Dear All, 

On behalf of the Foundation Board, I’m writing to share with you that Chief Creative Officer Heather Walls and Chief Technology Officer Grant Ingersoll will be leaving the Wikimedia Foundation, at the end of July.

We, along with the Foundation Transition Team, have been working with them for several weeks on a smooth transition in their respective functions. We are grateful to them for their service and dedication to the Foundation and the movement. In their time with us, both Heather and Grant have used their unique talents and skills to preserve and provide free knowledge to the world while also elevating the voices of community members around the globe.


Heather has been with the Foundation for almost ten years, driving creative and communication efforts. In that time we’ve seen a revolution in how our projects are perceived by the world. She has played a pivotal role at the Foundation, shaping its identity and strengthening our mission to be a trusted and valued resource for sharing and accessing knowledge globally. Heather brought communities around the world closer together by developing and executing innovative means of communications and leading campaigns that helped grow our community and  elevated the voices of our community members. Most recently, on Wikipedia’s 20th Birthday, she, with her team, connected people in more than 70 countries so that we could celebrate “20 Years Human” and our important movement together.


In her words: 

“There is nothing that can sum up nearly a decade with Wikimedians. The joy, the conflict, the evolution, and the unchanging. I’ve seen things change for the better; focused effort to bring more equity into our movement including a ground-breaking global code of conduct—and I’ve seen things stay the same in ways that matter; Wikimedians holding true to their values in face of new challenges like censorship and misinformation. As I reflect on the past almost 10 years, I am amazed by the pace and strength of our growth and the evolution of our brand from an internet experiment to one of the most trusted places on the web. It was a pleasure to see this work reach a pinnacle during Wikipedia’s 20th Birthday celebrations, with headlines, brand partnerships, and community events that shine a light on how far we’ve come.  My appreciation of the people I have met through this journey and the incredible team I leave behind, is immense.” 

Grant, who joined the Foundation two years ago and was based in North Carolina, worked to strengthen Wikimedia’s online infrastructure to increase its reliability and to ensure that people around the globe could access free knowledge whenever they needed it. While Grant and his growing team work largely behind the scenes, they are the reason we have the platform and ability to elevate the voices of our community members and provide free knowledge to the world.  

In Grant's words: 

“My last two years serving the free knowledge movement have been incredibly rewarding and challenging. I’m so proud of what the Foundation Technology team has accomplished, especially with the unique set of challenges this year has brought. There is never a perfect time to leave, but I am confident that this work is in the most capable hands. It’s been a privilege to support my team as they have worked side-by-side with movement volunteers to strengthen our online infrastructure and ensure that Wikimedia remains a trusted source for open knowledge. Together, we evolved and scaled our platform to ensure that people across the globe have 24/7, uninterrupted access to our information when they need it most.” 

While transitions are always challenging, they are also a natural part of evolution and growth of organizations. The Foundation's Transition team - Amanda, Jaime, and Robyn - is working closely with the Board Transition Committee, as well as other relevant Board Committees, to ensure smooth operations during this period. We remain very confident that together, along with our communities, we can build a future for the Foundation that will better serve our important movement goals and strategy.  As we work through the transition, including the ongoing process of identifying the next CEO/ED, we will continue to provide relevant updates.

In the meantime, on behalf of the Board, please join me in wishing Grant and Heather the best of luck.



Raju Narisetti
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