(This press release is also available online:
Wikimedia Foundation announces 2013-14 Board of Trustees and elected
officers at Wikimania in Hong Kong
Hong Kong -- August 8, 2013 -- The Wikimedia Foundation today announced
recent additions and elected officers for the 2013-14 Board of Trustees.
Every year at Wikimania, the annual gathering of Wikimedia contributors
from around the world, the Wikimedia Foundation Board appoints its officers
for the coming year. This year's appointments were announced in Hong Kong,
where more than 1000 conference attendees came from nearly 90 countries.
This year, Jan-Bart de Vreede was appointed Chair of the Board and Phoebe
Ayers was appointed Vice Chair. De Vreede works at Kennisnet, the Dutch
public educational organization that supports primary, secondary and
vocational institutions in the effective use of IT in education.
"I am honored to have been chosen to chair the Board in the coming year"
said de Vreede. "I want to thank Kat Walsh for her service on the Board and
for the year she served as Chair during a critical stage of the
organization's development. We look forward to hearing her wise voice as
she continues to engage with our projects, community and mission."
"This is an exciting year and I look forward to using my energy to ensure a
successful transition of our Executive Director and to helping our newer
board members to be able to contribute in the best possible ways to our
mission," de Vreede said. "The next twelve months promise to be significant
for the Wikimedia Foundation and the Wikimedia movement and I'm excited to
have the opportunity to lead the Board."
There are 10 seats on the Wikimedia Foundation Board and according to its
bylaws, three members are elected by the Wikimedia community, two are
selected by the Wikimedia chapters, the Founder seat is held by Jimmy
Wales, and four members are appointed by the Board itself to provide
additional, specific expertise.
The Board expressed its great thanks to former Board Chair Kat Walsh.
Walsh, a long-term participant in the Wikimedia projects, has been a member
of the Wikimedia Foundation Board since June 2007. Her leadership has
strengthened and nurtured the growth of the worldwide Wikimedia movement.
"It's been a pleasure to serve on the Wikimedia Board for nearly 7 years
and as Chair over the past 12 months," said Kat Walsh. "During my time as
Chair, the Wikimedia Foundation has worked with the global Wikimedia
community to introduce the simplified editing interface, VisualEditor, and
to support the growth of the Wikipedia Zero program to give free access to
our sites on mobile, helping us reach our goals of increased reach and
participation worldwide. We've also begun an innovative, volunteer-led
grantmaking program to ensure sustainability for our movement and our
projects. Our Board has diversified and strengthened over the past years,
reflecting the diversity and strength of our community and enabling our
colleagues to accomplish remarkable things; I am proud of what we have been
able to do."
The Wikimedia Foundation is happy to welcome its newest member of the
Board, Maria Sefidari, a Computer Science Ph.D candidate at Universidad Rey
Juan Carlos in Madrid, Spain. She has been an active Wikimedian since
March, 2006 and is a founding member and former Vice President of Wikimedia
Espana, the Wikimedia chapter in the country. She has served as a member of
the Affiliations Committee and the Individual Engagement Grants committee.
She lives and works in Madrid, Spain.
The Wikimedia Foundation is also happy to welcome Phoebe Ayers and Samuel
Klein back to the Board as the other two members elected by the volunteer
Wikimedia community. Ayers is a reference, instruction and collections
librarian at the University of California, Davis, specializing in computer
science, physics and engineering information resources. Klein is a
long-time Wikipedian and a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and
Society at Harvard University.
Every two years the worldwide contributor community elects Board members
from among its peers to participate on the Board and help steer the
Wikimedia Foundation as it fulfills its mission to "empower and engage
people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a
free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and
In collaboration with a network of chapters, the Wikimedia Foundation
provides the essential infrastructure and an organizational framework for
the support and development of multilingual wiki projects and other
endeavors that serve the mission. The Wikimedia Foundation will make and
keep useful information from its projects available on the Internet free of
charge, in perpetuity.
The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees for 2013-2014:
*Jan-Bart de Vreede, Board Chair
*Phoebe Ayers, Vice Chair
*Jimmy Wales, Founder
Wikimania 2013 is being held in Hong Kong, where more than 1000 Wikipedia
contributors, Wikimedia advocates, researchers and educators from roughly
90 countries are in attendance. The previous Wikimanias were held in
Frankfurt, Germany (2005), Cambridge, USA (2006), Taipei, Taiwan (2007),
Alexandria, Egypt (2008), Buenos Aires, Argentina (2009), Gdańsk, Poland
(2010), Haifa, Israel (2011), and Washington DC (2012).
About the Wikimedia Foundation
The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization that operates
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. According to comScore Media Metrix,
Wikipedia and the other projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation
receive 500 million unique visitors per month, making them the fifth-most
popular web property world-wide (comScore, June 2013). Available in 285
languages, Wikipedia contains more than 28 million articles contributed by
a global volunteer community of roughly 80,000 people. Based in San
Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is an audited, 501(c)(3)
charity that is funded primarily through donations and grants.
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