I am sad to let you know that Luis Villa, our lead for the Community
Engagement department, will be leaving the Wikimedia Foundation. A year
ago, Luis took on a big challenge, transitioning from the Legal Department
to lead the newly created Community Engagement organization. In that role,
Luis and our teams were tasked with many recent community initiatives, such
as the creation of the Community Tech team, gender-related and
anti-harassment programs, and improved alignment of WMF annual planning
with the Funds Dissemination Committee. Prior to that, as Deputy General
Counsel he was responsible for a number of legal initiatives, including
licensing, contracts, and product counseling. I’m grateful for his counsel,
and his leadership in the WMF movement throughout these years.
Later this month, Luis will transition out of his current position with the
Wikimedia Foundation to pursue other opportunities. He will remain in a
consulting role with the Foundation over the next few months, continuing to
support our ongoing strategy and annual planning processes.
I want to thank Luis for his commitment to the WMF mission, and for the
inspired energy and contributions he has brought to our movement. I’m
looking forward to his future accomplishments and staying in close touch as
he grows in his career.
Maggie Dennis will step in as the interim director for the CE team
effective immediately. Her deep community background, passion for our
mission, and outstanding teamwork are great assets in this transition. She
will also continue to serve as Director of Support and Safety. Maggie is a
respected leader, colleague, and community member. I am confident she will
bring critical insights, especially now as we plan for our next year.
The work of of the CE department will continue as planned, and the overall
structure of the department (including the Community Tech team, which will
continue to report into the Product organization) will stay on-course. Our
goal is to ensure a smooth transition as we continue our progress to
improve the WMF support for our communities.
It is my priority that the WMF continues to build upon the initiatives we
started in 2015 in support for the global Wikimedia community. Continued
leadership of the Community Engagement department at executive level in the
WMF is a part of delivering on those commitments. We will be looking to
fill the Community Engagement leadership role with someone with a strong
background in community programs, and an understanding of the Wikimedia
movement. We will also look to engage with you to find the right person for
this role. We will send an update on the next steps and the job description
shortly, which will include a further discussion of the role on-wiki.