I'm currently the one in charge of coordinating (on the staff side) the
Standing Elections Committee (Greg resigned from the committee when he
became a communications department contractor and I'm not sure why you
pinged Lane, I assume because of the Affiliate Appointments process but
that is not related to the board elections committee).

*As an update on the committee*: I'm hoping to get the standing committee
fully up and running before Wikimania. It was delayed given the multitude
of other issues recently (for example the resolution actually required us
to have the ED taking part and the last time I had a fully breathing moment
to start the process we didn't...) but once WikiCon is over we should be
able to get that process up and running. We've already started polling the
members of the last committee to see if they'd be willing to serve as
starting members and will be having an internal meeting right after WikiCon
to ensure we do everything right (parts of it can happen very quickly,
parts of it will take some time simply because of volunteer schedules etc).

*Regarding your proposal:* Unfortunately I'm not sure that's within
the committee's
remit from the board
<https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Elections_Committee> at
this point and so I'm not sure it will be high on their initial list. That
said I would be, at most, an advisor and not a member of either the
Election Committee or the Board Governance Committee which oversees them so
would wish to speak fully for what they would do in the end :). Also one of
their duties is *"As needed, the Committee may assist with other duties as
may be assigned by the Board or the Board Governance Committee." *so
anything is possible :).

James Alexander
Manager
Trust & Safety
Wikimedia Foundation
(415) 839-6885 x6716 @jamesofur

On Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 4:11 PM, Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com> wrote:

> I like the idea of a boot camp or orientation for board members, which
> could be applicable to both affiliate and WMF boards. I believe that the
> standing Elections Committee, once it is operational, has plans to work on
> this, along with cultivating a list of good candidates for affiliate and
> WMF boards.
>
> Greg or Lane, are you able to comment on this?
>
> It would also be nice to get an update on the formation of the standing
> Elections Committee.
>
> Pine
>
> On Mon, Apr 11, 2016 at 2:47 PM, phoebe ayers <phoebe.w...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > On Mon, Apr 11, 2016 at 4:29 PM, Chris Keating
> > <chriskeatingw...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > If I read Denny's email correctly, this section is broader than
> conflict
> > of
> > > interest:
> > >
> > >>
> > >> I discussed with Jan-Bart, then chair, what is and what is not
> > > appropriate to
> > >> pursue as a member of the Board. I understood and followed his advice,
> > but
> > >> it was frustrating. It was infuriatingly limiting.
> > >>
> > >
> > > E.g. any comment Denny made on Phabricator now being read in the light
> > that
> > > he was a board member.
> >
> > While I'm not sure exactly what Denny meant in his mail, I think
> > Chris' comment is spot on -- every trustee, especially those used to
> > weighing in on community discussions, feels somewhat limited in what
> > they can say and how to say it when they join the board, whether
> > that's proposing a new idea or weighing in on an existing one. (Then,
> > of course, you also get criticized for not speaking up enough!) It can
> > be an awkward balancing act that takes some time to learn, and can
> > indeed be frustrating.
> >
> > Partly I think it's simply inherently difficult. As a trustee your own
> > interests and areas of volunteering are often not what's best for the
> > WMF overall to focus on -- either because they are too narrow, or too
> > resource intensive, or a host of other reasons -- not least because
> > one contributor cannot possibly speak for a whole area of the
> > movement, and as a movement we value consensus and broad input for
> > every idea. But I also think we're not very good on the board at
> > utilizing people's individual strengths and recognizing that the very
> > reasons why someone is interesting as a trustee (because they are an
> > expert contributor in some area, as all the trustees are) also means
> > that they likely have biases and opinions about strategic directions,
> > and could use those opinions productively to help the organization
> > learn and grow.
> >
> > As for what we can learn from this situation, I'm intrigued by this
> > proposal:
> >
> > On Sun, Apr 10, 2016 at 12:38 PM, Atsme <at...@outlook.com> wrote:
> > > Establish alternates who are non-voting members but are in the wings
> > waiting to fill vacancies.  It’s a win-win.
> >
> > We could certainly vote in alternates; it would be as simple as taking
> > the 4th place winner.
> > Also, we do have a mechanism set up for observers at the board
> > meetings, and have not taken advantage of it recently; 1 or 2
> > community observers could join.
> > Another idea: what about field training of some sort for candidates or
> > those considering candidacy? It's a big commitment that people make
> > and that the movement makes to those people, and having a week or two
> > immersion and preparation -- it could be done virtually -- wouldn't be
> > the worst thing. Board boot camp, if you will.
> >
> > Phoebe
> >
> >
> > --
> > * I use this address for lists; send personal messages to phoebe.ayers
> > <at> gmail.com *
> >
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