Welcome, Valerie! I'm thrilled you're joining us and looking forward to
working with & learning from you!

Warm regards,
Kate

--

Kate Zimmerman (she/they)
Head of Product Analytics
Wikimedia Foundation


On Tue, Dec 11, 2018 at 10:32 AM Katherine Maher <kma...@wikimedia.org>
wrote:

> Hi everyone,
>
> Just over a month ago, we let you know that we had the reached the final
> stages of our search for a new Chief of Community Engagement.[1] Today, I
> am thrilled to let you know that we have appointed Valerie D’Costa to the
> role. Born and raised a citizen of Singapore, Valerie speaks fluent Malay
> and Indonesian, in addition to English. She will join the Foundation
> starting January 22, 2019, working remotely from Washington, DC.
>
> Valerie joins us after a decade at the World Bank Group, where she was
> charged with leading international initiatives to support communities of
> entrepreneurs in emerging markets around the world. Most recently, she led
> the Bank’s Women’s Economic Empowerment Program, where she helped female
> entrepreneurs and women-led businesses in developing countries grow and
> gain access to new market opportunities. Previously, she was the program
> director of infoDev, a Bank program that supported innovation hubs and
> technology incubators for entrepreneurs in developing countries. Prior to
> the World Bank, Valerie spent 15 years working with the government of
> Singapore on issues of international information and communications
> technology (ICT) policy and trade.
>
> Valerie has worked her whole career in the intersection between technology
> and improving people's lives around the world. She brings a deep
> understanding of the importance of local ownership, collaboration and
> communication, and program sustainability. She emphasizes the importance of
> collaboration with local communities in designing programs and approaches,
> believing that local voices represent the best understanding of their own
> needs.
>
> We were looking for someone with a global perspective, international
> experience, fluency in technology, and a deep empathy for community. We
> wanted a diplomat: Valerie has struck the fine balance between being an
> advocate for the people and communicating their needs to governments and
> partners. We hoped for an ambassador: Valerie brings with her years of
> experience in creating meaningful conversations with communities around the
> world on behalf of those who have been traditionally excluded from
> development planning. We found a dedicated leader who is keen to work in
> service to our community and who understands the uniquely global,
> multicultural nature of collaboration in our movement. Valerie knows that
> we can not attempt achieve our 2030 strategic direction unless we bring
> everyone along, and so she will be charged with building on our approach to
> community engagement, and ensuring that we meet our aspirations for our
> community growth, health, diversity, values, and program outcomes.
>
> This means that Maggie Dennis, our current Chief of Community Engagement,
> will now transition to her role as Vice President of Support & Services,
> having set a (reluctant) personal best and Foundation record as the
> longest-serving CCE! I truly love working with Maggie and am so glad she is
> staying close by in such a critical position. After nearly three years (!)
> of collaboration and cooperation, I’d like to once again express my deep
> appreciation for Maggie’s understanding, friendship, support and dedication
> as she patiently curated this essential role in our movement.
>
> I am truly excited as we embark on this new journey. We are deeply
> fortunate to now have two community leaders who are purpose-driven and
> inspirational on a number of levels. Please join me in congratulating both
> of these phenomenal women!
>
> Katherine
>
> [1]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2018-October/091259.html
> --
> Katherine Maher
>
> Executive Director
> Wikimedia Foundation
> 1 Montgomery Street, Suite 1600
> San Francisco, CA 94104
>
> +1 (415) 839-6885 ext. 6635
> +1 (415) 712 4873
> kma...@wikimedia.org
> https://annual.wikimedia.org
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