Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2007-01-29/Advisory board named

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The Wikipedia Signpost

Foundation names advisory board, new hires

By Michael Snow, 29 January 2007

Following a recent board meeting and the conclusion of its fundraising drive, the Wikimedia Foundation has made several significant announcements expanding the pool of people involved in the organization. Florence Nibart-Devouard, chair of the Foundation's governing Board of Trustees, announced the creation of an advisory board, consisting primarily of leaders and experts from the free culture movement. Wikimedia has also been adding new personnel to handle the growing demands on the organization, as the Board works to fill out the structure of the Foundation.

Devouard indicated that the new advisory group was chosen to include people who have already been in contact with Wikimedia or whose experience would be beneficial to the organization. Input from the community was solicited and considered, and the list of names (currently 18) is not closed—additional suggestions should be directed to Devouard. Among the members of the advisory board is Angela Beesley, former member of the Board of Trustees, who has agreed to serve as the chair for the advisory panel. The group also includes wiki inventor Ward Cunningham and Nomic creator Peter Suber.

The other members of the advisory board include Heather Ford, Melissa Hagemann, Danny Hillis, Mitch Kapor, Joris Komen, Rebecca MacKinnon, Wayne Mackintosh, Benjamin Mako Hill, Erin McKean, Trevor Nielson, Achal Prabhala, Jay Rosen, Clay Shirky, Raoul Weiler, and Ethan Zuckerman. Although most are primarily involved in other projects of their own, several have some experience editing Wikipedia. For an example, perhaps timely in view of the recent controversy over Microsoft's efforts, Shirky was once involved in a public debate over boosterism on the article for a minor Linux distribution (see archived story).

The Wikimedia Foundation has recently hired two new employees to its staff, Carolyn Doran as Chief Operations Officer and Sandra Ordonez as Communications Manager. Doran has already been working for Wikimedia for several months on a temporary basis on accounting matters, and is now joining the Foundation full-time. Her position will include responsibility for administration, personnel, and day-to-day financial matters. Ordonez has a background in public relations and will focus on dealing with the press and other communications issues. She started more recently but has already been quite busy in light of the Microsoft furor and reactions to the nofollow implementation.

With respect to other positions, the search continues for a permanent Executive Director. At its recent meeting in Rotterdam from January 12 to January 14, the Board of Trustees approved the use of a search firm to help identify candidates. Brad Patrick, who had been covering the position on an interim basis, will now focus on his role as General Counsel.

Other resolutions passed during the Rotterdam meeting included the election of Jan-Bart de Vreede as Vice Chair, and the passage of a gift policy.

Also this week: — Advisory board

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