On Sun, Jun 27, 2021 at 5:03 AM Chris Keating
My concern over this specific instance is prompted by
Thanks for laying out these concerns very clearly, Chris! I'll
reiterate that, above all, my own biggest concern here is that
governance standards of the movement should evolve together, and it's
highly problematic if WMF is seen as holding itself to a different
standard than the organizations it works with. None of my comments are
intended to diminish that concern.
In terms of the specifics, within the current WMF policy which does
not yet include a waiting period, I feel that Amanda's statement 
addressed some of these points reasonably. Taking the statement at
face value, the key points to me are:
- the process began with staff identifying specific needs, not with a
desire to create a role for a trustee;
- everyone involved sought to navigate any real or perceived COI in
line with WMF's policies, and Maria has resigned as trustee before
taking on a paid role;
- the Board discussed the matter both through relevant committees and
in Executive Session without Maria present.
The contract itself is framed as temporary and presumably bound to a
well-defined Statement of Work. The distinction matters because an
organization's hiring processes for temporary contract roles may be
legitimately less involved than for permanent staff hires.
This is _not_ an argument against waiting periods for such contracts.
I can see the merit of pushing an organization to look beyond its
walls for any remunerated role, at least by default, and I can see why
governance experts have recommended as much in discussions with
affiliates. If I was part of an affiliate, I would be pissed if I had
been told to implement such a policy (possibly in a manner tied to
future funding), only to learn that WMF has never done the same.
But I also don't think what happened here should be overstated.
Organizations that want to hand out sinecures don't announce it on
public mailing lists in the form of high-visibility, high-stakes
contracts. I believe that the contract should proceed on its merits,
and the failure by WMF to adhere to standards that affiliates have
implemented is a separate matter.
YMMV. I won't be able to participate much more in this thread, so
please take that for what it's worth from an oldtimer with a single
digit edit count this year. :)
Regardless of whether the contract still proceeds, I would encourage
WMF to share the actual Statement of Work and other non-sensitive
contract parameters (duration; hours if specified). These are the
kinds of parameters that would typically be included in a public RfP.