[cross-posting to reach pan-India; apologies if you have got it from some other mailing list.]
As you might be aware, the Consultant, Team Support position is to be filled as part of the India Programs team. (http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimediaindia-l/2011-September/004251.html
I am really pleased and excited to announce that Subhashish Panigrahi has agreed to join as Consultant, Community & Program Support.
Some of you might know Subhashish (or Subha as he's also called.) He is all of 23 and a wonderful Wikimedian from Odisha. He has a BE in Biotechnology from Sapthagiri College of Engineering, Bangalore. He has worked for about 1 1/2 years in business development and is currently based in Bangalore. He's been an active Wikimedian since a friend of his attended a Wikipedia 10th event in Bangalore in January and told Subha about Wikipedia. Subha then spent considerable time - quite a bit of it in Shiju Alex's living room apparently :-) - learning about Wikipedia. Since then, he's been on fire! He's helped the Bangalore community organise the monthly meet-ups, been a central figure in building community & momentum for Odia Wikipedia and has conducted outreach programs for Odia projects back home in Odisha as well as in Bangalore. He's also been helping out other projects and communities; a couple of weekends ago he was in Chennai conducting a WikiAcademy there. He is a fantastically inspiring example of a complete outsider being welcomed into the family, having his hand held in his growth as a newbie, charging forward taking responsibility & ownership and then spreading his skills & knowledge to others. He is also one of the sweetest human beings I have ever met. He is a perfect example of the Wikimedia Dream.
His interests (outside of Wikimedia) are cooking, graphic design and handwriting analysis. (I bet most of you who know Subha don't know that last bit about him. So the next time you see him, show him your writing and get him to reveal your deep dark secrets!) He has also been involved with campaigns for social work during the floods and cholera outbreak in Odisha and been involved with a Odisha community organisation, eOdissa.com.
Originally, the Consultant, Team Support position (http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_-_India_Programs#Team_Structure
) was to manage the back-end aspects of India Programs (basic accounting, basic personnel management, office administration, travel support, expense statement management, logistics support for the community, etc.) I have been looking at the actual work load involved and I do not think this is a full time role. The functions listed are essential and need to be done - but there is an opportunity to improve the richness of the position and it's value to the community. I'm therefore proposing that the Consultant, Team Support be redesignated to Consultant, Community & Program Support. I envisage this position to have about 1/3 of time spent on the back-end work listed above but 2/3 of time can be very productively utilised supporting community efforts - such as helping community building & outreach and supporting community-led initiatives. An important consideration I have for this redesignation is after looking at the specific skills that Subha brings to the table; I want to make sure that he has the required space to realise his potential and to support the community and movement.
Subha will of course continue to pursue his personal voluntary work for and as part of the Wikimedia community. The one question that he emphasized during the selection process was whether he would retain the flexibility to continue to pursue his personal passions on Wikimedia; the answer he got was a loud Y-E-S!!! :-) I'm delighted to have another community member joining the team.
He'll formally start in Delhi on January 9th 2012.
Do join me in welcoming him.