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Come to share, discover, and connect with our school community -  over drink and food in the informal, round-table setting of our Community Salon Series! These free community events are part of our wider Urban Engagement Program and feature members of our school community, sharing their expertise and spearheading conversation. It is geared towards parents, faculty/staff, alumni and upper school students interested in the salon's theme. 

Upcoming Salon

Our next Salon will take place on November 28th in the Arts Pavilion. With an eye to the intersection of law, business and technology, this salon will focus on Intellectual Property, and features two parent speakers, prominent in the field.

The doors open at 6pm, with formal sharing from 6:15pm-7:30pm. More informal conversation may extend beyond. The event itself is free and free childcare (with food) is available from 6-8:00 for students, PK-8th grade. 

RSVP Here.


XIMENA ARES – Ximena is a business development and licensing professional with 14 years of increasing responsibility in life science research and technology licensing/commercialization.  She’s currently an Associate Director of Business Development at Merck, where she negotiates agreements between Merck and academic institutions or small companies. Ximena holds a PhD in Molecular Biology and is a Certified Licensing Professional. 
Her scientific career included being a postdoc at UCSF, a Research Fellow at the Molecular Sciences Institute (Berkeley, CA) and a scientist at Geron Corporation (Menlo Park). She was a Senior Licensing Associate at the Office of Technology Licensing at Stanford University for over 10 years before joining Merck in August.   While at Stanford, she managed a portfolio of about 250 inventions and negotiated licenses and other agreements with industry and academic partners.


BRIAN FERRALL – Brian Ferrall is a partner at Keker, Van Nest & Peters, where he represents technology and biomedical clients primarily in high-stakes trade secret, patent and other intellectual property disputes, and has broad experience in contract, unfair business practices and antitrust litigation. He also advises clients on IP protection, licensing and competitive strategy. Mr. Ferrall has expertise guiding international clients through the challenges of litigating in the United States.

By developing a successful strategy with the client at the outset of a dispute, he is able to achieve efficient and effective resolutions before trial, or victories at trial. Mr. Ferrall has tried cases to verdict in California federal and state courts, and federal courts in Delaware and Texas, and has served as lead counsel on numerous cases. 

Save the Date

Save the date for our 3rd Salon of the year on February 12th - New Frontiers in the Sciences: from Biotech to Particle Physics  - with parent speakers: Amanda Kahn-Kirby and Philippe Grenier.

Look Back

Our salon series launched on October 16, with about 60 faculty, staff, parents and students sharing in conversation on the theme of civic and political engagement. The evening featured parent speakers Andrea Dew Steele, founder of Engage America, and Mark Mullen, founder/CEO of BeTheWave, and was moderated by Urban Engagement Coordinator, Michelle Haner and International High School senior and founder of Bay Area Student Activists, Zoe Benjamin.

For more information about the Salon Series or the Urban Engagement Program, please contact Urban Engagement Coordinator, Michelle Haner, at

International High School

150 Oak Street

San Francisco, CA 94102-5912

Phone: 415.558.2000

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An independent Pre-K through 12th grade co-educational day school in the heart of San Francisco. The school delivers a rigorous bilingual (French/English) immersion program through middle school, culminating in either French Baccalaureate or International Baccalaureate program in its International High School.

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