Advisory Board

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The Advisory Board of the Wikimedia Foundation was approved in 2006, and formed at the start of 2007.

The Advisory Board is an international network of experts who have agreed to give the Foundation meaningful help on a regular basis in many different areas, including law, organizational development, technology, policy, and outreach. Their abilities, experience, and knowledge were selected for how they complement a particular Foundation project, or the organization as a whole.

The Board advises the Board of Trustees in its strategic decision-making process. Sometimes questions will be posed to the whole group, sometimes individual members will be consulted. They share an active dialog with a Board of Trustees. They are chosen not as a "list of names", but as a group of people we intend to interact with regularly.

The Board is made up of twenty members and is chaired by Angela Beesley, a former member of the Wikimedia Board of Trustees.

See also: Board of Trustees, Current staff.
Advisory Board contact
Angela Beesley, Chair, Wikimedia advisory board
abeesley(at)wikimedia.org
+61 (2) 800 500 28

Biographies

Angela Beesley

Angela Beesley

Angela Beesley, chair of Wikimedia's Advisory Board, is a co-founder of Wikia and a former member of Wikimedia's Board of Trustees. Angela has been involved with Wikipedia since February 2003. Angela has contributed a chapter on managing wikis to the book Wikis: Tools for information Work and Collaboration. Angela was formerly an educational researcher. Angela is originally from Norfolk and has lived in England, Germany, and Australia.

Ward Cunningham

Ward Cunningham

Ward Cunningham is the Chief Technology Officer of AboutUs.org, a growth company hosting the communities formed by organizations and their constituents. Ward co-founded the consultancy, Cunningham & Cunningham, Inc., has served as a Director of the Eclipse Foundation, an Architect in Microsoft's Patterns & Practices Group, the Director of R&D at Wyatt Software and as Principle Engineer in the Tektronix Computer Research Laboratory. Ward is well known for his contributions to the developing practice of object-oriented programming, the variation called Extreme Programming, and the communities supported by his WikiWikiWeb. Ward hosts the AgileManifesto.org. He is a founder of the Hillside Group and there created the Pattern Languages of Programs conferences which continue to be held all over the word.


Melissa Hagemann

Melissa Hagemann

Melissa manages the Open Access Initiative within the Information Program of the Open Society Institute (OSI)/Soros foundations. Since convening the meeting in December 2001 which led to the development of the Budapest Open Access Initiative, she has been active within the Open Access movement which advocates for the free online availability of peer-reviewed literature.

Melissa also works with the eIFL (electronic Information for Libraries) network to manage the eIFL Open Access Program that aims to spread the benefits of Open Access among eIFL’s members in 50 developing and transition countries. She has held several positions within OSI including managing OSI’s Regional Library Program from 1995-1997 based in Budapest as well as the Science Journals Donation Program from 1998-2001.

She was profiled as a SPARC Innovator in December 2006 for her work within the Open Access movement. Melissa has served on the Member of Experts' Group of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Library Initiative.


Mitch Kapor

Mitch Kapor

A long-time tech entrepreneur, software designer, investor, and activist, Mitch Kapor is known equally for accomplishments including founding or co-founding the Lotus Development Corp., Electronic Frontier Foundation, Mitchell Kapor Foundation, Open Source Applications Foundation. His previous board roles include Chair of the Linden Lab (Second Life), and former Chair of the Mozilla Foundation, best known for the Firefox web browser. Mitch currently is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Information, at the University of California, Berkeley.

Kapor says he is interested in "past, present, and future patterns of disruptive technology based on radical openness, in hybrid enterprises which integrate sustainable business methods and a social mission, and in democratic reform in a era of globalization."

