a group of ~10 PhD students and classroom lecturing in the introduction to chemistry series. In addition he has been active in faculty governance at UCB where he has championed efforts to hire superlative scholars and to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy so as to focus resources on excellence in research and teaching. He brings perspective from those efforts to his role on the Board at PBA.
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S. Jamila Buckner - Vice President
S. Jamila Buckner joined the PBA Board in the late fall of 2015. She currently serves as the Vice President and the Recruitment Liaison for the day school. Jamila comes to the board with over 25 years of board experience in professional, community, and philanthropic organizations. She currently is a Director in the Human Resources Department of Saint Mary's College. She has one son enrolled in the PBA day school and one daughter in college. She enjoys enriching the lives of youth while working in the community. She is also an avid music lover and enjoys the repertoire of the Pacific Boychoir.
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Munis D. Faruqui
Munis is the father of Sivan (Class of 2018). He joined the Board in the Fall of 2015. Munis is a historian and Associate Professor in the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies at UC Berkeley. In 2014, he was one of three recipients of UC Berkeley's most prestigious honor for teaching, the Distinguished Teaching Award. The award recognizes teaching that "incites intellectual curiosity in students, engages them thoroughly in the enterprise of learning, and has a lifelong impact." Munis also is the co-chair of two campus-wide initiatives: Berkeley Urdu Initiative and Berkeley Pakistan Initiative. He brings both teaching and administrative experience to his role on the PBA Board.
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Mr. Fox has been involved with boychoirs since the age of eight. He holds degrees in Music (with Honors) and Economics from Wesleyan University, Connecticut, where he studied voice with tenor Wayne Rivera, conducting with Mel Strauss, composing with Neely Bruce, and received the Lipsky Prize for outstanding scholarship in choral studies. He studied music at Oxford University, England, with Edward Higginbottom, and choral conducting at Westminster Choir College in Princeton with Jim Jordan and Vincent Metallo. He has served as Proctor for the American Boychoir, working with Jim Litton and Craig Denison, and has sung with the choirs of Trinity Church in New Haven, Trinity Church in Princeton, American Bach Soloists, the Philharmonia Baroque Chorale, and the Grace Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys in San Francisco, where he also worked as Interim Assistant Choirmaster.
Under his direction, Pacific Boychoir Academy has grown from six to 150 choristers in four treble choirs and one alumni choir. Working with PBA staff, Mr. Fox has developed a proprietary music reading and music theory training program comparable to university-level music classes. In 2002, Mr. Fox developed a business plan for the choir school, a comprehensive document compiling the ideas of staff and board members in preparation for the opening of the school in the fall of 2004. In 2010, Mr. Fox accepted the Grammy Awards for Best Classical Album and Best Choral Performance for the PBA's particpation on Mahler's Eighth Symphony with the San Francisco Symphony.
Mr. Fox has been on over 50 tours with boys choirs to almost all 50 states including Alaska and Hawai'i, as well as to Brasil, Argentina, Taiwan, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, France, England, Wales, Ireland, Italy, the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Canada, Spain, and South Africa.
Mr. Fox was appointed Chorus Director for the 2014 Ojai Music Festival in Southern California, and also prepared the chorus for Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra in September 2015.
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Bruce Kerns became a big PBA fan when his son David joined the school in 2007. David attended the Athenian School for high school, and is now at UCLA. Bruce assisted PBA parents with tour travel arrangements for several years and took videos of many PBA concerts in Italy, China, Argentina and Spain. He has extensive management and sales experience in technology and manufacturing industries across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and is currently a business development executive for KPMG in Silicon Valley.
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Rick Nelson has spent many years working in the Bay Area software industry. He has been involved with PBA since his son (PBA Class of 2009), now in college, joined the choir at the age of 7. He is a former board president and vice president and is currently the board secretary.
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Ms. Roy is a founding member of Pacific Boychoir Academy. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Music from California State University, Hayward, and has been the organist at Montclair Presbyterian Church in Oakland for over 20 years. Formerly, Ms. Roy served as choral conductor at Holy Names High School in Oakland and the San Francisco Girls Chorus. She has worked with professional boychoirs in the Bay Area for the past 25 years. Ms. Roy serves as school music instructor, assistant director of the Intermezzi group, vocal coach, and accompanist, and is also the Music LIbrarian for the PBA's 500+ titles.
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Christine has an extensive background and a keen understanding of California workers’ compensation having worked with Labor and Management on the Governor’s reform of the California system. She has served as the Chief of the Division of Labor Statistics and Research, the Deputy Director for the Division of Workers’ Compensation, and as the Executive Officer of the California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation from its inception in 1994 until April of 2011. Ms. Baker is ex-officio member of the State Fund Board of Directors as well as a member of the Self Insurance Security Fund. Ms. Baker holds a Master’s Degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Education.
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Suzanne is a business and administrative professional focused on delivering exceptional and accountable leadership. She is a Project Manager with the State of California. Suzanne is passionate about music and education and has served on youth chorus and elementary school boards as Vice President and V.P. Volunteer Coordinator. She earned a Master’s in Teaching degree and has experience in curriculum design and school management.
Suzanne is a choral singer and has sung and toured with Bay Area choirs. Her son is a graduate of the Pacific Boychoir Academy day school and currently sings with the high school Changed Voices. Suzanne enjoys community building and has been involved with PBA for over eight years in various volunteer roles. She looks forward to assisting the Board carry out the Pacific Boychoir Academy’s mission and maintain the high level of excellence the organization has created.