Next week, we’re saying goodbye to our long-term Head of Communications, Jay Walsh. He will be starting shortly a new adventure working at a San Francisco based start-up in corporate communications. His last day at the Foundation will be Tuesday, October 23. The Foundation will be kicking off a search process for a new head of communications, and in the interim we’ll also be receiving communications strategy from our advisers at Minassian Media, a consultancy that helped us manage communications around Wikipedia’s tenth anniversary.
Since Jay started at the Foundation in January 2008 he’s taken a lead role in shaping both the voice and identity of the Wikimedia Foundation, and has played a critical function in supporting our projects. He’s been our spokesperson on hundreds of media inquiries, helping to shape a positive and enlightened perspective on our projects in some of the biggest media outlets in the world. Jay has provided communications counsel on major initiatives to almost everyone at the Foundation, and I’m sure to many of you throughout our community.
Since starting at WMF Jay has grown the communications team, which now includes roles supporting movement communications, global media outreach, and merchandise. Under his leadership we created and grew a blog which now sees up to 40 posts a month, a social media presence with over a million followers, and content published in many localized languages. Jay helped us bring the Foundation’s first four annual reports to the world, and he gave us a voice and open identity for great events like Wikipedia 10.
We’ve been fortunate to have strong communications leadership for a period of rapid growth for our projects and our movement. Please join me in wishing Jay well on his next steps. We will miss him.