Neeru Khosla

Neeru Khosla

Neeru Khosla is a firm believer in the power of education. She wants the rigor and accountability of for profit models to apply to non-profits. Neeru is a member of the Board at The Nueva School in Hillsborough, California, where she has served since 1997, which caters to gifted and talented students and is internationally recognized. Neeru is also on the Advisory Board of the American India Foundation, a leading international development organization charged with accelerating social and economic change in India. She previously served as a trustee of the Pacific Vascular Research Foundation and Connexions, a Rice University open-source project. Neeru's commitment to education is evidenced by her role on the National Advisory Board for DonorsChoose, an organization dedicated to addressing the scarcity and inequitable distribution of learning materials in U.S. public schools. Neeru is one of the founding members of the K-12 Initiative of the D-School (Hasso Plattner Institute of Design) at Stanford University and a member of the committee to expand the program. Neeru is currently the Co-Founder and Executive Director of CK-12 Foundation. CK-12 is a non-profit organization launched in 2006, which aims to reduce the cost of textbook materials for the K-12 market both in the US and worldwide.

Neeru holds a Bachelors degree from Delhi University/San Jose State, a Masters degree in Molecular Biology from San Jose State, and a Masters in Education from Stanford University.


Teemu Leinonen

Teemu Leinonen

Teemu Leinonen is currently a professor and dean of school at the Media Lab, University of Art and Design Helsinki. In the school he leads the Learning Environments research group. The group is involved in research, design and development of New Media tools, as well as their use and application, in the field of learning. The research group has coordinated research and development projects funded by The European Commission (IST), National Technology Agency of Finland (TEKES), the Nordic Council of Ministers and the UNESCO. The group is internationally recognized from its open source virtual learning environment called Fle3, MobilED audio wiki platform, and LeMill web community for finding, authoring and sharing learning resources.

Teemu holds over a decade of experience in the field of research and development of web-based learning, computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL), online cooperation, educational planning and educational politics. With his family Teemu has lived in Tanzania, Afghanistan and Kenya. At least once a year he visits his "compañera's" family in Colombia.

Rebecca MacKinnon

Rebecca MacKinnon

Rebecca MacKinnon is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Hong Kong's Journalism and Media Studies Centre, where she teaches "new media", examining the intersection between the Internet and journalism. At the Berkman Center, MacKinnon and her colleague Ethan Zuckerman co-founded Global Voices Online, an award-winning international citizen media community, with which she remains involved in management.

Starting at the bottom of CNN's Beijing bureau, she became a correspondent for the news channel, and Bureau Chief from 1998-2001. She served as the Tokyo Bureau Chief from 2001-03.

MacKinnon started a fellowship at the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government in January 2004. Her research focus was on blogs and participatory online media, especially as relates to international news. Three months in, she resigned from CNN, and was invited to stay at Harvard as a Research Fellow at Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet and Society. The enabled her to re-direct her career from TV news to online media.

Her ongoing research interests are the future of media in the Internet age, freedom of speech online, and the Internet in China.

She serves on the Board of Directors for Tor, which aims to improve safety and security on the Internet, and the US Advisory Board for FON, for most of 2006.

Wayne Mackintosh

I'm currently the Education Specialist for eLearning and ICT policy at the Commonwealth of Learning based in Vancouver (www.col.org). We're an international agency working in 53 countries of the Commonwealth promoting learning for development. Free content is a priority for our work.

I'm an unashamed advocate of free software <smile> and had the privilege of leading a Government funded project called the eLearning XHTML editor (eXe) when still living in New Zealand - This is a small OSS project working on a simple authoring tool for web content for teachers. (http://exelearning.org )

Prior to joining COL, I was the founding Director of the Centre for Flexible and Distance Learning at the University of Auckland and before working in New Zealand worked for the University of South Africa - one of the mega distance-teaching university's of the world.

COL has initiated a small wiki called WIkiEducator - (using Mediawiki software of course) and we are committed to helping educators in the developing world to participate as equal contributors in the development of free content.

Benjamin Mako Hill

Benjamin Mako Hill

Benjamin Mako Hill is a Debian hacker and author of the Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 Bible and "The Official Ubuntu Book". He works in the Computing Culture group of the MIT Media Lab, and is on the boards of Software Freedom International (the organization that organizes Software Freedom Day) and the Ubuntu Foundation. Hill was on the board of Software in the Public Interest from March 2003 until July 2006, serving as the organisation's vice-president from August 2004. (content from Wikipedia)


Roger McNamee

Roger McNamee

Roger McNamee is Managing Director and Co-Founder of Elevation Partners, which invests in media and consumer technology companies. He is a long-term San Francisco Bay Area resident, a professional musician, and a prominent Wikipedia supporter.

Roger McNamee acts as a special advisor to the Executive Director on business and strategy issues.

Roger McNamee began his career in 1982 at T. Rowe Price, where he managed the top-ranked Science & Technology Fund. In 1991, he launched Integral Capital Partners, the first crossover fund (combining later stage venture capital with public market investments), in partnership with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. In 1999, Roger co-founded Silver Lake Partners, the first private equity fund focused on technology businesses. In 2004, Roger and his partners launched Elevation Partners, an investment partnership focused on the intersection of media and entertainment content and consumer technology.

Roger is the author of The New Normal, published in 2004 by the Portfolio imprint of Penguin Books. He is a frequent speaker at industry and investor conferences and a commentator on CNBC.

Roger serves on board of directors of Forbes Media, Palm, and Move. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of Bryn Mawr College and the Board of Overseers of the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College. He holds a B.A. from Yale University and an M.B.A. from the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. He plays guitar and bass in the band Moonalice.

Trevor Neilson

Trevor Neilson

Trevor Neilson is a Partner in the Global Philanthropy Group , a company that advises philanthropists on the development and implementation of philanthropic strategies.

Neilson formed DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa) with Bill Gates, Bono and George Soros, served as a founding board member, and stays involved as a member of DATA's policy board. Neilson also served as Vice-Chairman of Saflink, an early stage technology company focused on biometric authentication solutions for government agencies in the United States.

Neilson served in the Clinton White House, for the Office of Scheduling and Advance and the White House Travel Office.

Neilson then became the Director of Public Affairs and Director of Special Projects at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest transparently operated charitable foundation in the world. There he was responsible for politically sensitive or high profile grant-making, government relations and public affairs. He also and managed the foundations relationships with the United Nations, governments, corporations and NGOs.

Neilson then served as Executive Vice President of the Casey Family Programs, the largest "operating" foundation in the United States. Casey was created by Jim Casey, founder of United Parcel Service and Neilson oversaw a variety of Casey programs and led their effort to enhance economic development in urban areas.

Neilson served as Executive Director of the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GBC) which was initially created with investments from Bill Gates, George Soros and Ted Turner. GBC represents over 200 multinational companies who have interests related to AIDS and healthcare. Neilson recruited over 100 companies to join GBC and opened and managed offices in New York, Paris, Beijing, Geneva, Nairobi and Johannesburg along with partnerships in 20 countries around the world.

Florence Nibart-Devouard

Florence Nibart-Devouard

Florence served as one of the elected representatives to the Board starting June 2004, and was the Chair of the Board from October 21, 2006 until July 16th, 2008. Florence was born in Versailles (France). She grew up in Grenoble, and has been living since then in several French cities, as well as Antwerpen in Belgium and Tempe in Arizona. She holds two masters, one in Agricultural Sciences (a 5-year degree in agronomical engineering (Diplome d'Ingénieur Grande Ecole) from ENSAIA and the other a postgraduate degree (DEA) in Genetics and Biotechnologies from INPL.She has been working in public research, first in flower plant genetic improvement, and second in microbiology to study the feasibility of polluted soil bioremediation. She was employed until 2005 in a French company, to conceive decision-making tools in sustainable agriculture. She is now a Consultant in Collaborative Media. She joined the Wikipedia adventure in February 2002 and is known as a contributor under the pseudonym Anthere. Florence lives in Clermont Ferrand with her husband Bertrand and her three children, Anne-Gaëlle, William, and Thomas two.

