Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2007-07-09/New hires

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The Wikipedia Signpost


Wikimedia Foundation hires consultant, general counsel

By Ral315, 9 July, 2007

Over the last two weeks, the Wikimedia Foundation has hired two new employees: Sue Gardner will serve as a consultant and special advisor, and Mike Godwin will serve as general counsel and Legal Coordinator.

Sue Gardner

On June 27, Wikimedia Foundation chair Florence Devouard announced that Sue Gardner would be hired as a "consultant and special advisor" to the Foundation. In the announcement, Devouard said:

Sue’s arrival is an important step for Wikimedia as we continue to evolve as an organization. We want to ensure sustainability and reliability, as well as set the stage for future growth: Sue’s role is to help us do that. She is well-suited to the job: she’s consensus-oriented (which as we know is important in an organization like ours), and she has experience leading change and managing transitions like the one we’re facing. She is sympathetic to our goals and values, and also has some experience with collaborative projects.

Sue will be responsible for assessing and improving all aspects of the Foundation’s operations. This means she’ll be taking a look at how we do things today –everything from staffing to fundraising to financial controls– and recommending improvements.

Sue comes to us from CBC.CA, the website of Canada’s national public broadcaster, and that country’s largest and most popular news site. Under her leadership as Senior Director there, CBC.CA more than doubled its audience size, and won dozens of international awards. Prior to running CBC.CA, she was a journalist for 10 years, writing for magazines and newspapers, and making documentaries and talk programming for media companies such as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the British Broadcasting Corporation and National Public Radio.

Gardner thanked Wikimedians for "all the very kind welcomes", and noted that she would be focusing on learning the various processes, wikis and mailing lists, and meeting with office staff, and would start much of her work after Wikimania, due to a prior commitment from July 7 through July 25.

Mike Godwin

On July 3, Devouard announced that the foundation had hired Mike Godwin to handle Wikimedia's legal responsibilities:

As General Counsel and Legal Coordinator, Mike will be responsible for handling the day-to-day legal needs of the Wikimedia Foundation, as well as coordinating pro bono legal help worldwide. Additionally, he will be responsible for evaluating the Foundation’s policies and operating procedures, and assisting the Board of Trustees with legal concerns.

Mike comes to us from Yale Law School and the Yale Department of Computer Science, where he was working as a Research Fellow, supervising student research projects involving law and technology. Mike is an accomplished attorney with over 17 years of experience in legal policy development and advocacy concerning technology, privacy and the internet. Most notably, he was the first Staff Counsel for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to educating the public about civil liberties relating to technology, and acted as a defender of those liberties. He also served as Counsel to two Washington D.C.-based nonprofits, specifically Public Knowledge and The Center for Democracy and Technology. ... Mike will be working from his office in the Washington, DC, area. If you would like to volunteer with the Wikimedia Foundation in a legal capacity, we encourage you to contact Mike directly by email at mgodwin at wikimedia.org.

Godwin, perhaps best known for his work with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and for Godwin's Law, coined by Godwin in 1990, has edited Wikipedia in the past, anonymously and under the username Mikegodwin.

The two hires follow the hiring of Vishal Patel as a part-time Business Developer in May, and the hiring of Cary Bass as Volunteer Coordinator in April.


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