This is great! Welcome Kui and Heather Congrats! I am excited about the direction the team is taking and look forward to working with you both!
MFC:) -- ---- Michelle Fitzhugh-Craig Wordsmith | Communications Wikimedia Foundation 1 Montgomery St., Suite #1600 San Francisco, CA 94104 *mfitzh...@wikimedia.org <mfitzh...@wikimedia.org>* On Fri, Jan 5, 2018 at 12:58 PM, Katherine Maher <kma...@wikimedia.org> wrote: > Hi everyone, > > I am excited to share with you all the results of our search for permanent > leadership of the Wikimedia Foundation's Communications department. > > Our own Heather Walls will transition from interim Chief of Communications > to leading the department full-time, in the newly created role of Chief > Creative Officer. She will be joined by a new Vice President of > Communications, Kui Kinyanjui, who will join us from her home in Nairobi, > Kenya in early March. Please join me in congratulating Heather and > welcoming Kui! > > *The new roles* > > As Chief Creative Officer, Heather will remain at the Leadership team, > with responsibility for the Communications department operations, and a > mandate that focuses on helping people better understand our values and > mission through our brand. She will oversee the organization and movement’s > voice, tone, and visual assets, and how they are incorporated into > everything from our recent awareness videos to our press statements. What > do we sound and look like? How do you feel when you interact with us, as an > editor, a reader, a donor? How do we spread and share our values? She will > be responsible for new and creative initiatives that seek to expand the way > people think about Wikipedia and Wikimedia, not only as an encyclopedia but > an essential part of the way we understand the world. > > As Vice President of Communications, Kui will report directly to Heather > and oversee our traditional and digital communications efforts. She will be > responsible for our overall media positioning and coverage, critical issue > management (also known as crisis communications), extending our digital > media strategy, products, and presence, and supporting organizational > leadership, such as myself, the Leadership team, and the Board, with > effective and clear public communications. Kui also brings new and valuable > skills that we’re sure to appreciate: first, a background in internal > communications, which should help with improved information flows in our > ever-more distributed organization, as well as a deep background in > communications, campaigns, and marketing for emerging markets -- sure to be > a critical skill for our efforts around improving awareness about Wikimedia > in places where we want to reach more people. > > *About Heather Walls* > > Since joining the Foundation in 2011, Heather has been a driving force in > our creative and brand efforts at the Foundation. Under her stewardship, > the Foundation has dramatically reduced barriers to community usage of the > trademarks under our care while also helping increase consistency in their > usage. A member of the team before Communications was its own department, > Heather was one of the first people I met and worked with when I joined as > Chief Communications Officer. She graciously stepped in as leader of the > department when I transitioned to Executive Director and has since grown > into the role while making it her own. During that time, she has helped > find the organization's place in the growing social media channels, > modernized the Foundation’s brand, bringing it into greater alignment with > our movement's values and workflows, and overseen pioneering > community-supported awareness campaigns. > > Prior to joining the Foundation, Heather worked in design roles at > organizations across California, Massachusetts, and the Midwest. She > developed a special collections room and exhibit for California Academy of > Sciences, and her work has been included in Architectural Record and > exhibited at Harvard as well as Detroit and New York. > > *About Kui Kinyanjui* > > Kui will join the Foundation in March after concluding her current > position as Head of Corporate Communications for Safaricom Limited in > Kenya. Safaricom is one of the leading mobile network operators in Africa, > and one of Kenya’s leading companies, providing mobile and banking services > to more than 28 million Kenyans. She brings deep communications skills, an > incredible wealth of knowledge around emerging markets, and a passion for > our efforts to reach beyond English-speaking audiences in our organization > and movement communications. > > Kui is from Nairobi, Kenya. Her background is as a journalist and has > worked for Business Daily and other platforms within Nation Media Group > (the largest independent media organization in Eastern and Central Africa), > PC