Dear Wikimedians,

Among the WMF’s top priorities for 2015 is strengthening our engagement
with Wikimedia editors and volunteers. Today we are taking the first step
by bringing together the people who know our communities best and asking
them to break barriers and improve engagement. Everyone at the WMF who
carries responsibilities directly related to the communities will join a
new Community Engagement department.

I have asked Luis Villa to lead the Community Engagement organization as
the Senior Director of Community Engagement, reporting to me. Promoting
from within the WMF for this critical role will allow us to leverage the
knowledge and experience with our communities and reinforce the strengths
of our people.

Luis’s experience with communities is lengthy and deep. He has been
involved in open communities since the late 1990s, from communities as
small as the Lego Mindstorms hackers to those as large as Mozilla. He
worked in open communities as a lawyer, a programmer, a bugmaster, an
engineering lead, a community leader, and a board member. Luis has
performed exceptionally within the Foundation and supported some of our
most fruitful community engagements. The Grantmaking, L&E, Education,
Community Advocacy and Community Liaisons teams will join the new Community
Engagement department [2] under his leadership.

Unfortunately, Anasuya Sengupta -- our beloved leader of grantmaking --
will be leaving us due to personal health concerns at the end of March. We
will invite you soon to celebrate her time with us, her work at the WMF and
the deep insight she brought to the Foundation. We are saddened to see her
go. The team she has nurtured will provide an important foundation for our
upcoming work.

Siko Bouterse will move up to lead  the day-to-day work of the Grantmaking
team as Director of Community Resources, supervising all department Grant
programs and the Global South strategy. Siko has been instrumental in
innovating programs at the WMF, including initiatives like the Teahouse[1]
and the IdeaLab[2] combining vision with strong support for volunteer
community, tough decision making, and great project management skills.

These changes are an opportunity to improve the coordination of our work
supporting the communities. To accelerate this, I have asked Luis to lead
an internal “tiger” team to better understand the needs, concerns and
priorities of our volunteers, and to develop recommendations for future
programs. This work will be shared with all of you as it becomes available.

Please join me in congratulating Luis and Siko and in supporting our teams.
The Wikimedia communities are what makes the projects strong, unique, and
irreplaceable. This is the next step forward in our support to them, and in
service of our mission.


[1] As Director of Community Resources, Siko will oversee the IdeaLab,
Annual Plan Grants, Project and Event Grants, and Travel and Participation
Support. Her team will include Katy Love, Winifred Olliff, Alex Wang,
Janice Tud, Jonathan Morgan, and Asaf Bartov. Asaf will also take on a new
title as Senior Program Officer, Emerging Wikimedia Communities.

[2] Rachel DiCerbo, Philippe Beaudette, Siko, and Anasuya’s other direct
reports, and their respective teams (CL, CA, and Grantmaking/GLEE) will
report to Luis. The Engineering Community team will be part of the tiger
team but will continue to report to Engineering.


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