Can someone on the Board comment on the Board's general approach to vetting
Trustee candidates?

I would hope that someone neutral is explicitly responsible for reviewing
candidates and providing at least a cursory report to the Board on their
background, qualifications, and any potential liabilities.  Such a
responsible person might be WMF staff, though an independent HR agency
might be even better.

It wouldn't have taken a lot effort to identify and highlight the potential
issues with Arrnon.  The fact that some people are now expressing a degree
of ignorance about these issues suggests that the recent candidates didn't
receive much in the way of scrutiny.

Obviously one hopes each member of the board would also take the time to
learn about each candidate and make an informed decision before voting on a
new appointment.  However, Board members are busy people which is one of
the reasons why also having a third-party report seems worthwhile.

If the Board knew about Arrnon's past and made an informed decision to
appoint him anyway, then that is at least a decision that could be argued
and defended.  However, if the Board is overlooking such things due
primarily to a lack of scrutiny then that suggests the process of vetting
Board candidates is in serious need of improvement.

-Robert Rohde

On Mon, Jan 11, 2016 at 6:43 PM, Matthew Flaschen <> wrote:

> On 01/08/2016 12:43 PM, Dariusz Jemielniak wrote:
>> On Fri, Jan 8, 2016 at 3:16 PM, Pine W <> wrote:
>> Dariusz, you said in your statement that was published in the Wikimedia
>>> Blog that WMF "considered dozens of candidates from all over the world,
>>> with not-for-profit and technology experience, and the highest
>>> professional
>>> standards.” I would be interested to hear how you reconcile "highest
>>> professional standards" with the prior actions of Arnnon,
>> I have read about these allegations today, and I am going to follow up on
>> that.
> WMF doesn't have the excuse of ignorance, or that the case is in
> progress.  When you appointed him:
> 1. The documents were unsealed.
> 2. The Department of Justice case was fully complete.
> 3. The civil case by employees was fully complete and payouts had either
> started or were fully complete.
> Saying you learned about this *after* voting to appoint him is incredibly
> frustrating and disappointing.
> Being ignorant of the allegations is even worse than coming up with some
> dubious reason why we should forgive him, and he's still high-integrity
> enough to represent a non-profit backing movement with strong values.
> The board had an obligation to fully research both candidates, and insist
> on more time as needed to do so.
> There is nothing to wait for (the shareholder lawsuit will probably also
> be settled, but there is no need to wait for it given the released
> documents and fully complete cases above).
> See
> for details (though I'm sure someone has linked this from the list).
> Matt Flaschen
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