World, EA Magazine, Executive Magazine in Kenya, and 360 Magazine in > Washington, DC. She has also worked in communications for IBM, Ogilvy PR > Worldwide, and Media Moguls. Kui will be relocating from Nairobi to the San > Francisco Bay Area in the summer of 2018. > > *How this came about* > > This outcome may come as a surprise after we began an external search for > a Chief Marketing and Communications Officer (CMCO), but like many > surprises, this outcome feels entirely obvious in retrospect. Heather and > Kui have essential skills and experiences that are highly complementary and > will serve to elevate and push the work of both the Communications > department and the Foundation overall. We will retain an accomplished and > intuitive advocate for our mission, community, and identity in Heather > while welcoming Kui’s fresh perspective and powerful communications skill > set. > > The evolution of my thinking, and this decision, was not hasty. Over the > process of looking for a CMCO, we conducted a long and thorough search with > an external firm Chaloner Associates. We reviewed applications from more > than 1200 applicants, from all sorts of backgrounds and experiences, and > brought three people through to the final rounds. While all of this was > going on, the Communications department was also undergoing a deep > consultation on its immediate and future needs, led by Heather, and with > the support of an external expert, Sabrina Hersi Issa. > > Over six months of the search and consultation, a few things became clear. > The first was that Heather was doing a great job as interim chief. The > department was producing excellent results, and the team was small but > strong, united under Heather’s leadership. Her contributions to movement > strategy and the Leadership team were pragmatic and valuable. She has an > astute but understated understanding of how Wikimedia should speak, sound, > and appear to many different audiences. Her knowledge of the community was > borne out of hard-won experience over many years, with the ability to push > when we need pushing, while never losing sight of who we are. > > The second was that we absolutely needed and wanted new skills and > experiences in service of our mission. We needed someone with deep > experience in traditional communications areas, from public relations to > internal communications. We wanted someone with experience in traditional > marketing and product marketing. The Communications team members who worked > in these areas were looking for someone to learn from, a strong manager and > mentor with a breadth and depth of experience. We were also committed to > finding someone who had worked serving audiences we still struggle to > reach. We wanted someone who would bring a fresh voice, an understanding of > emerging markets, and practical experience outside our current > competencies. > > Kui and Heather together bring the best of both worlds. Creative and > communications, deep experience, fresh perspective, and a strong sense of > our mission and community. Together, they will work in the year to come to > develop a plan for staffing our growing marketing efforts. > > *Next steps* > > We will be sharing this information publicly on the blog closer to Kui's > start in March, but I wanted to share this news with you all as soon as > possible. I want to offer my appreciation to hiring committee for their > dedication through the process, and insights that led to this surprising > and exciting outcome. Thank you Anna Stillwell, Joady Lohr, Zack McCune, > Juliet Barbara, and Mel Kramer, Amy Segelin of Chaloner Associates, the > travel team for getting Kui to San Francisco, and of course, Liz Verlade > for ensuring it all come together. > > Again, please join me in congratulating Heather and welcoming Kui! > > Cheers, > Katherine > > -- > Katherine Maher > > Executive Director > Wikimedia Foundation > > 1 Montgomery Street, Suite 1600 > San Francisco, CA 94104 > > +1 (415) 839-6885 ext. 6635 <(415)%20839-6885> > +1 (415) 712 4873 <(415)%20712-4873> > kma...@wikimedia.org > https://annual.wikimedia.org > > > > > -- > Katherine Maher > > Executive Director > Wikimedia Foundation > > 1 Montgomery Street, Suite 1600 > San Francisco, CA 94104 > > +1 (415) 839-6885 ext. 6635 <(415)%20839-6885> > +1 (415) 712 4873 <(415)%20712-4873> > kma...@wikimedia.org > https://annual.wikimedia.org > > > _______________________________________________ > Wmfall mailing list > wmf...@lists.wikimedia.org > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wmfall > > _______________________________________________ Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l New messages to: Wikimediafirstname.lastname@example.org Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:wikimedia-l-requ...@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>