Vaughn Sherman was born and educated in Seattle, Washington. After working as a fisheries biologist in Alaska and Washington State, he was recruited by the CIA and served as an operations officer for more than twenty years, mostly abroad in Europe and the Far East.  Taking early retirement due to an illness in the family, he then was involved in numerous community activities, including the governance of non-profit agencies and community colleges.  Trained by United Way as a board consultant, he has organized retreats for many nonprofits in Washington State.

Vaughn was appointed as a charter trustee of Edmonds Community College in 1981.  Since then he has served as President of Washington State’s Trustees Association of Community Colleges, and as Presisdent of the of the national Association of Community College Trustee (ACCT).  He serves as a consultant for ACCT, writing about community colleges, and he has conducted board retreats for colleges across the nation.  He is a certified mediator, working in small claims court and assisting with family mediations for the Dispute Resolution Center of Island and Snohomish Counties based in Everett, Washington.

He and his wife, Jan Lind-Sherman, live in the Pacific Northwest. In 2011 they founded this organization, Patos Island Press LLC, a small press based in Edmonds, Washington.  They are also co-founders of the Martin Luther King School Dream Foundation, an organization providing scholarships to mostly underserved high school graduates.  Since founded in 1994, this organization has provided grants to more than 150 students, each receiving a scholarship ranging from $1,000 to $3,500.