Dear María,

First of all, thank you for all the work you have done over the past 8 years - it is not always easy to be a Trustee and sometimes the work is far from gratifying. I know it was not a quick decision for you to stay on for an additional year to help us see Wikimedia Foundation and the board through some challenging times, and I am personally grateful for your accepting the challenge and putting yourself on the line.

There was quite a bit of turmoil when I joined the Board - and no one really had time to onboard me back then. And I *needed* onboarding and support. You offered to mentor me if need be, invited me to shoot any questions and concerns at you, any time of the day. Things like that - going above and beyond when needed and really meaning it - are a pattern with you. And I deeply appreciate your dedication to the cause.

You were in the room when the Board decided to embark on a long journey to support the creation of the Movement strategy, and saw it through all the hardships we had along the way. I do hope that being able to help in implementing it will somehow account for all those mishaps on the way here, and you will seriously consider the advisory role where you can support the Movement Strategy from the trenches, so to say.

You have been one of the strongest voices for making sure our projects diversify and are more equitable, helping direct the Wikimedia Foundation to a direction of increasing readers and donors and raising editing numbers from when they were declining. Your energy and readiness to participate in hundreds, maybe thousands of conversations on the future of Wikimedia and ensuring its stability and sustainability is really something, and I think this deserves recognition on our part.

I believe you will remain involved in the movement with the same drive and passion you have always shown. And our paths will cross again even though we do edit different-language Wikipedias, but we still reside in the same Wikiverse :)

With thanks and appreciation,

antanana / Nataliia Tymkiv
Vice Chair, Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees

NOTICE: You may have received this message outside of your normal working hours/days, as I usually can work more as a volunteer during weekend. You should not feel obligated to answer it during your days off. Thank you in advance!

On Thu, Jun 3, 2021 at 10:40 PM María Sefidari <> wrote:
Dear All,

There is one last bit of news I would like to share following the Board meeting update.

After ~ 8 years on the Board of Trustees at the Wikimedia Foundation - a long time! - I have notified the Board that I am stepping down as Chair and trustee, effective end of day today.

As all of you know, the community-selected seats were due to expire last year and were extended at the request of the Board to see through these difficult and unprecedented times. Now, after chairing the last meeting of the fiscal year and having the call for candidates for the upcoming elections approved, it is the least disruptive moment for me to step down. The Foundation has asked me to consider an advisory role to support Movement Strategy and the onboarding of new trustees and the new CEO/ED, to help support leadership and this strategic transition. Nataliia Tymkiv, currently Vice Chair, will act as Chair until a new one is elected by the Board ensuring continuity.  

Hopefully this news will not come as too much of a surprise. I am grateful to the community members who lent me their trust and support to become a trustee on two different occasions, to the staff, and to the trustees for their confidence in me in the different leadership positions I have held within the Board - first as committee chair, then two terms as Vice Chair, and two terms as Chair.

Together we have accomplished many things during this time, but if I had to single out only a few they would be the following: launching the Movement Strategy process, engaging in the most ambitious governance reform in the history of the Board, and working to ensure the stability and sustainability of the Foundation. It has been a time of change, of discussing strategy and our future, and deciding together what the path forward should be.

Of course, the work is never finished - it will be the task of the Board to continue what has been done and face the newer and complex challenges that will no doubt arise. I hope that we will see many of the women of the movement and people from the Global South as candidates in the upcoming community elections - I know there are many qualified people ready to step into these important roles. I look forward to supporting an increasingly capable and diverse Board.

Be safe and well everyone.




María Sefidari Huici

Chair of the Board 

Wikimedia Foundation 

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