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Archive:Press releases/Board Announcements August 2009

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Wikimedia Foundation Announces New Appointments to Board of Trustees at Wikimania in Buenos Aires

Appointments confirm recent community elections and formalize new roles for members

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - August 25, 2008 — Earlier today, the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees Vice-Chair, Jan-Bart de Vreede announced important changes to the Board, including the appointment of the newest community-elected Board member. The decisions were made following a series of Board meetings coinciding with the fifth annual Wikimania conference, held in Buenos Aires, Argentina from August 26 to August 28, 2009.

The Board officially welcomed its newest member, Samuel Klein, who was elected by the Wikimedia community in its biannual online election. That election also saw Kat Walsh and Ting Chen return to the Board in their incumbent seats. Each of the three community-elected Board members will serve two-year terms, expiring on July 1, 2011.

Samuel Klein (English Wikipedia user:Sj) is Director of Content for the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program based in Boston, MA. He has been a Wikipedian since January of 2004, and currently serves as an editor on the English, Nahuatl and Swahili Wikipedia. He is also a contributor in Wikimedia Commons, Wiktionary, Wikibooks, and Wikiversity. Samuel is also actively involved in Wikimedia projects focused on multilingual translation efforts, local and international public outreach, and statistical analysis. He studied physics and electronic engineering at Harvard University.

The Board also formally welcomed new member Arne Klempert, who was recently selected by Wikimedia's international network of chapter organizations to serve in a chapter-selected Board seat. Arne is former Executive Director (and an original co-founder) of Wikimedia Deutschland,the first international Wikimedia chapter. Wikimedia Deutschland conducts public outreach, quality improvement and fundraising activities inside Germany. Arne has worked at a number of German publishing and media companies, and currently serves as Head of Digital Communications at IFOK, a German consulting firm specialized in online dialogue and participation. He started editing Wikipedia in 2003. Arne studied social sciences at the University of Frankfurt. His term will expire on July 31, 2010.

The Board also took time to recognize the significant contribution made by outgoing Board member Domas Mituzas. Domas has served on the Board of Trustees since February 2008, acting as the Board's Executive Secretary. Domas brought invaluable experience and knowledge regarding the complex technical infrastructure of the Wikimedia projects, along with patient and thoughtful views and support. Domas, who works for Sun Microsystems, based in Vilnius, Lithuania, will continue to work closely with the Wikimedia Foundation's technical team to support server operations and management.

Board roles and duties were also reconfirmed during the August 2009 meeting. Michael Snow will continue as Chair of the Wikimedia Foundation. Stuart West will remain in the role of Board Treasurer, while Jan-Bart de Vreede also continues his role as Board Vice Chair. Kat Walsh will now assume the duties of Board Executive Secretary.

There are 10 seats on the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees. As per the Wikimedia Foundation's Bylaws, three members are elected by the Wikimedia community, two members are selected by the Wikimedia chapters, there is a Community Founder seat held by Jimmy Wales, and there are four members appointed by the Board itself to provide additional specific expertise that might otherwise be lacking from the Board. Currently all seats on the Board of Trustees are filled, with the exception of one vacant "specific expertise" seat.

For more information, visit the Wikimedia Foundation Board page.

About the Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization which operates Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. According to comScore Media Metrix, Wikipedia and the other projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation receive more than 300 million unique visitors per month, making them the 5th most popular web property world-wide (June, 2009). Available in more than 265 languages, Wikipedia contains more than 12 million articles contributed by a global volunteer community of more than 100,000 people. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is an audited, 501(c)(3) charity that is funded primarily through donations and grants.

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