The Wikimedia Foundation is excited to announce the appointment of Janeen Uzzell as Chief Operating Officer. Janeen joins the Foundation after 16 years of executive leadership at General Electric (GE), most recently as GE’s head of Women in Technology, where she worked with GE’s global CEOs to increase the number of women in technical roles across their 300,000 person workforce.
The Wikimedia Foundation is the nonprofit organization that supports Wikipedia and other free knowledge projects. Together, Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects are visited by around 1.5 billion unique devices every month. The Wikimedia Foundation is driven by its vision of building a world in which every single person can freely share in the sum of all knowledge.
“Janeen is a powerful leader with a drive to serve people and communities,” said Katherine Maher, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation. “I am looking forward to working with her as a partner in achieving our strategic goals. She will play a vital role in positioning the organization for success as we continue to serve our global community into 2030 and beyond.”
As Chief Operating Officer, Janeen will direct the operations of the Wikimedia Foundation’s critical programs, ensuring resources are utilized to best achieve its free knowledge mission. She will partner with the executive leadership team to ensure the organization’s effective planning and execution against key strategic goals, and with the Executive Director to support Wikimedia’s global strategic plan, known as Wikimedia 2030.
Prior to Janeen’s role as GE’s head of Women in Technology, she led operations and business development at the Company’s Global Research Center within the External Affairs & Technology Programs Organization, and before that, she spent five years as Director of Healthcare Programs for GE Africa, based in Accra, Ghana. She also served as the Director of Global Healthcare Programs, Director of Healthcare Disparity Programs, and Director of Service Operations for GE. During her tenure she led multiple company-wide initiatives, resulting in numerous culture shifts and new business models and products.
Throughout her career, Janeen has worked to build transformative partnerships, collaborated with global movements, and cultivated networks of local, national, and global leaders. She has successfully helped people and organizations transform ideas into practical, usable, and scalable solutions. Janeen has been recognized numerous times for her efforts, including being named as one of the Network Journal’s 25 Most Influential Black Women in Business as well as being a “40-Under-40” Business Leadership Award recipient, the United Nations Global Leadership Award, and the GE African American Forum’s Icon Leadership Award.
“After a successful career supporting collaborative, global projects, I am thrilled to be joining the Foundation to use my influence and voice to lead work that can change lives, communities and the world,” Janeen said. “Wikipedia is a perfect example of the potential that can be achieved when we pair technology with the challenges faced by a growing global society. I am excited to have the opportunity to support a community working to use technology to break down cultural divides and expose people from all backgrounds and locations to the power of instant access to the world’s collective knowledge.”
Janeen has Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, and a Master of Business Administration in International Business from Fairleigh Dickinson University. She serves on the board for the International Black Women’s Public Policy Institute and is an advisor to the Intervarsity National Believers in Business Collegiate Organization. In her spare time, Janeen enjoys live music, spending time with her family and serving her community. She will be based between San Francisco and Washington, D.C.