Sent on behalf of Zack Exeley, and cross posted to:

> Today I am pleased to announce the Wikimedia Foundation Community Fellows 
> program, a project of the Foundation’s Community Department. This program is 
> partly something the Foundation has been considering for a long time and 
> partly an outgrowth of the recent Community Department open hiring call. In 
> reading through the nearly 2,000 submissions to the open call, we realized 
> that there are far more qualified members of the Wikimedia community than we 
> can ever hire at one time. We also realized that the most promising 
> submissions came from people who were interested in working on specific 
> problems or opportunities in the movement rather than looking for permanent 
> staff positions.
> Therefore, the Fellows program is intended to create an environment where 
> individuals and teams can concentrate full-time on important problems and 
> opportunities in Wikimedia projects and the movement as a whole. Fellows will 
> lead intensive, time-limited projects focused on key areas of risk and 
> opportunity — projects that require the support of the Foundation to succeed.
> We are currently looking for Fellows among those who have already answered 
> the open hiring call and we will also be posting a form for submitting new 
> Fellowship applications soon. In addition to Wikimedia volunteers, we would 
> like to engage outside academics and professionals who have expertise that 
> could benefit our projects.
> Each Fellowship will have its own objectives that require a unique skill set. 
> The length of the Fellowships at the Wikimedia Foundation will vary from 
> weeks to as long as a year, depending on the requirements of the project. A 
> handful of Fellows may eventually join the Foundation staff permanently. 
> However, the purpose of the program is to take charge of vital work that may 
> not require a long-term position but which volunteers have not previously 
> dealt with successfully.
> Along with introducing what will be a continuing Wikimedia Foundation 
> program, we’d like to welcome the first Fellow in the Community Department: 
> Steven Walling. Steven represents exactly what we’d hoped to attract through 
> this process: talented Wikimedians who have a knack for crafting clear 
> theories about how Wikimedia communities operate and how they can be 
> supported. Steven’s previous experience as a freelance writer, blogger, and 
> community manager make him an excellent choice to pilot this program. Steven 
> is beginning a year-long Fellowship, during which he will work on multiple 
> projects. He will be blogging about his projects as he continues.
> We are deeply excited about the possibilities for the Wikimedia Foundation 
> Fellowship program. Bringing in talented individuals who have specific 
> projects in mind will allow us all to ask questions and solve problems that 
> were previously out of reach for either volunteers or staff. I hope you’ll 
> join us in welcoming Steven and more new Wikimedia Foundation Fellows as they 
> are announced.
> Zack Exley,
> Chief Community Officer
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