[Wikimedia-l] Community consultation + Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director selection process

Ting Chen wing.philopp at gmx.de
Wed Jan 29 08:00:43 UTC 2014

Hello dear all, hello Transition Team, hello dear board,

I am still willing to take the challenge.

Looking into the description of the search criteria:

<cite>Key to the success of the Executive Director will be a commitment 
to understand and advance Wikimedia's core values.</cite>
- In many occasions in the past years I have demonstrated that the core 
values of our movement are part of my life. They are the values that I 
use to guide my behavior and my decisions, not only inside of the 
movement, but also in my professional work and in my personal life.

<cite>The Executive Director will need to have the technology management 
and product development skills to effectively lead a high traffic 
website, and experience designing and implementing planning processes 
with a high built-in assumption of fast and iterative change.</cite>
- In the past 16 years I worked in a company which like no other IT 
companies had decisively contributed into the establishment of standards 
and processes of the industry. I started in that company as a programmer 
on the OS (Assembler and C++) level and moved with the time into the 
position of technical lead of projects that are set into highly 
complicated political contexts. Being a subject matter expert, I am the 
anchor with facts and expertise between the different political 
interests and streams, build trust with my open and direct communication 
style to all groups and parties and move things forward by understand 
the background of the different interests and so build bridges and 
provide solutions that address those backgrounds directly. These are the 
skills and personal marks that brought me there where I am now: Into the 
core of those troubled projects.

<cite>He or she will need to have exceptional communication skills, and 
to possess both a drive to achieve transformative results and a deep 
respect for collaborative processes. The ED's ability to effect change 
in partnership with Wikimedia's community will be decisive not just to 
their success, but to Wikimedia's lasting impact in the 21st century.</cite>
- As I have stated in my resign letter from the board, I believe this is 
indeed the most intriguing, most urgent and most difficult part of the 
work that lay directly before us in the next decade. And for this we 
need, more than anyone else inside of the movement, an ED who is really 
trusted by the community (to which I count the readers, the editors, the 
affiliated organizations, their board and staff, the staff of the 
Foundation, and the board). Gain trust is hard work, build trust needs 
time. It took me long time, two or three years, to build that mutual 
trust with many of the people within our movement. And trust is the 
thing that thwart the belief that the process has the luxury of time. 
Because with the lasting of indecisive time the trust sinks and the 
anxiouty raises.

As it is remarked at one point, there is no obvious career path that 
leads to this position. After seeing the result of last year's search I 
am strengthend in my belief, that I am the best fit for this position.


Am 1/21/2014 12:09 PM, schrieb Jan-Bart de Vreede:
> Hey Frederico
> I will write an update for the meta page in the coming week or so but just to give you a general sense of where we are at: we are trying to reach potential candidates in a different way, and so far that looks like a good strategy. This means more direct contact between the Foundation and candidates and more pro-actively reaching out to people who initially showed no interest.
> There is no scientific way to make the trade-off between characteristics/skills of candidates. We might very well choose to ignore an important characteristic if all the others fall into place. And it is of course easier to make a trade-off on less significant characteristics and skills. The decision to look for more candidates rather than make a choice in December was not an easy one, but we were not willing to go for a candidate who was missing too many of our desired characteristics/skills. This is something that the transition team does, and its not something that translates well to a table on meta.
> I am not sure what you are referring to as “avoid another fiasco”, but as far as I am concerned we are simply in a stage of finding new candidates and trying to surface the candidate that is up to the challenge and opportunity that we as a unique movement have to offer. This was always an option, and we would have liked to have found someone in the first round, but it wasn’t to be.
> Jan-Bart de Vreede
> On 18 Jan 2014, at 11:08, Federico Leva (Nemo) <nemowiki at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I don't know what to think about a final community consultation on a specific name. Personally I suspect that I wouldn't be able to say anything about it, as with <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Executive_Director_Transition_Team/Update_9_December>.
>> 	Speaking of which, I wonder how the problems there were addressed: apparently they just expanded the search and reduced the number of people participating, but I see no answers to the question: «Have we been looking for a unicorn -- somebody who doesn't exist in the real world? [...] too insular? [...] unfairly comparing [...]?».
>> 	If an answer was found, I'd like to know it. To me that only looked like a rhetorical question, because of course I have no idea what exact criteria/questions/interview practices are being applied or if unfair comparisons were made. To avoid another fiasco, it would probably be useful to publish on Meta an anonymised table of candidates, pointing out strengths and weaknesses in a single line for each. Then one could say «oh, look, "criterion" 175 made 12 otherwise awesome candidates "fail", do we really need it?».
>> Nemo
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