[Foundation-l] Announcement: New Chief Program Office: Jennifer Riggs

Sue Gardner sgardner at wikimedia.org
Wed Apr 15 02:17:04 UTC 2009

Hello folks,

I am delighted to announce that this week, Jennifer Riggs begins work
as the Wikimedia Foundation's first-ever Chief Program Officer.  She
will report to me.  Frank Schulenburg, Jay Walsh and Cary Bass now
report to Jennifer: as CPO, she is responsible for all non-technical
program activities such as volunteer recruitment and public outreach.

As you probably know, we've been searching for a CPO since last fall.
Because this is a new and important position for us, we deliberately
decided to allow a large pool of candidates to accumulate over several
months.  We wanted to build in time to think seriously about our needs
while meeting with a wide range of people.

Since October, we received applications from more than 150 people with
a diverse array of backgrounds including media, academia, the public
school system, non-profits, the free software movement and the
business world.   As we carried out the interviewing process, the
hiring committee came to the understanding that Wikimedia is, at its
heart, a volunteer-centred organization -- and that what we need most
in a CPO is a rich background in facilitating, structuring and
supporting the work of volunteers.  Enter, Jennifer!

Jennifer comes to Wikimedia from the American Red Cross Bay Area
chapter, where, as Manager of Volunteer Resources, she managed the
work of more than a thousand volunteers.  Prior to the Red Cross, she
was Project Director at the non-profit California School-Age
Consortium, where she ran a program of train-the-trainer workshops.
Before that, she worked for six years in program administration at the
Peace Corps, as a Country Desk Office on the Central America Desk, a
Country Desk Assistant on the Pacific Islands Desk, and a Training and
Technical Coordinator in Togo, West Africa.

Jennifer speaks French, Sango and some Spanish. She has a B.A. in
History with minors in Education and Political Science from New York

We know that the success of the Wikimedia projects depends upon the
150,000 active volunteers who are our core contributors.  Jennifer's
wealth of experience recruiting, motivating and retaining volunteers
will be enormously useful to us as we aim to better support the
volunteers we currently have, and also reach out to new people.

Please join me in warmly welcoming her to the Wikimedia Foundation.

I want to take a moment also to thank Erik Moeller, Michael Snow and
Kat Walsh for participating on the hiring committee. This was an
important decision, and their experiences and advice were really
helpful throughout the process.


Sue Gardner
Executive Director
Wikimedia Foundation

415 839 6885

Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in
the sum of all knowledge.  Help us make it a reality!


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