It's pretty embarrassing that regional Wikimedias have better governance
standards than the (extraordinarily wealthy) international Foundation.
I don't understand how the Tides/Wikimedia general counsel believes that
the conflict of interest of Maria has moved directly from being Board chair
to being a paid consultant for an undisclosed amount "would be shortly
mitigated by her stepping down from her trusteeship for unrelated reasons".
On Fri, Jun 25, 2021 at 12:25 PM Dan Garry (Deskana) <djgwiki(a)gmail.com>
On Thu, 24 Jun 2021 at 12:56, Chris Keating
Thanks for the detailed comments. However, still,
this doesn't really
help that much.
From your email it seems that over several months the WMF has created a
new role which just happens to be ideal for its outgoing Chair to fill, and
indeed could scarcely be filled by anyone else because it so closely
relates to the Board's priorities.
If this is allowed to happen then it raises serious questions about
whether Board members make decisions about the WMF's priorities in order to
create consultancy posts for themselves. As it happens I don't believe that
is what has happened here, but one could be forgiven for drawing that
conclusion. There is a clear appearance of a conflict of interest. And
there is a real risk of undermining the credibility of pretty much any
decision the Board might take in future, if people - the community, donors
or the media - start to believe that those decisions are being taken
because Board members will be eased into paid positions to implement them.
No amount of reassurances that conversations happened in a particular
order can avoid this. The letter and indeed the spirit of the WMF's
conflict of interest policy may have been followed. But the object of the
WMF's conflict of interest policy has not been achieved, quite the
opposite. One can follow a policy and end up making the wrong decision, and
that's what's happened here.
I agree wholeheartedly with Chris's eloquent comments on this situation.
What has happened here is very inappropriate, and deeply troubling.
Wikimedia-l mailing list -- wikimedia-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org, guidelines
Public archives at
To unsubscribe send an email to wikimedia-l-leave(a)lists.wikimedia.org