I am pleased to announce that the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees
has appointed Maryana Iskander as the new CEO of the Wikimedia Foundation
Since 2013, Maryana has served as the CEO of Harambee Youth Employment
Accelerator , a South African non-profit social enterprise focused on
building African solutions for the global challenge of youth unemployment.
Prior to this, she spent six years as Chief Operating Officer of Planned
Parenthood Federation of America , a volunteer-led social movement
focused on access to women’s healthcare. Maryana has also worked in
academia as the Advisor to the President of Rice University , an
international research university based in the United States.
Her professional career has been motivated by breaking down systemic
barriers, creating opportunities for collaborative solution-building, and
community empowerment. She has a proven track record for leading complex
organisations shaped by shared decision-making.
In looking for the next CEO, we on the Board convened a Transition
Committee , primarily to guide us in finding the right person for this
critical role and secondly to oversee the executive Transition Team. The
Transition Committee conducted a far-reaching and competitive global
search, receiving around 400 recommendations and speaking to about 50
potential candidates. Throughout this selection process, Maryana impressed
us as someone who is deeply inspired by the Wikimedia vision and who
embodies the values of equity and community that inform all Wikimedia work.
She has extensive leadership experience working with volunteer-led
initiatives and building partnerships across public, private and social
sectors. Maryana also brings expertise in technology-led innovation to
accelerate meaningful social change. She does this with a global
perspective: Maryana was born in the Middle East, educated in the United
States and the United Kingdom, and has spent the last decade living and
working on the African continent.
Maryana joins the Wikimedia Foundation at a crucial time. The movement is
larger than ever, and it has never been more relevant or more trusted. This
is an inflection point, as decisions need to be made to execute a shared
vision for where the Movement wants to be in 2030. We believe that Maryana
is the right person to help lead the Foundation at this moment.
As Maryana begins, her priorities will include supporting movement efforts
to implement the Wikimedia 2030 recommendations, such as the development of
a Movement Charter and the finalization of a Universal Code of Conduct. She
will continue the Foundation’s focus on knowledge equity and exploring ways
to address the gaps in content and the diversity of contributors to
Wikimedia projects. She will be supported by the Board in this journey.
Maryana will officially start at the Wikimedia Foundation on January 5,
2022, as she transitions from her current job. Until then, the Foundation
will continue to be led by the Transition Team, with guidance from the
Board. In my conversations with her, I have seen that Maryana is a fan of
direct communication and excited to learn from the movement. In the coming
weeks, she will share ways to connect. Please join me in welcoming Maryana
(CCed) to the Foundation!
PS. For translations of this message, or to help translate it into more
languages, please visit Meta-Wiki 
antanana / Nataliia Tymkiv
Acting Chair, Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees
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