Congratulations, María.

In a perfect world, this seat would be confirmed with a community
election. But, the circumstances as they are now, selecting her is a
reasonable decision and one that I support.

The larger conversation about WMF annual plan and strategy, the Board
elections and structure, and other governance issues can not be
completed before an election. In my opinion the priority is robustly
addressing these issues. An election happening simultaneously will
negatively impact the results of all of them.

And since we now know that one (if not more) of the appointed seats
will go to North Americans' with a corporate background, María's
passion for diversity across the movement will be a good fit for the
current Board.

The greatest concern is that some people in wikimedia movement will
not accept a solution unless it gives James Heilman a way to be voted
back into a seat on the Board.

While I understand and share their concern that a community elected
seat can be removed without a formal arbitration process or a finding
of legal incompetence or legal impropriety, I don't think an election
is the correct way to find a resolution to the current situation with
the existing election and governance processes.

Furthermore, James' removal from the Board has drawn greater attention
to serious concern around transparency, WMF strategy, and the
relationship between the WMF Board, WMF staff, and the greater
wikimedia movement.

I have confidence that these conversation will continue, and that
María has gained insight from the discussions.  And will understand
the importance of engaging the broad community to find solutions.

Thank you to the Board of Trustees for moving forward with a decision,
the election committee for their assistance, and María for agreeing to
return to the BoT at this turbulent time.
Sydney Poore
Sydney Poore
Wikipedian in Residence
at Cochrane Collaboration

On Fri, Jan 29, 2016 at 10:27 AM, Patricio Lorente
<> wrote:
> Dear all,
> I am happy to announce the Board intends to fill the open community Trustee
> seat at our meeting this weekend. On Saturday, María Sefidari will accept
> an appointment to the Board of Trustees, stepping into the third
> community-nominated seat. The appointment will last the remainder of the
> two year term, until Wikimania 2017.
> Many of you know María. She previously served as a community-selected
> Trustee from August 2013 to July 2015. In the most recent 2015 community
> elections, she received the next highest support percentage, and highest
> number of support votes. She was born and lives in Madrid, Spain, and has
> been a contributor to the Wikimedia projects since 2006. She was a founding
> member of Spanish Wikipedia's LGBT Wikiproject, Wikimedia España, and
> Wikimujeres Grupo de Usuarias. She has also served on the Affiliations and
> Individual Engagement Grants committees. María is passionate about the role
> of diversity in our strategic efforts to retain and increase editorship,
> and improving channels for community participation in Foundation governance
> and policymaking.
> We consulted with the 2015 Wikimedia Foundation Elections Committee before
> deciding how to proceed in identifying a new Trustee. They offered
> thoughtful feedback on the possible available options, and we’re grateful
> for their considerations. (
> <>
> )
> We are certain many of you are wondering why we decided against holding
> another election. We did consider the option, but the disadvantages
> outweighed the benefits. The last election was well-attended, and still
> quite recent. Holding a new election would take considerable time, and we
> have important issues to address in the near future. It was important to us
> that the community perspective is fully represented in these conversations,
> without delay. We also didn’t want to distract from the affiliate Trustee
> selection process, which is coming up soon.
> I am excited by the dedication, compassion, and experience María brings to
> the Board at a crucial time. We are confident she will serve our mission
> with wisdom and grace.
> Please join me in congratulating our friend María, and thanking her service
> to our movement.
> Patricio
> --
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