Hey folks, I'm pleased to announce we've hired a Chief Communications Officer for the Wikimedia Foundation, replacing Jay Walsh who left us in October. Our new head of communications will be Katherine Maher, and she will join us on 14 April, reporting to me.
Katherine comes to the WMF from Washington DC, where she was Advocacy Director for the global digital rights organization Access. At Access, she was responsible for all media and communications work, including communications between the organization and its 350,000 members. She also handled coalition work and advocacy efforts and urgent global threats to digital rights, participated in the organization's strategic planning, and was deeply involved with the production of RightsCon. Before Access, Katherine worked on the launch of the Open Development Technology Alliance at the World Bank, and was a program manager for internet freedom projects at the National Democratic Institute. Earlier, she worked on the UniWiki initiative for the UNICEF Innovation team, intended to improve MediaWiki's usability for people who were new to computer use, using early-model technology, or connecting in low-bandwidth environments. Through her career she's been a frequent media spokesperson and writer of op-eds and other media materials. Katherine has lived and worked in nine countries and visited many more. She is a native speaker of English, and has a basic knowledge of French, Arabic and German. The purpose of the CCO role is to ensure fast, easy information flow about Wikimedia in multiple languages, both internally within the movement and outside of it, and I think Katherine will be a wonderful fit for that work. Her experiences advocating for the rights of ordinary internet users and communicating with a large global volunteer community are both rare and directly relevant. She's got a solid understanding of internet technologies. She's a crisp, clear communicator, and an experienced spokesperson. I want to thank the people who helped with the interviewing process: Geoff Brigham, Jove Oliver, Gayle Karen Young, David Gerard, Erik Moeller, Lisa Gruwell, Frank Schulenburg, and Jimmy Wales. A special thanks to Geoff, who's ably overseen our communications functions for the past several years, and to Jay, who's generously filled in when it took us longer than we expected to hire for this role. Geoff and Jay will be helping Katherine get on-boarded, and I know she'll benefit enormously from their guidance and support. Please join me in welcoming Katherine, who's on CC. Thanks, Sue -- Sue Gardner Executive Director Wikimedia Foundation
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