Hi everyone,

Given Victoria’s many engagements over two decades, we weren’t able to list
everything in the announcement itself.

I can assure you that we carefully considered all of Victoria’s past
experience and, with her full support, vetted her background for areas of
possible concern, as is standard with any new C-level hire. We
overwhelmingly agree that Victoria’s diversity of experience, including her
interest in security and innovation, make her a uniquely qualified
candidate.

Victoria was explicit throughout the hiring process that she wanted to
ensure we were completely and mutually confident in working together. As
part of these conversations, she and I spoke at length about her government
service and security expertise, and the general issues of security,
vulnerabilities, disclosure, and due process. This is an area of personal
passion for me - as some of you know, I spent time advocating on behalf of
digital rights and user security before joining Wikimedia. We had a rich,
informed conversation. I am confident Victoria’s values are Wikimedia’s
values, and that we will work closely together in defending and
strengthening the privacy and security of our platforms for our users.[1]

I believe in the importance of building a diverse team from a variety of
backgrounds. Our community and our projects are possible because of the
diversity of knowledge we have. Some of us will come from government, some
from academia, some from advocacy, some from the private sector, others
from elsewhere. Together, we’re stronger. Victoria's experience with public
service, academia, security, and commercial platforms brings that diversity
of knowledge, and I’m delighted she’ll be sharing it with us.

As for an office hour - it is a little premature for me to ask Victoria to
commit to a date for this until she’s formally onboard and has had some
orientation. However, office hours are generally a great way for people at
the Foundation to get to know more about the communities, and visa versa.
As leader of the Technology department, there will probably be many
opportunities - potentially including office hours - where Victoria can
engage with you on a variety of questions. If we schedule some formal ones,
we will announce them here and through all the other normal channels - but
please do bear with us. Sometimes it does take a little time to get one's
bearings in a world as sprawling and complex as ours.

Katherine

[1] If you have further questions about Victoria’s work with the U.S.
Department of Defense, it is/should soon be a matter of U.S. Congressional
record. Her findings and recommendations will also be a matter of public
record, as all government work should be. However, the U.S. Congress isn’t
always the speediest of institutions, so we will also keep an eye on when
they publish further information.

On Thu, Nov 3, 2016 at 2:37 AM, Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijs...@gmail.com>
wrote:

> Hoi,
> There are two conflicting approaches to vulnerabilities known to
> "government"; vulnerabilities make government vulnerable and therefore they
> need to be handled properly in code. The other approach is that a
> vulnerability is a vector to attack.
>
> When Mrs Coleman works for the WMF, it follows that when she learns
> privately about vulnerabilities, they will be fixed discreetly. I am happy
> with that. When she does not learn about vulnerabilities and does not know
> about them either, nothing is different for us. When she actively knows
> about vulnerabilities and vectors to attack MediaWiki and does not share it
> with developers to fix them, she has a clear conflict of interest and
> should seek another job.
>
> For me a simple statement that she works for the Wikimedia Foundation and
> will do everything in her power to make MediaWiki as good as it gets
> suffices. Anything more will get us in paranoia territory, we should not go
> there.
> Thanks,
>       GerardM
>
> On 2 November 2016 at 20:53, Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > A similar thought crossed my mind regarding MediaWiki software. I believe
> > that a number of USG agencies use MediaWiki, and that some of them use it
> > for classified purposes. This is a bit of a two-edged sword; I imagine
> that
> > they'd want to support the continued development of MediaWiki (which is
> > good for us) but there would be interesting questions about whether
> they'd
> > also want to introduce and/or keep open security vulnerabilities. I
> imagine
> > that WMF considered Victoria's government affiliations carefully during
> the
> > screening process, and I agree it would be nice to hear some
> clarifications
> > about how WMF can ensure that any potential conflicts of interest are
> > carefully managed.
> >
> > My first instinct here is to welcome what looks like a person who's a
> good
> > fit for the job. Victoria would be far from the only person in WMF and
> the
> > Wikimedia community with ties to government agencies; I would treat this
> > hire with a similar level of care regarding conflicts of interest as we
> > would with any other appointment.
> >
> > As a general practice, I would prefer declared and public potential
> > conflicts of interests to undisclosed conflicts of interest, and I would
> > suggest that someone being public with their affiliations and potential
> > conflicts should be treated respectfully while keeping an open mind to
> the
> > possibility that the conflicts may be manageable. In Victoria's case, I
> > would encourage assuming good faith while asking appropriate questions; I
> > feel that it's reasonable for the community to ask some questions to make
> > sure that WMF did in fact consider these issues during the candidate
> > selection process. Perhaps Victoria will have an office hour where the
> > community can have a Q&A with her on these and many other questions that
> > people are likely to have.
> >
> > Regards,
> >
> > Pine
> >
> > Pine
> >
> >
> > On Wed, Nov 2, 2016 at 12:25 PM, James Salsman <jsals...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > > It's great that the CTO position was filled.
> > >
> > > The blog announcement's biography omitted these details:
> > >
> > > "As Director for Security Initiatives for Intel’s Digital Enterprise
> > > Group [Victoria Coleman] was responsible for defining the company’s
> > > security technology roadmap and translating it to product delivery.
> > > During this time, she was instrumental in bringing Intel’s LaGrande
> > > Technology across the server processor and chipset product line.
> > > Victoria has also had roles as the Director of the Trusted Platform
> > > Laboratory and the Trust and Manageability Laboratory in Intel's
> > > Corporate Technology Group... In 1995 she authored the landmark UK
> > > Ministry of Defence DefStan 00-56 which created the legal framework
> > > for the safety of programmable electronic systems procurement by the
> > > MoD . In 2004, she founded the Cybersecurity Research Center on behalf
> > > of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security."
> > >
> > > Source: http://www.potomacinstitute.org/fellows/2138-the-potomac-
> > > institute-welcomes-senior-fellow-victoria-coleman-2
> > >
> > > Is Victoria willing to comment on
> > >
> > > https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2014/01/nsa_exploit_of.html
> > >
> > > and
> > >
> > > https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:
> > > Jimbo_Wales/Archive_208&oldid=725820016#Massive_expansion_
> > > of_National_Security_Letters
> > >
> > > please?
> > >
> > > _______________________________________________
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-- 
Katherine Maher

Wikimedia Foundation
149 New Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA 94105

+1 (415) 839-6885 ext. 6635
+1 (415) 712 4873
kma...@wikimedia.org
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