Dear Wikimedians of India,

The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees met last week to decide on a plan for the 2021 Board elections. The Board Governance Committee created a proposal based on the report of Call for Feedback about Community Board Seats[1]. The full proposal[2] is available on Foundation Wiki. The Board wants to thank the more than 800 volunteers that participated in the Call for Feedback in one way or another. It has been very difficult to decide on every open question considering the quantity and diversity of opinions received. We hope this resolution feels sensible to everybody.

The summary of the proposal is as follows:
  1. The Board drafts a call for candidates that includes details about the skills and experience that are currently represented on the Board (excluding trustees whose terms are expiring) and that the Board would like the selected trustees to have.
  2. The Foundation devotes resources to informing communities of the trustee selection process and encouraging people from emerging and underrepresented communities to run as candidates.
  3. As part of their self-nomination process, candidates fill out the trustee evaluation form.
  4. The Foundation continues to devote resources to invite communities to participate in the selection process by engaging candidates during the campaign period and by voting.
  5. Community members vote and their votes are counted using a proportional voting system chosen by the Elections Committee.
  6. The Foundation conducts the usual vetting of the selected candidates (background check and communications review).
  7. The Board appoints the selected candidates for whom the vetting process did not reveal any significant issues.
This proposal does not suggest implementing quotas or hard requirements for candidate skills or experience for the 2021 round of community trustee selection. Instead, it relies on the more detailed information from the Board in the call for feedback, the community outreach efforts, and the proportional voting system to meet the Board’s needs in terms of skills and diversity. However, it also contemplates potentially adding or changing elements to the process for future rounds of trustee selection, based on an assessment of the effectiveness this first time.

The draft timeline is as follows:
  1. April 15: Board meets to consider and approve this proposal
  2. April - May: Elections Committee and staff plan the details of the selection process
  3. June 1-2: Board meets and approves the call for candidates
  4. June 8 - 29: Call for candidates; candidate outreach
  5. June 29 - July 20: Candidates campaign and answer questions; community outreach
  6. July 20 - August 3: Voting; community outreach
  7. August 3 - 10: Vote counting and processing
  8. August 10 - 24: Foundation vetting of selected candidates
  9. August / September: Board appoints selected candidates
    (tentative only, subject to change)
Please go through the full proposal[2] for further details, and let me know if you have any questions. In the upcoming days, the Board elections facilitation team will share their ideas to support candidates and voters.

Krishna Chaitanya

[1] Call for Feedback report:
[2] Full proposal: