Board of Trustees

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April 26, 2008 Board Restructure


The Wikimedia Board of Trustees manages the foundation and supervises the disposition and solicitation of donations. The Board is the ultimate corporate authority for the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. (article IV, sec. 1 of the Wikimedia Foundation bylaws) and currently consists of seven Trustees:

  • Michael Snow, Chair (term to be held until chapters make their own appointment)
  • Jimmy Wales, Chairman Emeritus (term until December 2009)
  • Jan-Bart de Vreede, Vice-chair (term until December 2009)
  • Domas Mituzas, Executive Secretary (term to be held until chapters make their own appointment)
  • Stu West, Treasurer (term until December 2009)
  • Kat Walsh (term until July 2009)
  • Ting Chen (term until July 2009)

Michael Snow

Michael Snow

Michael Snow was named Chair of the Wikimedia Board in July 2008. He joined the Board in February 2008, after participating in Wikimedia projects since 2003. One of his contributions was the creation of The Wikipedia Signpost, a community newspaper for the English-language Wikipedia. Born in Pfullendorf, Germany, he now lives in the Seattle area. Michael is an attorney and earned his J.D. degree from the University of Washington.


Jimmy Wales

Jimmy Wales

Jimmy Wales is an Internet entrepreneur and wiki enthusiast, and founder of the Wikipedia project.

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 two 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 two 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 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

Jan-Bart de Vreede was named Vice-chair of Wikimedia Foundation in January 2007. Jan-Bart joined Wikimedia Board in December 2006.

Working at the Kennisnet 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.


Domas Mituzas

Domas Mituzas

Domas Mituzas joined the Wikimedia Board in February 2008. He has been involved with Wikipedia technology since 2004, and has worked on site performance and operations since then. He also works for MySQL AB (recently acquired by Sun Microsystems) services division. Before that he built network services in Lithuania and other Baltic States. He was born and lives in Vilnius, Lithuania.


Kat Walsh

Kat Walsh

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.


Stu West

Stu West

Stu West joined the Wikimedia Board in April 2008. He brings over 15 years of financial experience, including senior executive roles at publicly-traded companies including Yahoo!, TiVo, and in investment banking at J.P. Morgan. He also worked with the United States Mission to the United Nations. Stu's educational background includes a B.A. in History from Yale University, where he focused on 20th century diplomacy, and the Executive Program for Growing Companies at the Stanford Business School. He is a dual citizen of the United States and the United Kingdom, and currently resides in the San Francisco bay area.


Ting Chen

Ting Chen

Ting Chen was elected a Trustee by the Wikimedia Community in June 2008 and his term started officially in July 2008.

Ting Chen was born in Shanghai, China in 1968. He grew up in Harbin, China, in the northeast corner of the country, where he attended elementary school and middle school. In 1989 he went to Braunschweig, Germany and began his study of Electrical engineering. He was especially interested in semiconductors and their physics. He graduated in 1993 with a diploma and now he works as an IT specialist in Mainz, Germany.

His first experience with a virtual community were during his university time in the German Fido-Net, where he moderated a forum about science and knowledge for many years. He learned of Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects through a news article about the German Wikipedia achieving a milestone in 2003. From then on Wikipedia became a new hobby of his. He started on the German Wikipedia and changed soon to the young Chinese Wikipedia, which was at that time still starting. Ting Chen attended the first Wikimania (Wikimania 2005) in Frankfurt, where he took part on a panel discussion and introduced the Chinese community. He also helped organize the third Wikimania (Wikimania 2007) in Taipei.


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, Userpage
Michael Davis (2003-November 2007)
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.
Erik Möller (July 2006-December 2007)
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 (2003-November 2006)
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: Userpage
Oscar van Dillen (November 2006-June 2007)
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
Florence Nibart-Devouard (June 2004-July 2008)
Florence was the Chair of the Wikimedia Board from October 2006 until July of 2008. She served as one of the elected representatives to the Board starting June 2004. 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 feasability 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 Internet Communication Strategy. 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 nine, William eleven and Thomas two.
More about Florence: Biography on Wikipedia, Userpage
Frieda Brioschi (July 2007-September 2008)
Frieda (born in 1976, 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. She resigned from the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees in September 2008.
More about Frieda: Userpage

Roles of board members and officers