This is a common sense, reasonable update.  Nice work. :)

On Fri, Feb 1, 2019 at 10:21 AM María Sefidari <>

> Dear all,
> When the Wikimedia Foundation was first established, the head of the
> organization was assigned the title of Executive Director (ED). In the US,
> this is the standard title for non-profit leaders, and made sense for the
> organization at the time.
> This week, at our Board meeting, we made a decision to change to this
> convention. We resolved to change Katherine Maher’s title to Chief
> Executive Officer (CEO) and Executive Director. She retains the title of
> Executive Director, and is also now the CEO of the Foundation. She can use
> either, or both, titles to describe her position.
> This was an easy decision to make, for a number of reasons.
> As our movement has grown in the world, we’ve found that the title of ED is
> not as easily understood outside the United States. As a Board with many
> non-US people, many of us already used the term CEO to describe Katherine’s
> responsibilities. While still an English-language term, it is a very common
> term for many global organizations.
> The CEO title is increasingly common in US non-profits as well, especially
> larger ones. This is increasingly considered best practice, as a way to
> communicate that the work of non-profit organizations is as serious,
> complex, and worthy of respect as that of for-profit organizations. For
> example, Creative Commons, one of our closest allies, uses the title of
> CEO.
> As the Foundation already uses the convention of “chief officer” for the
> leaders of its internal departments (Chief Financial Officer, Chief
> Technology Officer), it also makes sense. An executive director would be
> the most senior director, whereas a chief executive officer is the most
> senior of the officers.
> The Board’s Human Resources Committee recommended this change and reviewed
> the details. As this is an update to Katherine’s title, and not a change in
> her duties as an officer, it does not require an update to the Bylaws or a
> wider consultation.
> The Wikimedia Foundation’s Board of Trustees is very supportive of this
> change, as we believe this title better reflects the scope of Katherine’s
> duties over Executive Director alone. This will better support her work
> with global partners and leaders around the world, helping to share our
> vision and supporting the strategic direction of Wikimedia in new markets.
> Katherine’s job is not changing in any other sense.
> Kind regards,
> María
> --
> María Sefidari Huici
> Chair of the Board
> Wikimedia Foundation <>
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