I’m Amanda Keton, the General Counsel of the Foundation, and I’d like to clarify some of
the questions and comments that have been raised over the engagement of María as a
Foundation consultant. I want to assure you that we carefully followed our policies,
compensated this in line with similar consultants, and legitimately assessed her as the
best person for the role.
The need. Maria’s engagement comes at a time of transition for both the Board and the
Foundation executive staff. This is also a time where the Community Resilience &
Sustainability (CR&S) unit is setting up mechanisms to ensure that the Foundation
provides seamless service to our growing community in its areas of responsibility. As many
of you know, that team has taken on Movement Strategy due to the transition along with
maintaining their support of Board elections, the Universal Code of Conduct, and leading
our cross-departmental approach to supporting a Thriving Movement.
As a unit, CR&S undertook a needs assessment of the workload ahead. This needs
assessment revealed gaps in implementation of the Foundation’s Movement Strategy and in
supporting staff with the ongoing Board selection process, upcoming onboarding, and
supporting a smooth transition. The team currently supporting the Board expansion is quite
stretched, monitoring multiple channels in many languages. Having another person who can
step in immediately is tremendously helpful to these efforts. Based on this, CR&S
considered the necessary skills and expertise for assistance in executing this work. While
seeking this expertise, numerous factors were considered. Some of these factors included
experience with the Board, volunteers and management. We also considered the
qualifications with respect to the criteria and role at hand. The unique blend of
circumstances at play and the importance of moving forward strongly at this time led us to
carefully assess our needs and explore creative solutions.
The role. In developing the scope of work for this role, we determined that María was a
very strong candidate to support this critical work. With the transition at the executive
level, and at the Board level, Maria brings long-term familiarity with the strategy
process and strategy conversations that is crucial for the Foundation and the movement.
Furthermore, she has been a big believer and a promoter of the Movement Strategy. We
believe she can help ensure continuity in that work and can also support Maggie and others
in the Foundation working to help expand the Board in service of bringing additional
expertise, representation and capacity.
Managing a potential conflict of interest. Maria first considered stepping down months
ago, but she wanted to help navigate the transition at the helm of the Board. I followed
our Conflict of Interest policy and brought this staff idea to the Transition Committee,
the Human Resources Committee, and ultimately discussed this idea in principle in the last
executive session of the Board of Trustees -- without Maria. The Board does not generally
discuss individual contracts, but I wanted to make sure that the Board knew about it to
respect the spirit of the conflict of interest policy even if that would be shortly
mitigated by her stepping down from her trusteeship for unrelated reasons. I appreciate
the concerns that were raised about Affiliates receiving different advice. I'm not
aware of this, and because I want to respond timely, I can't check with all the
relevant staff. However, I have not found reference to this in internal or Meta
documentation and would appreciate more information on where this policy can be found so
we can review it when we next update our policies, and ensure we consistently uphold our
policies throughout the movement. I agree we want to be consistent, and I appreciate that
this was pointed out.
Fair compensation. I understand that a lot of questions have been raised pertaining to
Maria’s remuneration. As many of you already know, we do not discuss remuneration of staff
or consultants in public forums, although we do disclose appropriately as we are required
to as a US nonprofit on our Form 990. It can be difficult to balance transparency and
privacy, and we find it best to adhere to a general approach that balances our values of
transparency and privacy as well as possible. However, all consultant compensation is
reviewed according to our standard rates and market comparables. María’s compensation was
set by the same process, and this is in line with how others are paid for similar work in
I hope this clarifies any questions and doubts that you may have.