Hi everyone, I’m excited to let you all know that Ryan Merkley, formerly CEO of Creative Commons, is joining the Wikimedia Foundation as my new chief of staff.
Many of you have met Ryan before -- at CC Summit, Wikimania, Wikimedia Summit, or MozFest. He’s a leader in open source, open knowledge, and free-culture communities, and for the past five years, he’s been the CEO of Creative Commons, initiating programs like CC search to index all 1.6 billion licensed works online. He’s passionate about the power of the commons, and the role that everyone can play in making it sustainable and open to all. I couldn’t be happier he’s now bringing this passion and experience to our movement. In Ryan’s own words, “My heart has always been in open communities, and the power of collective acts -- that is, the things that people can only do when they work together, like building a commons of free knowledge for every person.” For now, Ryan’s two top priorities will be bolstering the work of the movement strategy team and supporting the Board. He’ll support the strategy core team to move the Working Group recommendations into implementation within the community and Foundation over the course of the coming year. He’ll also serve as Board liaison to the Board of Trustees, strengthening the connections, communications, and coordination between Trustees and the Foundation. Internally, he’ll support the office of the Executive Director, acting in my stead on various projects. I’m excited by this new role for an old friend of the open community. Ryan knows our movement well. He has spent many hours with many Wikimedians, and understands the centrality of the community to the Wikimedia mission and identity. His background as a partner to Wikimedia, and a leader in the broader open movement will be invaluable to our work, and confirmation of the importance of community experience in Foundation leadership. Ryan doesn’t start in his new role until Monday, September 16th. However, he will be at Wikimania, so for those of you attending, please say hi, and join me in welcoming him to Wikimedia! Katherine P.S. This announcement can also be found on our news page: https://wikimediafoundation.org/news/2019/08/13/wikimedia-foundation-welcomes-ryan-merkley-as-chief-of-staff-to-the-office-of-the-executive-director -- Katherine Maher (she/her) Executive Director Wikimedia Foundation <https://wikimediafoundation.org/>
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