More about Florence: Userpage

Achal Prabhala

Achal Prabhala

Achal Prabhala is an Intellectual Property Researcher based in Bangalore, India, whose research work concerns access to knowledge and to medicine. Recent projects include an initiative to collect and publicly archive literary journals from Kenya, Nigeria, India, South Africa, the Middle East and the US; a report to the Indian Government for an overhaul of country's copyright act; essays on piracy and the legal commons; a commission to evaluate Botswana's patent law and medicines registration system; and an evaluatory framework for assessing copyright law and access to knowledge.

From 2004 to 2005, he coordinated a project on access to learning materials in Southern Africa, where (as part of a coalition of diverse groups), they advocated for legal/policy change to make learning materials affordable. He co-authored a report on the state of IP and learning materials in Southern Africa, and made submissions to a number of governmental bodies in the region. Prior to that, he worked on cases around access to medicines in Guyana, South Africa, India. Previous to beginning IP research work, he worked as a journalist.


Clay Shirky

Clay Shirky

I'm on the faculty at the Interactive Telecommunications Program, an interdisciplinary grad program at NYU, where I work on the intersection of social and technological networks -- the way communications technologies help shape the society that uses them, and the way society shapes those tools.

My interests relevant to Wikimedia are social software generally, and in particular governance problems; what changes in coordination costs for groups do to the economics of information production; and the design of federated networks.

I chaired the Technical Working Group of the Library of Congress' digital preservation initiative (NDIIPP), and I currently chair the Technical Sub-committee of Connecting for Health, a non-profit designing a nationwide health information network.


Ethan Zuckerman

Ethan Zuckerman

Ethan is the co-founder of Global Voices (globalvoicesonline.org) along with fellow advisory board member Rebecca MacKinnon. He is a research fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School, where his work focuses on technology in the developing world. Ethan also works with Open Society Institute's Information Program, along with Melissa Hagemann.

Prior to working with the Berkman Center, he was one of the founders of Geekcorps, a technology volunteering corps that brought geeks to the developing world to support and build IT businesses. Before that, he helped found Tripod.com, one of the early web community sites.

Former members

Heather Ford

Heather Ford is a co-founder of the African Commons Project - a South African non-profit organisation that seeks to mobilise communities through active participation in collaborative technology.

Heather graduated from Rhodes University with a Bachelor of Journalism degree and has a certificate in Telecommunications Policy, Law and Management from the University of the Witwatersrand Link Centre. After working in the United Kingdom for Greennet and Privacy International, she went on to Stanford University in 2003 where she worked as a fellow in the Reuters Digital Vision Fellowship Program. She went back to South Africa in 2004 to start Creative Commons South Africa and a programme entitled ‘Commons-sense: Towards an African Digital Information Commons’ at the Wits University Link Centre. From 2006-2008, she was the Executive Director of iCommons.

Heather is now working on building collaborative systems for digital innovation in South Africa.

Debbie Garside

Debbie Garside

Appointed to the Wikimedia Foundation Advisory Board in 2007, Debbie Garside is the Project Leader, Editor and Head of Research for ISO 639-6. She is also Managing Director of GeoLang Ltd; the organisation that will become the Registration Authority (RA) for ISO-639-6 as soon as it is published. Debbie is Chief Executive Officer of the World Language Documentation Centre (WLDC); a non-profit making organisation made up of 25 international linguists and standardization professionals from industry and academia alike that has a remit that is wide and far reaching with regard to facilitating linguistic communities.

Debbie has been involved in language standards for over 6 years and is Convenor of ISO TC37/SC2/WG1/TG2 the committee responsible for ISO 639-6 Codes for the Representation of Names of Languages - Alpha4 Code for comprehensive coverage of language variants as well as the mirror committee within BSI in the UK; TS/1/-1.

