The Aurora Funds is putting part of its new $85 million fund to work by expanding its staff and focus.

The venture capital firm, which recently closed on its fourth fund worth some $85 million and added a chief financial officer, has hired Tom McMurray as a special ventures partner. He will be part of Aurora’s effort “to identify promising new investment opportunities” in and around Washington, DC, Aurora said.

McMurray formerly served as general partner at Sequoia Capital in Silicon Valley. He also worked for several venture-backed startups in California.

McMurray is a former associate professor and associate dean at the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University.

“I have known Tom for more than 20 years and would be hard pressed to find anyone with such an amazing background and wealth of experience,” said Jeff Clark, managing general partner of Aurora, in a statement. “His experience, investment track record and network of contacts position him to be a tremendous asset to both Aurora and our portfolio companies. Tom knows how to build strong companies from the ground up.”

McMurray lives in the Washington, DC area and is chairman and founder of Marine Ventures Foundation, a non-profit group seeking to protect the world’s oceans. He earned his BS, MS and PhD at Duke.

Greg Bohlen, who spent the past two years as director of private equity coverage group at UBS Warburg Investment Banking, recently joined Aurora as its chief financial officer.

Aurora has four investments in Washington, DC area firms — Blackboard, Engenia, InPhonic and VetCentric.

Aurora Funds: