Hi Geoff, I would like to add my personal thanks and appreciation for the exceptional work you have done in developing and professionalising the Foundation's legal services over the past five years. Probably most editors don't realise that the long-term viability of the type of open communities that we enjoy can be secured only by keeping an eagle eye on the underlying legal framework, and ceaselessly pushing back against those who would seek to restrict our rights of free expression or who would turn our projects into lawless zones where authors' and artists' rights and copyright licences can simply be ignored.

The fact that the work that you and your team have been doing over the years is often in the background makes it no less crucial. I want in particular to thank you for encouraging your team to engage with the community, both in the development of simplified licences for the Foundation's trademarks, and also in providing helpful Wikilegal research papers on a wide variety of complex legal issues that the community has struggled with, including many copyright issues of importance to Wikimedia Commons.

With my very best regards, and best wishes in your new role,


Geoff Brigham wrote:
Hi all,

Over the past five years, I’ve been honored to serve as the General Counsel
and Secretary of the Wikimedia Foundation. This job has been amazing, and
I’m grateful to everyone who has made it so rewarding. It's now time for my
next step, so, in the coming days, I will be leaving the Foundation to
pursue a new career opportunity.

I depart with such love for the mission, the Foundation, the Wikimedia
communities, and my colleagues at work. I thank my past and present bosses
as well as the Board for their support and guidance. I stand in awe of the
volunteer writers, editors, and photographers who contribute every day to
the Wikimedia projects. And I will hold special to my heart my past and
current teams, including legal and community advocacy. :) You have taught,
given, and enriched me so much.

After my departure, Michelle Paulson will serve as interim head of Legal,
and, subject to Board approval, Stephen LaPorte will serve as interim
Secretary to the Board. I can happily report that they have the experience
and expertise to ensure a smooth and professional transition.

The future of the Foundation under Katherine's leadership is exciting.
Having had the pleasure of working for her, I know Katherine will take the
Foundation to its next level in promoting and defending the outstanding
mission and values of the Wikimedia movement. Although I'm delighted about
my next opportunity, I will miss this new chapter in the Foundation's

My last day at the Foundation will be July 18th. After that, I will take a
month off to recharge my batteries, and then I start my new gig at YouTube
in the Bay Area. There, I will serve as Director of YouTube Trust&  Safety,
managing global teams for policy, legal, and anti-abuse operations. As with
Wikimedia, I look forward to learning from those teams and tackling
together a new set of exciting, novel challenges.

For those who want to stay in touch, please do! My personal email is:

With respect, admiration, and gratitude,

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