I’m excited to let you all know that Ryan Merkley, formerly CEO of Creative
Commons, is joining the Wikimedia Foundation as my new chief of staff.
Many of you have met Ryan before -- at CC Summit, Wikimania, Wikimedia
Summit, or MozFest. He’s a leader in open source, open knowledge, and
free-culture communities, and for the past five years, he’s been the CEO of
Creative Commons, initiating programs like CC search to index all 1.6
billion licensed works online. He’s passionate about the power of the
commons, and the role that everyone can play in making it sustainable and
open to all. I couldn’t be happier he’s now bringing this passion and
experience to our movement.
In Ryan’s own words, “My heart has always been in open communities, and
the power of collective acts -- that is, the things that people can only
do when they work together, like building a commons of free knowledge for
For now, Ryan’s two top priorities will be bolstering the work of the
movement strategy team and supporting the Board. He’ll support the strategy
core team to move the Working Group recommendations into implementation
within the community and Foundation over the course of the coming year.
He’ll also serve as Board liaison to the Board of Trustees, strengthening
the connections, communications, and coordination between Trustees and the
Foundation. Internally, he’ll support the office of the Executive Director,
acting in my stead on various projects.
I’m excited by this new role for an old friend of the open community. Ryan
knows our movement well. He has spent many hours with many Wikimedians, and
understands the centrality of the community to the Wikimedia mission and
identity. His background as a partner to Wikimedia, and a leader in the
broader open movement will be invaluable to our work, and confirmation of
the importance of community experience in Foundation leadership.
Ryan doesn’t start in his new role until Monday, September 16th. However,
he will be at Wikimania, so for those of you attending, please say hi, and
join me in welcoming him to Wikimedia!
P.S. This announcement can also be found on our news page:
Katherine Maher (she/her)
Wikimedia Foundation <https://wikimediafoundation.org/>