[Foundation-l] Nominating Committee

Michael Snow wikipedia at verizon.net
Mon Jul 28 05:24:49 UTC 2008

As you know, we recently announced a restructuring of the Board of 
Trustees, which added two new avenues for selecting board members. One 
of these is the two seats to be selected by the chapters; the other is 
the use of a Nominating Committee to assist the community 
representatives in identifying needed expertise to fill out the board.

This note is about the formation of the Nominating Committee. (The 
chapters are actively discussing their selection process, and we'll have 
more information about that once it is finalized.)

The job of the Nominating Committee is to identify, research and 
pre-screen potential candidates for the appointed board positions 
involving "specific expertise". There are four of those seats in total; 
two are currently vacant, and the others are filled by Jan-Bart de 
Vreede and Stuart West. The Nominating Committee will not itself 
determine who takes those seats. Its job is to make recommendations to 
the community members on the board, who will make the final decision. 
(The appointed board members will not vote in these decisions, since it 
affects them personally.)

The Nominating Committee will include the following:
* Two members of the current Board of Trustees
* Two members of the volunteer community
* One member of our Advisory Board
* Sue Gardner, our Executive Director

Here's how we expect the nomination process will work:
* First, the board will brief the Nominating Committee regarding its 
role, the restructuring, and the board's assessment of its own strengths 
and skills gaps. That briefing will result in a set of criteria for 
potential board candidates.
* Then, the Nominating Committee will generate a list of possible board 
members. All community members should feel free to contribute to this 
list by sending names to any member of the Nominating Committee at any 
time. Names will also be generated by the Nominating Committee's own 
research, as well as recommendations solicited from other friends and 
supporters of Wikimedia.
* Once the Nominating Committee has generated a full and rich list of 
possibilities, it will begin a research and screening phase. At that 
point, it will research the names which have been put forward, and 
assess their fit against the selection criteria developed earlier. This 
will result in a shortlist of candidates.
* Once the shortlist has been developed, the Nominating Committee will 
begin contacting candidates to assess their level of interest in us.
* At that point, the Nominating Committee will deliver to the board a 
final list of interested candidates who fit the criteria for the 
"specific expertise" roles. The goal will be to give the board a full 
briefing on the top eight candidates for the four "expertise" seats, 
along with a recommendation for the four who the Nominating Committee 
thinks would be the best fit.
* Then the community board members (currently myself, Kat, Frieda, 
Domas, Ting, and Jimmy) will vote to determine who will fill the four seats.

The goal is to have the four seats filled by January. The appointed 
board members' terms end in December, and this process would be repeated 
each year.

Of course the Nominating Committee, once established, is free to adjust 
and refine this process if it wants to. For example, if a current 
appointed board member should be retained for continuity, that may be 
handled more simply, although we also anticipate that these seats will 
bring in fresh voices from time to time. But at any rate, we imagine the 
nominating process will work more-or-less as described here.

So the purpose of this message is both to describe the process for 
filling those seats, and to ask for volunteers to fill the two 
"volunteer community" spots on the Nominating Committee. If you are 
interested in helping us by serving on the Nominating Committee, please 
send a note to me, or Sue, or any board member. We would like to hear 
from anyone who has the time and the interest to participate, and 
especially if you have any experience in non-profit management or 
governance, or in hiring. If you're interested, please let us know 
within the next week.

--Michael Snow

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