Hi Maggie,

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 implementation process.

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@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, 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.

Warm regards,


Maggie Dennis
Vice President, Community Resilience & Sustainability
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
Wikimedia-l mailing list -- wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
Public archives at https://lists.wikimedia.org/hyperkitty/list/wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org/message/PFOBFWCBFACRGY3OMXAQG54ALPXGT3K3/
To unsubscribe send an email to wikimedia-l-leave@lists.wikimedia.org