[cross-posting to reach pan-India; apologies if you have got it from some other mailing
As you might be aware, the Consultant, Team Support position is to be filled as part of
the India Programs team.
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
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.