Congrats and Welcome to Eileen Hershenov!

On Wed, Apr 26, 2017 at 3:33 PM, Katherine Maher <>

> Hi all,
> I am writing to share some news about the leadership of our Legal
> department at the Wikimedia Foundation. Over the last eight months, we’ve
> worked to identify a permanent General Counsel for the Wikimedia
> Foundation. I am delighted to share that we have found a new General
> Counsel, Eileen Hershenov.  I am sad to say that our respected colleague
> and friend Michelle Paulson has decided this is a good time to move on to
> something new.
> *Michelle moving on*
> Michelle Paulson, who has been serving as interim General Counsel, has
> decided that after nine years it is time to move on from the Wikimedia
> Foundation. Michelle has made her mark here: she served as interim General
> Counsel twice; created our legal fellowship program, pushed to make key
> policies more user-friendly and aligned with our core values; protected the
> office, organization, and volunteers from threats; helped built a new
> Foundation public policy program; vigorously and passionately defended the
> privacy and security of our users; advocated for truly inclusive policies
> and recruiting practices; and acted as a steadfast voice and advocate for
> the values which make our movement possible.
> Michelle’s brilliance, humor, professionalism, and determination have
> fundamentally shaped our organization and movement. We will miss her
> immensely, and I look forward to seeing what she will achieve in the name
> of justice, equity, openness, and opportunity.
> *Eileen Hershenov joining our movement*
> Today I would like to introduce you to Eileen Hershenov, who will join us
> as General Counsel on May 8th.
> Eileen has nearly 30 years of experience in media and intellectual property
> law, as well as in civil rights and civil liberties law, not-for-profit law
> and governance, and privacy and cyber-security. She is passionately
> committed to values that make our movement possible: free expression,
> access to knowledge, freedom of association and an internet that embodies
> the open-source movement and that resists censorship and surveillance.
> Throughout her career, she has applied these values to her work with a
> unique focus on grassroots organizing and advocacy.
> Previously, Eileen served as Vice President and General Counsel for
> Consumers Union, the not-for-profit publisher of Consumer Reports magazine
> and, for 10 years. In that role, she worked with tens
> of thousands of volunteers in the organization’s advocacy programs. Before
> Consumer Reports she spent 11 years at the Open Society Foundations, where
> she served as the General Counsel to the global foundation network,
> overseeing the legal work of the foundations in close to 40 countries
> across the globe.
> Eileen was also the founding general counsel for the Central European
> University,[1] the first U.S.-accredited liberal arts university located in
> a former Communist country. She has worked for the American Civil Liberties
> Union and the NOW Legal Defense Fund. Most recently, she has been working
> at Miller Korzenik Sommers Rayman LLP, a media law firm, and serving on the
> boards of a number of public interest justice organizations.
> *Next steps*
> Eileen is based in New York City, and will relocate to San Francisco with
> her family this summer. Until then, she will be commuting to the office
> starting in May to begin work with the Legal team.
> Transitions can feel uncertain, but I know that this movement is one that
> is welcoming and appreciative of what new colleagues bring to our efforts.
> We had hoped Michelle would stay with us as Deputy General Counsel, but
> after nine years I think we all can appreciate the desire for a wikibreak
> (and rumors of a new puppy!). In the meantime, Eileen and Michelle are
> working together to ensure that we have a smooth transition and no balls
> get dropped. I am so grateful to Michelle for her generosity of time,
> attention, and care in working to make sure this transition supports the
> Legal team, the Foundation, and the movement.
> We will publish a formal public announcement closer to Eileen’s first day.
> Until then, please join me in welcoming Eileen and thanking Michelle for
> her years of commitment to our movement.
> Yours,
> Katherine
> --
> Katherine Maher
> Wikimedia Foundation
> 149 New Montgomery Street
> San Francisco, CA 94105
> +1 (415) 839-6885 ext. 6635
> +1 (415) 712 4873
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