I joined the Wikimedia Foundation in February 2011 as General Counsel, after 25 years of practicing law in the United States and Europe.
Before the Wikimedia Foundation, I was a Deputy General Counsel and Vice-President at eBay, overseeing its legal issues both in the United States and internationally, with a global team of more than 80 lawyers and legal specialists. I had overall responsibility for legal matters arising in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Australia. I have served as a federal prosecutor in Miami, investigating and litigating white-collar and other criminal cases, and was appointed as a liaison between the U.S. Department of Justice (Janet Reno) and the French Ministry of Justice (Élisabeth Guigou) with offices in the U.S. Embassy in Paris and the French Ministry of Justice.
I served as an appellate attorney for the Department of Justice, arguing before the federal courts of appeals throughout the U.S., and I have worked at a large law firm in Washington, D.C. after serving as a federal law clerk in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. I graduated from Georgetown University Law Center with my Juris Doctor in law. Previously, I studied music at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, French and Political Science at Indiana University (Bloomington), and French and international law at the University of Strasbourg, France.
In 2001, I was appointed as a chevalier in the French Ordre national du Mérite, and, in 2014, named Most Innovative General Counsel in North America by the Financial Times. Thanks to our great legal team and community, we were selected as one of the 2015 Best Legal Departments by the Corporate Counsel magazine.
I am a California Registered In-House Counsel with my bar license from the District of Columbia Bar.
I am fortunate to lead a talented team of lawyers and legal specialists at the Foundation. We oversee all legal matters for the Foundation and focus on key initiatives to help support the community consistent with our Foundation goals and values. We deal with a wide range of issues and projects, including policy drafting, trademark and copyright law, international law, employment law, litigation, fundraising and grant law, domestic and international contracts, privacy law, ethics, internet law, and non-profit corporate governance. We are also charged with carrying forward the Foundation’s goals of advocating for the community in new ways, including fighting for content online, facilitating community discussions about critical legal WMF initiatives that affect the community, and providing information about legal and legislative issues that impact online content.
For legal ethical reasons I (as well as the rest of the legal team) can only represent the Wikimedia Foundation and cannot be the attorney for the community or chapters, though the legal team often provides strong support to the community in many ways consistent with Wikimedia Foundation goals.
I work for or provide services to the Wikimedia Foundation, and this is the account I try to use for edits or statements I make in that role. However, the Foundation does not vet all my activity, and edits, statements, or other contributions made by this account may not reflect the views of the Foundation. The legal team can only represent the Wikimedia Foundation on legal matters, so we are unable to give legal advice to others, including community members, editors, or contributors. Communications with members of the legal team are not consultations and do not create any confidential relationship.