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.
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