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Roger McNamee to Become Wikimedia Advisor

Media and entertainment investment pioneer joins non-profit's Advisory Board

San Francisco CA January 13, 2009 -- The Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization behind the web encyclopedia Wikipedia, today announced the appointment of Roger McNamee to the Foundation's Advisory Board. Roger McNamee is Managing Director and Co-Founder of Elevation Partners, which invests in media and consumer technology companies. He is a long-term San Francisco Bay Area resident, a professional musician, and a prominent Wikipedia supporter.

"Roger has been a tremendously helpful advisor and friend to the Wikimedia Foundation for years," said Michael Snow, Chair of the Wikimedia Board of Trustees. "I'm delighted he has agreed to formalize his role with us, and I look forward to his continued involvement in our work."

The Wikimedia Foundation, which operates the volunteer-written encyclopedia with a staff of just under 25 people, created its Advisory Board in January 2007 as a mechanism for input from leaders and thinkers in fields like education, technology, and free culture. Advisory Board members convene with Wikimedia's leadership once a year and also support the organization in their specific areas of expertise. Roger McNamee will act as a special advisor to the Executive Director on business and strategy issues.

"Roger is terrific at figuring out what organizations need to succeed, and helping them get it. His advice and introductions have been enormously valuable for me, particularly as I've begun to establish the Wikimedia Foundation in the Bay Area." said Sue Gardner, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation.

"Wikipedia is one of the very few large websites that is fulfilling the original promise of the internet: to make the world a radically better place," said Roger. "One of the interesting things about Wikipedia is that it invites us all to do what we can, based on our own skills and abilities, to help fulfill the mission. I am thrilled to be involved in an enterprise that is having such a huge and positive global impact."

The current Advisory Board membership includes:

  • Angela Beesley (Chair, Wikimedia Advisory Board; co-founder, Wikia)
  • Ward Cunningham (Developer of the first wiki)
  • Heather Ford (Director, African Commons Project)
  • Debbie Garside (Multi-lingual web pioneer)
  • Melissa Hagemann (Open access and open education advocate, Open Society Institute/Soros foundations)
  • Danny Hillis (Engineer, author, inventor)
  • Mitch Kapor (Founder/Co-founder Lotus Developments, EFF, Mozilla Foundation)
  • Neeru Khosla (Co-founder, CK-12)
  • Teemu Leinonen (Head, Learning Environments research group of the Media Lab, University of Art and Design Helsinki)
  • Rebecca MacKinnon (Journalist; founder, Global Voices Online)
  • Wayne Mackintosh (Education specialist, Commonwealth of Learning)
  • Benjamin Mako Hill (Author, free software advocate)
  • Roger McNamee (Venture capital, musician)
  • Erin McKean (Chief consulting editor, American Dictionaries at Oxford University Press)
  • Trevor Neilson (Partner, Global Philanthropy Group)
  • Florence Nibart-Devouard (Former Chair, Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees; Consultant in Collaborative Media)
  • Achal Prabhala (Intellectual Property Researcher)
  • Jay Rosen (Journalist, author, educator)
  • Clay Shirky (Author, consultant, educator)
  • Peter Suber (Open Access advocate)
  • Raoul Weiler (ICT advocate)
  • Ethan Zuckerman (Research Fellow, Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School)

For more information, visit the advisory board page.

About us

About the Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation Inc. is a nonprofit, charitable organization dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free, multilingual content, and to providing the full content of its wiki-based projects to the public free of charge. It operates some of the largest collaboratively-edited reference projects in the world, including Wikipedia, one of the world's 10 most-visited websites.

For a full list of projects, visit Our projects.

All projects of the Wikimedia Foundation are collaboratively developed by volunteers using the MediaWiki software. Their content may be freely used, freely edited, freely copied and freely redistributed subject to the restrictions of that license.

About Wikipedia

The goal of Wikipedia, the largest encyclopedia in history, is to create free encyclopedias in all languages of the world. Anyone with Internet access is free to contribute by writing new articles and editing existing articles. Wikipedia was ranked the fourth most visited website on the internet in November 2008 according to comScore.

Wikipedia started in January 2001, and currently offers over eleven million articles in over 260 languages. The largest Wikipedia is in English, with more than 2.6 million articles; followed by the German and French editions, each of which contain more than six hundred thousand articles. Nine other language editions contain 200,000+ articles, and more than 150 other languages contain 1,000+ articles. Wikipedia is entirely created and maintained by a community of active volunteers.

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