Hi Maggie,

I am flabbergasted.

It is verging on inappropriate for the WMF to immediately hire a trustee the moment they step down from the Board.

I could just about understand if the focus was solely on the executive transition. But this seems much wider.

As a former affiliate Chair I would never have dreamed of taking a job right away at the affiliate I worked for. That would have created the impression that volunteer trustees spent their time on the Board creating remunerated roles for thenselves. 

And it would have broken rules that we introduced, under direct threat by the WMF of being de-recognised as an affiliate.

I am genuinely baffled why anyone thought this was a good idea, and while I have the greatest respect for all involved, I urge Maria, the board, and you to reconsider.



On Wed, 23 Jun 2021, 21:45 Maggie Dennis, <mdennis@wikimedia.org> wrote:

Hello, all. :) 

I hope and trust that everyone is keeping well during these times! 

I’m Maggie Dennis, Vice President of the Community Resilience & Sustainability group of Wikimedia Foundation, within the Legal department. I wanted to announce with pleasure that Maria Sefidari has agreed to consult with the Foundation on Movement Strategy and the ongoing Board evolution for the upcoming year. Many of us know María from her role as the chair of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees, from which she provided invaluable leadership in governance, oversight, and fundraising. Others may know her from her volunteer work as User:Raystorm, in which she has a broad range of experience.

María, based in Spain, commenced her assignment with the Foundation this week. We intend to tap into her expertise and knowledge of the Foundation to support a successful implementation of the Movement’s Strategy and to tap into new opportunities. (With her Board work, she will be supporting Quim Gil’s team with the Board election and helping Margo Lee in improving onboarding, documentation practices, and training.) María will report to me as part of our Community Resilience & Sustainability group. I’m excited that she accepted our offer for a more hands-on assignment, particularly given how important all of the work she’ll be supporting is. :) With more than 15 years of Wikimedia experience, her contributions in the next phase will be a tremendous benefit to me and my team as we continue settling into our own work on Movement Strategy.

Those of you who are involved with Movement Strategy are used to seeing her at related meetings and still will. :) I anticipate María will be joining one or more of the Movement Strategy global conversations this weekend. Advertisement alert: maybe you can, too? Here’s more detail! I myself will be attending at least one of those sessions and look forward to seeing some of you there.

Warm regards,


Maggie Dennis
Vice President, Community Resilience & Sustainability
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
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