Press releases/Board Changes July 2008

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Wikimedia Foundation Announces New Appointments to Board of Trustees

ALEXANDRIA, EGYPT & SAN FRANCISCO, CA - July 17, 2008 — Earlier today the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees Vice-Chair, Jan-Bart De Vreede announced important changes to the Board, including the selection of a new Chair, and appointment of the newest community-elected member. The decisions were made following a series of Board meetings coinciding with the annual Wikimania conference at the new Library of Alexandria in Alexandria, Egypt.

Effective today, Michael Snow is Chair of the Board of Trustees, succeeding long-standing Chair Florence Devouard. Mr. Snow has been a Board member since February, 2008, and an active volunteer on the English Wikipedia since December 2003, particularly in the areas of communications and outreach. In 2005, he created the Wikipedia Signpost, a community newspaper for the English Wikipedia. He is a lawyer based in Seattle, Washington.

"I'm excited about the opportunity to serve in this capacity as our volunteer community works to share knowledge around the world," said Michael Snow. "I look forward to helping the Wikimedia Foundation better connect with and support its large and engaged community of contributors. We have an important job to do, and I am delighted to be able to help."

His predecessor, Florence Devouard, has served on the Board since June 2004, and as Board Chair since October 2006. During that time, she oversaw significant development of the organization, including the growth and professionalization of the Foundation's staff, the relocation of its headquarters from St. Petersburg, Florida to San Francisco, California, and considerable growth of the reach of the projects.

The Board of Trustees is also pleased to welcome Ting Chen, newly elected community member of the Board. Three seats on the Board of Trustees are elected directly by the Wikimedia community, through an online voting process. Ting (user:Wing) started editing with the German Wikipedia in 2003, later moving on to the young Chinese Wikipedia. He grew up in China and studied electrical engineering in Germany, where he now resides and works with IBM Germany in Mainz.

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Wikipedia started in January 2001, and currently offers over eleven million articles in over 260 languages. The largest Wikipedia is in English, with more than 2.6 million articles; followed by the German and French editions, each of which contain more than six hundred thousand articles. Nine other language editions contain 200,000+ articles, and more than 150 other languages contain 1,000+ articles. Wikipedia is entirely created and maintained by a community of active volunteers.


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