Dear fellow Wikimedians,
It is with great respect that I have tendered, and the board has accepted,
my resignation as Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation earlier
this week. I am both inspired by, and proud of, the many great things we
have all accomplished at the Foundation over the last two years, most
significantly reversing the loss of our editorial community. I would like
to thank our Board of Trustees
<https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Board_of_Trustees> and Advisors
<https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Advisory_Board>, our Foundation staff
<https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Staff_and_contractors>, as well as
the many outstanding community members
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/The_Wikipedia_Community> for their support
and encouragement on this journey. I remain passionate about the value and
potential of open knowledge and Wikimedia to change the world. My last day
at the Foundation will be March 31, 2016.
Wikimedia occupies a special place in the world. It is a cultural and
technological revolution. Change is necessary to keep it thriving. In
bringing me in as the Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation the
Board tasked me with making changes
to serve the next generation and ensure our impact in the future. Driving
these changes has been challenging, and I have always appreciated the open
and honest discourse we have had along the way. However, I am moved by the
accomplishments we have achieved during this time:
Strategically, we laid out our summary of the vision for united in
and future of Wikimedia last June.
Operationally, we have reformed our procedures and initiated key performance
metrics and reviews
Technologically we have introduced innovative approaches such as machine
applications, started improvements in search
and dramatically improved website performance
In 2015, we made visual editor the default for all new users on English
We united our community support departments and created a new community
tech team to address community needs
Profoundly, for the first time in seven years, highly active editor
numbers have increased
overall editor decline has stopped.
Equitably, I am proud of our efforts to address the gender gap
our growing focus on site safety and anti-harassment
<http://blog.wikimedia.org/?s=harassment> initiatives and child
protection -- I believe these are essential to protecting the fundamental
principles of tolerance, open discourse and mutual respect -- our greatest
We fought against censorship and surveillance
which pose severe existential threats to our mission of free knowledge.
Financially, we grew rapidly in 2014 to seed and launch the Wikimedia
Endowment <https://15.wikipedia.org/endowment.html> and secure our
future for years to come.
I move on with confidence that the Foundation can meet new challenges in a
challenging environment. I believe in our ability to continue to lead
through this change. At this critical juncture for the Foundation, and for
the free and open knowledge movement as a whole, solidarity, creativity,
adaptability and passion will continue to propel our movement forward, and
empower our vision towards our future.
I will support the process of identifying our new leadership in every way
that I can, and offer my assistance to the Board as they conduct their
search for my successor. It has been an honor to serve and to contribute to
our great movement.
With warm regards,