Please note that at this point I've only updated this userpage. If anybody wants to copy this over to userpages on other wikis, I'd be thrilled. Otherwise, I will get to it eventually :)
Former Executive Director, currently special advisor to the Board and ED
I'm the former ED of the Wikimedia Foundation, currently a special advisor to the WMF Board of Trustees and Executive Director.
I'm a Canadian citizen, born in Barbados, permanent resident of the United States. I live in San Francisco. I edit mostly on the English Wikipedia. When I was running the WMF I was also pretty active on meta: I'm expecting my meta activity will likely now decline :)
I've got an honorary doctorate of laws from Ryerson University, I represented the Wikimedia Foundation as a Technology Pioneer at the 2008 World Economic Forum at Davos, was once ranked by Forbes magazine as the world’s 70th most powerful woman, in 2013 was the inaugural recipient of the Knight Innovation Award, and was once very pleased to be described by a German newspaper as the Head of the Nerdprojekt. I've been interviewed many, many times by media around the world, have visited 48 countries on six continents, and given talks in 19. I'm an advisor or board member for a variety of non-profit, grantmaking and policy organizations, mostly related to technology, free culture, media and digital rights.
My work is motivated by the desire to ensure that everybody in the world has access to the information they want and need, so they can make the best-possible decisions about their lives. You can see why I like Wikipedia :)
I spent the first ten years of my working life writing for newspapers and magazines and making radio documentaries and talk programming. In 2000 I started working online, and in 2003 I became the head of CBC.CA, the English-language website of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. In 2007 I became ED of the Wikimedia Foundation. Between 2007 and 2014, Wikipedia’s credibility has significantly grown, readership has doubled, number of articles has tripled, WMF revenues have grown from USD 2MM to USD 60MM, making the WMF the fastest-growing nonprofit in the United States (as measured by revenue growth), and the WMF has earned Charity Navigator’s highest possible rating for excellence in fiscal management and good governance. I am proud to have been part of all of that :)
I left my role as ED of the WMF 1 June 2014, because I've been disturbed by how the Internet is evolving, and I want to play a role in fixing it. I haven't yet decided exactly how I will plan to do that: first, I am going to take a very long holiday :)
Frequently Asked Questions
The information below is meant to give answers to the questions I'm most often asked. If you have a question that's not answered here, please ask it on my talk page, or e-mail me at suewikimedia.org. Thanks.
- Do you edit the Wikimedia projects, and if so, do you have any special status? How are other editors supposed to treat your edits?
- I do edit, mostly in the English Wikipedia, and my edits don't have any special status. When I edit, I am in no way acting as an official representative of the Wikimedia Foundation, and my edits should be treated like anyone else's.
- I have a question or a comment about Wikipedia. Where can I send it?
- Please send it to info-enwikimedia.org. Mail sent to that address is handled by a global network of volunteers - the same people who write Wikipedia - and they will be happy to reply to you. Please note that if you have a concern about the article about you, your organization, or someone you know, it might be worth your while to read the Article Subjects FAQ first. And thank you for reading Wikipedia.
- I am angry about an editorial dispute I'm having on one of the Wikimedia projects. Can you help me?
- No, I'm sorry, I can't. I very rarely get involved in editorial disputes on the projects, and even if I did I wouldn't have any special standing.
- I would like to make a donation, or, I have a question about my donation.
- If you are a Wikimedia donor or prospective donor, or if you have questions about our fundraising operations, first: thank you! You can send donation-related questions, comments and feedback to the fundraising team, at donatewikimedia.org. Or, just go here to donate.
- I'm a journalist, and would like to speak with you for a story I'm working on. Who do I contact?
- If you're looking for an official statement from the WMF, please e-mail Katherine Maher, who runs communications for the Wikimedia Foundation, at kmaherwikimedia.org. If you're looking for me personally/individually, you can reach me at suewikimedia.org.
- Where can I send a speaking invitation?
- Please send speaking invitations to The Lavin Agency, at infothelavinagency.com or +1 800 265 4870. I will be particularly interested if your event is in Japan :)
- Can I get an official photo?
- Here's my official photo.
- Can I get your official biography?
- Yes, it's below. If you're using it for e.g. an event descriptor, feel free to edit so that the length/tone/etc. are what you need.
|“||Sue Gardner has been described as the Mother Teresa of the Internet, a “librarian to the world,” and “the ultimate media game-changer.” Her work is motivated by the desire to ensure that everybody in the world has access to the information they want and need so they’re equipped to make good decisions about their lives. She used to do that directly, as a journalist: now she does it through and with others, by movement-building and organization-building.
Sue spent the first decade of her career writing for newspapers and magazines and making radio documentaries and talk programming. In 2000 she started working online, and in 2003 became head of CBC.CA, the website of one of Canada’s best-loved cultural institutions, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. In 2007 Sue became Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit that operates the world’s largest and most popular encyclopedia, Wikipedia. In the years since, Wikipedia’s credibility has increased, readership has doubled, and number of articles has tripled. Revenues at the Wikimedia Foundation have grown from $2MM to $60MM, making it the fastest-growing nonprofit in the United States (as measured by revenue growth), and the organization has earned Charity Navigator’s highest possible rating for excellence in fiscal management and good governance.
- I think this FAQ could be better, and I would like to make a small edit to it. (Such as updating a fact, fixing a typo or adding a little more information.)
- Please do! If you think your edit might be controversial, you can raise it on my talkpage first. But I encourage you to be bold: if you think it's probably a good edit, I will likely agree with you :-)
Topics That Interest Me (as an editor)
As a journalist I covered a wide range of stories --everything from the economy to sports to politics to entertainment-- tending to specialize in social issues, race and women's issues, and the social implications of technology and popular culture. Like all journalists, I am generally pretty curious, and I know a little about a lot of things. I am definitely not an expert in any of these topics, but here is some of what interests me:
- History of media, especially in Canada, UK, United States, especially public broadcasting
- Canadian history, Canadian culture, especially modern literature, film, music, TV
- Women's history and the history of feminist movements
- Biographies of prominent/interesting women of all types
- Biographies of well-known journalists and media personalities
- Technology and gender, social implications of technology
- Urban planning, history of cities, history of public housing, new urbanism, gated communities, slums
- Organizational culture, organizational development, organizational theory, governance, psychology of incentives
- Social movements, especially political, counterculture, youth (beatniks, skinheads, hippies)
- Alternative community structures / intentional communities (e.g., communes, kibbutzes, housing co-ops)
- Typography, informational graphic design, data visualization, maps, wayfinding
- Behavioural economics, behavioural psychology, psychology of judgment and decision-making
- Usability, accessibility and ergonomics in interface design and product design
- Mid-century modern architecture and design, especially Scandinavian, especially Danish furniture and silver
- Post-1975 history of Cambodia
- History of Easter Island
- Post-1960 Canadian poetry
- Fiction and literature, especially modern, female, British, science fiction.
Articles I will work on when I have time
(This is just a notation to remind myself.)