Debbie is also Liaison to BSI (British Standards Institute) IDT/2/11, and has represented BSI, as UK expert, during TC46/WG2 meetings with regard to country codes. Appointed by BSI as project leader for a new standard for the Internationalization of Country Codes in March 2007, she is an observer to the ccNSO-GAC IDN Joint WG; a committee that is charged by ICANN with investigating solutions for the Internationalization of ccTLDs. Debbie is also active within ICANN's GA.

A named contributor to RFC4647, the Internet Engineering Task Force standard for Language Tag Matching, Debbie is an active member in the IETF-language forum as well as the IETF LTRU forum.

Debbie's interests span many fields but primary to this is her interest in facilitating a multi-lingual internet and multi-lingual thesauri.

Based in Wales, UK, Debbie is Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of three other companies, one offering translations, marketing and market research another offering entrepreneurship and ICT training as part of a European funded project as well being a Director of a newly established family estate agency.


Danny Hillis

William Daniel Hillis

Danny Hillis is an engineer, author and inventor with a broad range of interests. He earned a B.S. in mathematics and a PhD. in computer science at MIT. While at MIT, Hillis began to study the physical limitations of computation and the possibility of building highly parallel computers. This work led in 1985 with the design and construction of a massively parallel computer with 64,000 processors, called the Connection Machine.

Hillis then co-founded Thinking Machines Corp., which was the leading innovator in massive parallel supercomputers and RAID disk arrays. Hillis'€™ other inventions over the years have included tendon-control robot arms, touch-sensitive robot skin, a computer built from Tinkertoys that plays tic tac toe, and a 10,000-year mechanical clock. He founded the Long Now Foundation, which sponsors projects encouraging long-term thinking and responsibility.

Currently the Co-Founder and Co-Chairman at Applied Minds, Inc., Hillis is also Founder and Chairman of Metaweb Technologies, Inc., which was formed recently to build a better infrastructure for the Web.

Prior to Applied Minds, Hillis was Vice President, Research and Development at Walt Disney Imagineering, and a Disney Fellow. At Disney, he developed new technologies and business strategies and designed new theme park rides, a full-sized walking robot dinosaur and various micro mechanical devices. Hillis has also consulted with various companies in developing new technologies and related business strategies, serves on several company and not-for-profit boards, including the Long Now Foundation and the Hertz Foundation. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery, a Fellow in the International Leadership Forum, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He lives with his wife Pati and his children Asa, Noah and India in Los Angeles, California.

Joris Komen

Joris Komen

Joris Komen says he was lured into the information and communication technologies by the computerisation of museum collections, while the curator of birds at the National Museum of Namibia. He has spent considerable time and energy promoting the relevance of the Internet and other technologies to African museums and schools within and around Nambia. He is a champion of incentive-reward mechanisms to provide ICTs to schools in Namibia by way of a biodiversity-oriented school competition called Insect@thon.

Komen played a critical role in launching and driving SchoolNet Namibia, a civil society organisation which is committed to providing sustainable internet access, free/libre and open source software, and open educational content to all schools in Namibia. I am presently SchoolNet Namibia’s executive director. The organization has proved to be a model for the sustainable introduction of ICTs across the education sector, and has been recognised by the Namibian government's National Development Plans as a key actor.

Born in the Congo, Komen was raised and variously educated in Burundi, Holland, Nigeria and South Africa.

Erin McKean

Erin McKean

Erin McKean likes to call herself a "Dictionary Evangelist". Erin was formerly Chief Consulting Editor, American Dictionaries, for Oxford University Press, and the editor of VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly. She was the editor in chief of the The New Oxford American Dictionary, 2e. Her other books about words include Weird and Wonderful Words, More Weird and Wonderful Words, Totally Weird and Wonderful Words, and That's Amore.

Previously, she was the editorial manager for the Thorndike-Barnhart Dictionaries at ScottForesman, a Pearson company. She has served on the board of the Dictionary Society of North America and on the editorial board for its journal, Dictionaries, as well as on the editorial board for the journal of the American Dialect Society, American Speech.

