Board of Trustees
The Wikimedia Board of Trustees manages the foundation and supervises the disposition and solicitation of donations. The Board of Trustees are the ultimate corporate authority in the Wikimedia Foundation Inc. (article IV, sec. 1 of the Wikimedia Foundation bylaws).
The Board consists of seven directors. See also detailed description of their role.
The current Board members are:
- Florence Nibart-Devouard, Chair (term until June 2008)
- Jimmy Wales, Chairman Emeritus (term until December 2008)
- Jan-Bart de Vreede, Vice-chair (term until December 2008)
- Kat Walsh (term until July 2009)
- Frieda Brioschi (term until July 2009)
Florence Nibart-Devouard serves as one of the elected representatives to the Board since June 2004, and is the current Chair of the Board. She was elected by the Board to this position on October 21, 2006.
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 is a engineer in Agronomy (ENSAIA) and also holds a DEA in Genetics and biotechnologies (INPL). She has been working in public research, first in flower plant genetic improvement, and second in microbiology to study the feasability of polluted soil bioremediation. She was employed until recently in a French firm, to conceive decision-making tools in sustainable agriculture. She joined the Wikipedia adventure in February 2002 and is known as a contributor under the pseudonym Anthere.
Florence is 39, and lives in Clermont Ferrand with her husband Bertrand and her three children, Anne-Gaëlle aged eight, William ten and Thomas newborn.
Jimmy was born in Huntsville, Alabama in 1966, and is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of Alabama. He worked as Research Director at Chicago Options Associates, a futures and options trading firm then located in Chicago. In the mid-1990s he started Bomis, a search portal focusing on aspects of pop culture, one of the first users of the freely licensed data of the Open Directory Project.
In 1999, Jimmy had the concept of a freely distributable encyclopedia and founded Nupedia, by hiring philosopher Larry Sanger as editor-in-chief and assigning 2 programmers to write software for it. Nupedia failed, perhaps due to being a top-down cathedral model, as opposed to Wikipedia, which is the ultimate bazaar. After 2 years of working with the Nupedia concept, that team opened Wikipedia to help channel content into Nupedia; Wikipedia became an instant success, but not in the envisioned way, and Nupedia was shut down. In 2003, Jimmy set up the Wikimedia Foundation, a Tampa-based non-profit organization, to support Wikipedia and its sister projects.
In 2004, Jimmy founded Wikia. He was appointed a fellow of Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet and Society in mid-2005, and in October of 2005 joined the Board of Directors of Socialtext, a provider of wiki technology to businesses. He lives in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Jan-Bart de Vreede
Jan-Bart de Vreede is the Vice-chair of Wikimedia Foundation since January 14, 2007. Jan-Bart joined Wikimedia Board in December 2006.
Working at the Kennisnet Ict op School Foundation allowed Jan-Bart to spend time on promoting the use of wiki software and Wikimedia projects in education, amongst other things. The Kennisnet Foundation is a publicly funded Dutch organisation. Within this organisation he is responsible for the educational portals and some content creation tools. Through his work at Kennisnet Ict op School, he has been involved with Wikimedia since 2004, and attended both Wikimania conferences as a speaker.
Jan-Bart de Vreede spent most of his childhood in the Netherlands, also living in Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Kenya and the United States. He studied Business Administration at the Rotterdam School of Management.
Kat Walsh is a Wikimedian from Herndon, Virginia, just outside Washington, DC. She is currently studying technology and intellectual property law at George Mason University School of Law.
Kat worked for Wikia, Inc. as part of the Community Support team from February to August 2006. A member of Wikimedia's Communications Committee, she frequently talks with the media about Wikimedia's projects and answers mail sent to the Foundation. In October 2005 she was appointed to the Arbitration Committee on the English Wikipedia, which she served on until joining the Board. Kat is also a classical bassoonist, holding a bachelor's degree in music from Stetson University.
Frieda Brioschi (30, Italian) joined the Wikimedia Board in July 2007. She has been involved in Wikipedia and other WMF projects since May 2003. In June 2005 she helped found Wikimedia Italia, a local chapter organization associated with Wikimedia, and was president of that organization until September 2007. She currently lives in Rome where she works as a programmer.
Former Board members
- Angela Beesley (June 2004-July 2006)
- Involved with Wikimedia projects since February 2003, Angela Beesley was one of the first members of Wikimedia's Board of Trustees, and currently serves on our Advisory Board. A co-founder and Vice President of Community for wiki hosting service "Wikia", she is one of the authors of the book Wikis: Tools for information Work and Collaboration (2006). Prior to her involvement with Wikipedia, Angela was an educational researcher and developer of student assessments. Angela was born in England and has lived in Germany and Australia.
- Angela was on the Board of Trustees until she resigned from the post; her successor was elected 26 September 2006.
- More about Angela: Biography on Wikipedia | Wikia, Inc.
- Michael Davis
- Michael Davis is a graduate of Williams College and the University of Chicago. Before joining Wikimedia, Michael was the CEO of Chicago Options Associates, a futures and options trading firm in Chicago. Michael currently resides in St. Petersburg, Florida, as the Chief Operating Officer of community-focused wiki hosting service Wikia, Inc.
- More about Michael: Wikia, Inc.
- Erik Möller
- Erik is the Deputy Director of the Wikimedia Foundation, a position he assumed in January 2008, stepping down from the Board of Trustees. Erik Möller has been an active editor of Wikipedia since 2001 and has also contributed to the underlying software, MediaWiki. Möller developed the proposal for Wikinews, a Wikimedia project, and organized the vote that implemented it. Before joining Wikimedia as an employee, Erik was a freelance journalist and author (Die heimliche Medienrevolution: Wie Weblogs, Wikis und freie Software die Welt verändern), as well as a manager of wiki-related software development projects. He holds a degree in computer science. Beyond Wikimedia, he seeks to promote Free Content, Free Software, and balanced intellectual monopoly rights legislation. Until taking the position at the Wikimedia Foundation, Möller lived in Berlin.
- More about Erik: Userpage
- Tim Shell
- Tim Shell is an Internet entrepreneur with an interest in self-organization, and decentralized order, as exemplified by Wikipedia. In 1996 he was pursuing his degree in computer science when he decided to chuck it and go into business, joining up with Jimmy Wales to start Bomis. Tim has lived in Chicago, Florida, and San Diego, and currently resides in Las Vegas. On December 15, 2006, Shell stepped down from the board.
- More about Tim: Biography on Wikipedia
- Oscar van Dillen
- Oscar is an editor and bureaucrat for the Dutch-language Wikipedia and other Dutch Wikimedia projects. He also holds the role of steward since May 2005, helping and advising many projects in many languages. Van Dillen is a member of the Special Projects committee, which helps the Foundation pursue grants, oversee expansion efforts, and encourage partnerships between the Foundation and other organizations. Professionally, Van Dillen is a musician and composer, teaching World music composition as well as music theory in the jazz, pop and world music department at the Conservatory of Rotterdam.
- More about Oscar: Userpage