to be honest this is really difficult to understand. While the WMF, through
it's various committees, pushed affiliates to clearly draw the lines
between board and staff by introducing stringent governance measures (and
rightly so), which also include paragraphs about introducing a cooldown
period before switching between board and being employed by the same
organisation, the WMF is ignoring all of that governance advice it has
given over the last few years.
I feel quite silly now having been on the simpleAPG committee for three
years and having advised affiliates who wanted to hire staff for the first
time to draw clear lines between staff and board members, to now have to
see this exact scenario I warned against play out at the WMF. Maria's
departure from the BoT, even before her tenure was over and subsequent
hiring really calls into question what the WMF thinks good governance
should look like, notwithstanding the fact that the BoT now has one
community elected seat less at a critical time in the strategy
All in all I can only call for a governance overhaul at the WMF so that
murky situations like this don't happen again.
Quite frustrated regards,
On Wed, 23 Jun 2021 at 21:46, Maggie Dennis <mdennis(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
Hello, all. :)
I hope and trust that everyone is keeping well during these times!
I’m Maggie Dennis, Vice President of the Community Resilience &
Sustainability group of Wikimedia Foundation, within the Legal department.
I wanted to announce with pleasure that Maria Sefidari has agreed to
consult with the Foundation on Movement Strategy and the ongoing Board
evolution for the upcoming year. Many of us know María from her role as the
chair of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees, from which she
provided invaluable leadership in governance, oversight, and fundraising.
Others may know her from her volunteer work as User:Raystorm
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Raystorm>, in which she has a broad
range of experience.
María, based in Spain, commenced her assignment with the Foundation this
week. We intend to tap into her expertise and knowledge of the Foundation
to support a successful implementation of the Movement’s Strategy and to
tap into new opportunities. (With her Board work, she will be supporting
Quim Gil’s team with the Board election and helping Margo Lee in improving
onboarding, documentation practices, and training.) María will report to me
as part of our Community Resilience & Sustainability group. I’m excited
that she accepted our offer for a more hands-on assignment, particularly
given how important all of the work she’ll be supporting is. :) With more
than 15 years of Wikimedia experience, her contributions in the next phase
will be a tremendous benefit to me and my team as we continue settling into
our own work on Movement Strategy.
Those of you who are involved with Movement Strategy are used to seeing
her at related meetings and still will. :) I anticipate María will be
joining one or more of the Movement Strategy global conversations
this weekend. Advertisement alert: maybe you can, too? Here’s more detail
I myself will be attending at least one of those sessions and look forward
to seeing some of you there.
Vice President, Community Resilience & Sustainability
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
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