Aurora adds new leadership as the company hits 500 people

Aurora Team
May 27, 2020 · 3 min read

Growing team demonstrates Aurora’s commitment to safety and team development

Our company is only as powerful as the people we hire and our technology is only as world-class as the people who build it. Though the world has changed over the last few months, we continue to make progress: we’ve started to get our vehicles back on the road, we’re actively hiring, and we are welcoming 22 interns, who joined us remotely for the summer from all over the country — Pennsylvania, California, Massachusetts, Iowa, Utah, and more!

At 500 people strong, double what we were just a year ago, we’re excited to announce that we have added new senior leaders across our business.

Sagar Behere joins us as the Director of Systems and Safety Engineering, where he will play a crucial role in ensuring our technology meets the highest safety standards as we deploy our technology safely, quickly, and broadly.

We’re also deepening our commitment to invest in our employees’ personal and professional growth, a key part of building a company from the ground up. Our VP of People, Tara Green, will focus on building and scaling our company as the leader for People Operations, Recruiting, and IT. Raul Rojas will build and lead Aurora Academy, a new in-house program to help employees build expert-level technical skills in the self-driving domain.

Here’s more about the newest leaders to join Aurora:

Sagar Behere, Director of Systems and Safety Engineering, will help define and lead Aurora’s rigorous engineering efforts to deliver a safe and highly performant Aurora Driver. Sagar will also direct safety research, driving results that can be pragmatically implemented into real systems as we deploy our product. He and his team will continue to ask key questions around safety: How do we define and measure safety? How do we build a self-driving system that meets our safety targets? What are the engineering and development innovations needed to ensure that the self-driving system continues to meet and exceed the desired targets? Prior to Aurora, Sagar led safety and systems at the Toyota Research Institute and was the head of system architecture and electrical engineering integration at Zoox. Sagar has a Ph.D. in architecture for autonomous driving from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.

Tara Green, VP of People, brings more than 20 years of experience in people strategy and operations to Aurora. She’s focused on building and scaling teams that are diverse and reflect our core values (including “no jerks!”). She’s also putting in place systems, like management and leadership development programs, that will help our teams work and grow effectively. Prior to Aurora, Tara was the SVP and Chief People Officer at Originate, a technology design and innovation studio, where she also led human capital strategy for Originate and its clients. Tara was previously the Head of People and Operations at Node.io, an AI and deep learning startup backed by Mark Cuban. Prior to Node.io, Tara held executive positions at a number of startups and enterprises including Wickr, Google, eBay, and Excite@Home where she built, scaled, and led global people, sales, and operations organizations.

Raul Rojas, Head of Aurora Academy, is a renowned educator and roboticist. He’ll preside over Aurora’s in-house “university,” where he’ll design and facilitate expert-level classes for employees that teach technical skills relevant to the self-driving domain. Classes range across a broad spectrum including software engineering, sensor development, mathematical foundations, visualization, planning, control, machine learning, and more. Prior to Aurora, Raul was Professor of Computer Science and Mathematics at the Free University of Berlin and in 2015 he was named Professor of the Year by the Association of German Universities. He also co-founded Autonomous GmbH in 2011, an autonomy startup acquired by TomTom in 2017. Raul is known for building European football-playing robots and won the 2004 and 2005 RoboCup World Championship. Raul was first introduced to the world of self-driving cars when he participated in the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge.

— We’re looking to grow our team. Visit our Careers page to learn more about open positions and what it’s like to work at Aurora.

Aurora Blog

Deliver the benefits of self-driving technology safely…

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store