McKean lives in Chicago, maintains a blog about dresses, and describes herself as being "really bad at Scrabble", despite credentials to suggest otherwise.

Jay Rosen

Jay Rosen

Jay Rosen teaches journalism at New York University, and has written extensively on civic journalism on his blog founded in 2003, the book What Are Journalists For?, and in numerous periodicals.

Jay Rosen teaches journalism at New York University, where he has been on the faculty since 1986. From 1999 to 2005 he was chair of the Department. His work is mainly about what democracy requires from the press, a term which he believes includes journalists, citizens who are self published, and "the media." His blog "PressThink" is about the industry, and its discontents in the digital age. It talks to traditional journalists, bloggers, journalism students and new media people. He also write at the Huffington Post and Comment is Free, the Guardian's group blog.

He founded NewAssignment.net in July 2006, an experimental site for pro-am, open source reporting projects. The concept was to have teams aid investigative journalism that would be hard for a single reporter or even a team of pros to do unaided.

His 1999 book What Are Journalists For? (Yale University Press) is about the rise of the civic journalism movement, also called public journalism. It was a pre-Web effort to get a professionalized press to recognize the widening disconnect between itself and the citizenry. The book was developed over a ten-year period, 1989-99.

As a press critic and reviewer, he has written for The Nation, Columbia Journalism Review, the Chronicle of Higher Education, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Salon.com, TomPaine.com and many others.

He has a Ph.D. from NYU in media studies.

Peter Suber

Peter Suber

I've been working full-time on open access to research literature since 2003. Before that I was a professor of philosophy at Earlham College for 21 years. I retain a non-teaching position at Earlham, but gave up my tenure and salary to work on OA.

I write a blog called Open Access News (updated daily) and the SPARC Open Access Newsletter (published monthly). All my work these days is in research, writing, consulting, and advocacy for OA.

I was the principal drafter of the Budapest Open Access Initiative and serve on boards of several other organizations that deal with OA issues, such as the Scientific Information Working Group of the UN WSIS, Science Commons, Academic Commons, the Open Humanities Press, and the Open Knowledge Foundation. For more, see my home page.

Raoul Weiler

Raoul Weiler

I am located in Belgium in Antwerp. During the last years my activities focus primarily on sustainability issues as a planetary challenge, the use of low-cost ICT in schools and communities as a contribution to the eradication of illiteracy and bridging the digital gap, and facilitating the access of all to the oncoming worldwide information and knowledge societies, as well as on sustainable economy questions. At present, I chair and founded the Brussels-EU Chapter of the Club of Rome (CoR-EU) and am a member of the Executive Committee of the International Club of Rome (CoR). I am a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS), member of Scientific Advisory Board of European Papers in the New Welfare, a member of the Board of Greenfacts and the president of the new created DigitalWorld. I participated as a NGO participant at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg (WSSD, 2002) and the World Summit on the Information Society in Geneva and Tunis (WSIS, 2003 & 2005) as well as at the World Social Forum in Porte Alegre (WSF, 2005).

My academic background is engineering with a degree of engineering and Ph. D. in chemistry both at the University of Leuven (KUL), Belgium and spent several years as Post-doc in the US and France. My industrial career started in a chemical multinational in the Department of Applied Physics and ended, until retirement (1996), as manager of the ICT department. I have held teaching positions at different universities, in particular at the University of Leuven in the Faculty of Bio-engineering Sciences (KUL), and gave lectures about the relationship between technology and society, especially about the problem of sustainability and ethics. I am the co-author and editor of four books on sustainability, global change and philosophy and ethics of technology. Recent publications: Ethic Aspects of the Convention on Climate Change (2005) and the Proceedings of the joint World Conference of the Club of Rome and UNESCO on ICTs for Capacity-Building: Critical Success Factors (2005).