Archive:Press releases/WMF Board Election August 2013

From Wikimedia Foundation Governance Wiki

Wikimedia Foundation announces 2013-14 Board of Trustees and elected officers at Wikimania in Hong Kong

Hong Kong -- August 8, 2013 -- The Wikimedia Foundation today announced recent additions and elected officers for the 2013-14 Board of Trustees. Every year at Wikimania, the annual gathering of Wikimedia contributors from around the world, the Wikimedia Foundation Board appoints its officers for the coming year. This year’s appointments were announced in Hong Kong, where more than 1000 conference attendees came from nearly 90 countries.

This year, Jan-Bart de Vreede was appointed Chair of the Board and Phoebe Ayers was appointed Vice Chair. De Vreede works at Kennisnet, the Dutch public educational organization that supports primary, secondary and vocational institutions in the effective use of IT in education.

"I am honored to have been chosen to chair the Board in the coming year,” said de Vreede. “I want to thank Kat Walsh for her service on the Board and for the year she served as Chair during a critical stage of the organization’s development. We look forward to hearing her wise voice as she continues to engage with our projects, community and mission."

“This is an exciting year and I look forward to using my energy to ensure a successful transition of our Executive Director and to helping our newer board members to be able to contribute in the best possible ways to our mission,” de Vreede said. “The next twelve months promise to be significant for the Wikimedia Foundation and the Wikimedia movement and I’m excited to have the opportunity to lead the Board.”

There are 10 seats on the Wikimedia Foundation Board and according to its bylaws, three members are elected by the Wikimedia community, two are selected by the Wikimedia chapters, the Founder seat is held by Jimmy Wales, and four members are appointed by the Board itself to provide additional, specific expertise.

The Board expressed its great thanks to former Board Chair Kat Walsh. Walsh, a long-term participant in the Wikimedia projects, has been a member of the Wikimedia Foundation Board since June 2007. Her leadership has strengthened and nurtured the growth of the worldwide Wikimedia movement.

“It’s been a pleasure to serve on the Wikimedia Board for nearly 7 years and as Chair over the past 12 months,” said Kat Walsh. “During my time as Chair, the Wikimedia Foundation has worked with the global Wikimedia community to introduce the simplified editing interface, VisualEditor, and to support the growth of the Wikipedia Zero program to give free access to our sites on mobile, helping us reach our goals of increased reach and participation worldwide. We've also begun an innovative, volunteer-led grantmaking program to ensure sustainability for our movement and our projects. Our Board has diversified and strengthened over the past years, reflecting the diversity and strength of our community and enabling our colleagues to accomplish remarkable things; I am proud of what we have been able to do."

The Wikimedia Foundation is happy to welcome its newest member of the Board, María Sefidari, a Computer Science Ph.D candidate at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid, Spain. She has been an active Wikimedian since March, 2006 and is a founding member and former Vice President of Wikimedia España, the Wikimedia chapter in the country. She has served as a member of the Affiliations Committee and the Individual Engagement Grants committee. She lives and works in Madrid, Spain.

The Wikimedia Foundation is also happy to welcome Phoebe Ayers and Samuel Klein back to the Board as the other two members elected by the volunteer Wikimedia community. Ayers is a reference, instruction and collections librarian at the University of California, Davis, specializing in computer science, physics and engineering information resources. Klein is a long-time Wikipedian and a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.

Every two years the worldwide contributor community elects Board members from among its peers to participate on the Board and help steer the Wikimedia Foundation as it fulfills its mission to “empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally."

In collaboration with a network of chapters, the Wikimedia Foundation provides the essential infrastructure and an organizational framework for the support and development of multilingual wiki projects and other endeavors that serve the mission. The Wikimedia Foundation will make and keep useful information from its projects available on the Internet free of charge, in perpetuity.

The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees for 2013-2014
Jan-Bart de Vreede, Board Chair
Phoebe Ayers, Vice Chair
Jimmy Wales, Founder
Maria Sefidari
Samuel Klein
Alice Wiegand
Patricio Lorente
Bishakha Datta
Ana Toni
Stu West
About Wikimania

Wikimania 2013 is being held in Hong Kong, where more than 1000 Wikipedia contributors, Wikimedia advocates, researchers and educators from roughly 90 countries are in attendance. The previous Wikimanias were held in Frankfurt, Germany (2005), Cambridge, USA (2006), Taipei, Taiwan (2007), Alexandria, Egypt (2008), Buenos Aires, Argentina (2009), Gdańsk, Poland (2010), Haifa, Israel (2011), and Washington DC (2012).

About the Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization that operates Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. According to comScore Media Metrix, Wikipedia and the other projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation receive 500 million unique visitors per month, making them the fifth-most popular web property world-wide (comScore, June 2013). Available in 285 languages, Wikipedia contains more than 28 million articles contributed by a global volunteer community of roughly 80,000 people. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is an audited, 501(c)(3) charity that is funded primarily through donations and grants.

Press contact
Jay Walsh
Senior Director, Communications
Wikimedia Foundation
Tel. +1 415-860-8166