Hi everyone,

Over the past year, the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees has been reviewing and evolving our appointment and onboarding process for new Board members. While that has resulted in some lingering vacancies, we knew it was important to update these processes to help maintain a cordial and productive Board.

The updated appointment process provides the entire board with more detailed (albeit private) information about each candidate’s background, public profile, past professional and volunteer work, and ability to contribute to the Board. The updated onboarding process is meant to help Board members learn about the processes and expectations of our Board more quickly to help reduce productivity lost to transitions. Special thanks to everyone serving on the Board Governance Committee and Nataliia for the work they have put into these improvements!

I am also incredibly excited to share that these efforts have helped us identify and appoint an amazing addition to the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees! At our October meeting, the Board appointed and welcomed Raju Narisetti to fill one of the vacant expert seats.

Raju is a veteran media executive and journalist and brings a wealth of communications experience to the board. He is also a veteran of nonprofit governance and currently serves on the board for the International Center for Journalists and Institute for International Education. I am confident he will be a very valuable addition to the board and thrilled that he has agreed to join us!

We will continue to make improvements to our governance processes, for example with the learnings from the on-going governance review, and apply what we have learned to future appointments and filling our remaining vacancy. Thank you for everyone’s patience as we took a pause and worked on recruiting the best possible candidates, rather than simply rushing to fill the seats.

In the meantime, below (and on the Wikimedia Blog) you will find the official announcement about Raju Narisetti and please join me in warmly welcoming him to the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees and to the Wikimedia movement!

Chair, Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees

Raju Narisetti joins Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees

Media veteran brings nearly three decades of global strategic experience in digital media and audience development to the Wikimedia Foundation Board

Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Raju_Narisetti_-_International_Journalism_Festival_2015.JPG

San Francisco, CA, October 16, 2017 — The Wikimedia Foundation today announced the appointment of Raju Narisetti, a veteran media executive and journalist, to the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees.

Raju brings more than 29 years of media experience across three continents. He is currently CEO of Univision Communications Inc’s Gizmodo Media Group, the publisher of websites including Gizmodo, Jezebel, Lifehacker and The Root.

“Raju has dedicated his life’s work to information as a public service. His commitment to editorial integrity, independence, and inclusion is deeply aligned with Wikimedia values. His passion and expertise in digital strategy and international growth will be invaluable to our movement’s future as we advance our global free knowledge mission,” said Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director, Katherine Maher.

Prior to joining the Gizmodo Media Group, Raju served as Senior Vice President, Strategy, at News Corp, one of the largest media companies in the world and the publisher of The Wall Street Journal and The Times of London. In that role, Raju was responsible for identifying new digital growth opportunities globally for News Corp.

“There has never been more urgency in Wikipedia's 16-year history than now, for upholding the values of free exchange of information and knowledge,” said Raju. “Despite mounting challenges around the world, rapid innovation is creating tremendous opportunities for the Wikimedia Foundation. I have much to learn, but am also looking forward to lending my nearly three decades of global media experiences to the movement, to help engage more digital and mobile audiences, particularly diverse young people, and harness their energy to benefit from—and support—the vital values that underpin all Wikimedia initiatives.”

Before joining News Corp, Raju spent nearly 25 years as a journalist and editor. He started at The Economic Times in India before moving to The Dayton Daily News (Ohio), The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), and The Washington Post. Starting out as a summer intern at WSJ, he eventually became Editor of The Wall Street Journal Europe and later Managing Editor of WSJ’s digital newsrooms. At The Washington Post, he was the Managing Editor who led the Post’s rethinking of its separate digital and print newsrooms and operations.

A native of Hyderabad, India, Raju is also the founder of Mint, currently India’s second-largest daily business newspaper by circulation.

“Raju's extensive international and journalistic experience will add valuable perspective to the Board as we look to bring new voices from around the world into our movement. I am impressed by his willingness to learn about and embrace the values behind the Wikimedia movement, and look forward to working with him to support our free knowledge mission,” said Nataliia Tymkiv, Governance Chair for the Board.  

Raju is currently the Vice-chair for the Board of Directors of the International Center for Journalists, as well as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Institute of International Education, which administers the Fulbright Scholarship programmes. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Raju joins eight other Foundation Trustees who collectively bring expertise in the Wikimedia community, financial oversight, governance, and organizational development; and a commitment to advancing Wikimedia’s mission of free knowledge for all.

He was approved unanimously by the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees. His term is effective October 2017 and will continue for three years. Please see the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees for complete biographies.


About the Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization that supports and operates Wikipedia and its sister free knowledge projects. Wikipedia is the world’s free knowledge resource, spanning more than 45 million articles across nearly 300 languages. Every month, more than 200,000 people edit Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects, collectively creating and improving knowledge that is accessed by more than 1 billion unique devices every month. This all makes Wikipedia one of the most popular web properties in the world. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charity that is funded primarily through donations and grants.


Christophe HENNER

Chair of the board of trustees

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