Hello Everyone,

As Lila officially takes over from Sue as the Executive Director of the 
Wikimedia Foundation after this weekend  it really is a moment to not only wish 
Lila a lot of succes in the coming years, but also to give a tremendous thanks 
to Sue for her work in the past years. Of course I did so last year in March 
when she announced her departure but it bears repeating that Sue took us from a 
small organisation in St. Petersburg Florida, which was struggling to create 
impact, to a mature and stable organisation which makes a huge difference. 
Building up a professional staff who are dedicated to our mission, incredible 
fundraising growth and working through complex situations to create concepts 
such as the FDC stand out amongst many other achievements. 

It was Sue herself who indicated that it was time to find a new Executive 
Director, someone who was more suitable for our focus on Engineering and 
Grantmaking. As I mentioned more than a year ago, its hard to imagine the 
Wikimedia Foundation without Sue at the helm. However, due in large part to her 
efforts we have managed to find a new Executive Director who gives me 
confidence in the future of the Foundation. I am happy that we managed to find 
the “unicorn” that we were looking for, but that didn’t happen by accident. 
Most of you know that we concluded the first round of our search in early 
december with candidates that we did not feel were ideal for the job. We 
decided to change our tactics and this involved both Erik and Sue spending a 
lot of their (spare) time with potential candidates and making sure that we 
were getting the right candidates. As a result our second round had a great set 
of candidates, which ultimately led to the selection of Lila. On the transition 
team Sue has been very crucial in holding up a mirror and reminding us what we 
were looking for.

After a well deserved vacation Sue will be available as a Special Advisor to 
both the Lila and the Board of Trustees and we are grateful to her for making 
herself available to do this. However, what intrigues me more is what she will 
end up doing in the coming years. I am hoping it is in the space of Open 
Content or the Open Internet, as she will undoubtedly have a tremendous impact 
in there, and we need her! I am also happy to inform you that Sue will attend a 
part of Wikimania where she will for once not have an packed schedule, so feel 
free to take the opportunity to thank her in person if you are so inclined :)

On behalf of the entire Board and all the staff of the Wikimedia Foundation: 
thank you so much all that you have given the Foundation, and especially your 
efforts in the past year to ensure that there was both stability within our 
organisation and a great succesor.

Jan-Bart de Vreede
Wikimedia Board of Trustees
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