[Wikimediaindia-l] Fwd: [Wikimedia Announcements] New General Counsel!: Geoffrey Brigham

Bishakha Datta bishakhadatta at gmail.com
Sat Feb 5 04:41:29 UTC 2011

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sue Gardner <sgardner at wikimedia.org>
Date: Sat, Feb 5, 2011 at 5:17 AM
Subject: [Wikimedia Announcements] New General Counsel!: Geoffrey Brigham
To: Wikimedia Announce Mailing List <WikimediaAnnounce-l at lists.wikimedia.org

Hey folks,

I'm delighted to tell you that the Wikimedia Foundation has a new
General Counsel.

Geoff Brigham, formerly of eBay, will start with us March 7 once he's
relocated from Paris to San Francisco. He'll report to me.

To recap: In late October, I hired m|Oppenheim to find us a new
General Counsel. I expected it to be a tough search, because
appropriate GCs for the Wikimedia Foundation don't exactly grow on
trees. As a growing U.S.-based non-profit that operates one of the
world's most popular websites in partnership with a global network of
volunteers, we need a GC who can handle a broad range of legal issues
including the legal defense of our projects in an international
context, an array of matters related to policy and regulatory
compliance, issues such as privacy, and helping us with the challenges
of opening a new office in India. Very few people have that kind of
breadth. And for our GC as with all our jobs, we are also looking for
someone who is passionate about the mission, has a collaborative and
inclusive personal style, is inclined towards transparency, and
ideally is a bit of an iconoclast. It's a lot to ask of one person :-)

So we braced ourselves for a long and difficult search. But in fact it
turned out to be highly enjoyable. Over a period of several months,
m|Oppenheim talked with hundreds of connectors and candidates, and in
the end we interviewed about a dozen finalists. They were terrific,
inspiring lawyers: I was glad to meet them all. And I am delighted
that we discovered Geoff.

Geoff spent eight years at eBay during its main growth years, which
gives him important experience managing the legal challenges and risks
inherent in operating a popular site. His work at eBay encompassed
North America, Europe, Asia and Australia where he handled legal
issues throughout the world. He's worked alone and led large teams. He
is hands-on, collaborative, open-minded and inclusive. And he is
extremely excited about working with us.

A little more about Geoff's background: Most recently, Geoff was
Vice-President and Deputy General Counsel at eBay in San Jose,
California. There, he directed legal affairs in more than 15 countries
throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, encompassing
litigation, copyright and trademarks, privacy, ethics, product and
site content review, policy and regulatory compliance, new market
advice, contracts, governance and site security.  Previously he worked
for eBay in Bern, Switzerland for four years as Vice-President &
Senior Director, and in Paris, France for two years as Senior
Compliance and Litigation Counsel.

Prior to joining eBay, Geoff was Assistant United States Attorney in
Miami, Florida. Before that he worked for the U.S. Department of
Justice in Paris and Washington, was an Associate with Finley, Kumble,
Wagner et al. in Washington, and was a law clerk for the Honorable
Howard F. Corcoran, U.S. Judge for the District of Columbia.  Geoff
received his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in
Washington DC. He also holds a B.A. in Political Science and French,
from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.

He speaks English and French. He's a passionate music fan and an
accomplished flute player: he used to busk many years ago, playing
jazz and classical music on the Parisian streets, and he was well
known at eBay for playing his flute in the office in the early
mornings. Maybe that will happen at the Wikimedia Foundation too :-)

Many thanks to Lisa Grossman of m|Oppenheim for leading this important
search for us. My thanks also to everyone who helped Lisa and me
define the General Counsel role and surface and interview candidates,
including (roughly in order of their involvement) Erik Moeller, Cyn
Skyberg, Kat Walsh, Arne Klempert, Stu West, SJ Klein, Barry Newstead,
Veronique Kessler, Danese Cooper, Zack Exley, Jimmy Wales, Bishakha
Datta, Matt Halprin, Gautam John, Pavel Richter and Shari Steele. My
thanks also to Derrick Coetzee, who happened to be in the office one
day and got pulled into an impromptu conversation helping brief Geoff
about some of the issues facing us. I also want to thank Wikimedia
France for staging its GLAM conference in Paris recently: Geoff
attended it and says that meeting Wikimedians there, and watching them
work, significantly contributed to his desire to join us.

If I remember correctly how this list works, replies to this mail
should go directly to foundation-l. (That's how it's intended to work:
I hope it's actually true.)  Geoff is subscribed to foundation-l, so
if you do reply there, he'll see it. He doesn't yet have a Wikimedia
e-mail address, but once he does, you will likely see it turn up on
this and other lists. Please note he's not on the job until March 7:
until then, he's only really available to us socially, not for work.

Please join me in welcoming Geoff to the Wikimedia movement :-)


Sue Gardner
Executive Director
Wikimedia Foundation

415 839 6885 office
415 816 9967 cell

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


Please note: all replies sent to this mailing list will be immediately
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