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BCDC Member Spotlight: Meet Sonia Phene ’15

This month’s spotlight falls on a recent addition to our DC community, and a rising leader in tech interested in using her skills to better the world. (Did we mention she went to Brown? 😉🐻). Meet Sonia Phene ’15!

At Brown, Sonia developed an interest in computer science after taking her first programming course, CS15. Enamored by the famous silly skits on the opening day of class, she went on to TA and head TA the course, while ultimately concentrating in computer science. Her other countless fond memories at Brown include eating at the corner table at the Ratty with friends and grabbing tea on Thayer.

After graduating, Sonia moved to San Francisco to work as a software engineer at Google headquarters. There, she built machine learning algorithms that would screen photos of patient’s eyes for eye disease. She’s filed patents and written papers on these algorithm, which have been deployed in parts of the world where there are too few doctors to treat the population.  Since progressively relocating to DC during the pandemic, Sonia has taken on a new role leading a software engineering team in Google Search that focuses on helping people establish economic security. On top of her passion to use technology for good, Sonia is also eager to help improve education worldwide, staying involved with a number of charities.

Outside of work, Sonia enjoys searching for the best Indian restaurant in DC and trying craft cocktails at bars. She particularly likes dance (she recently was certified to teach Zumba) and yoga, and can often be found at the rock climbing gym in Crystal City. She’s always happy to grab coffee (lattes please!) with fellow Brown alumni.


The Brown University Club of Washington D.C. fosters community and furthers intellectual curiosity and exploration among Brown University alumni and their friends in the greater Washington D.C. area

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The club organizes a variety of events throughout the year, including social events, cultural events, sporting events, alumni spotlight events, and educational events, as well as ongoing programs such as the Brown DC Book club.

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