Wikimedia Foundation appoints new Chief Talent and Culture Officer and Chief Communications Officer

27 June 2023, San Francisco – The Wikimedia Foundation, the global nonprofit that operates Wikipedia, today announced that Courtney Bass Sherizen will be joining as the new Chief Talent and Culture Officer, and Anusha Alikhan will become the Chief Communications Officer.

“The mission of the Wikimedia Foundation calls on us to engage and inspire readers and users around the world in our work to make sure all people can access the sum of all knowledge,” said Maryana Iskander, CEO of the Wikimedia Foundation. “Courtney and Anusha both bring a depth of expertise in their respective fields that will make us a more effective organization and steward of this mission.”

Courtney brings both nonprofit and technology experience as she joins the Wikimedia Foundation from Google, where she supported global teams across talent management, people operations, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. While at Google, Courtney created an HR crisis management response team supporting all of Google’s 120,000+ employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. She was also a Lead People Partner, coaching and advising over 100 senior leaders across the organization. 

Courtney began her career as a public school teacher in Philadelphia through Teach For America (TFA), and later worked at Teach for America as their Managing Director of Strategy, Talent and Operations. Courtney also brings organizational strategy and management consulting experience from her time with The Monitor Group (now Monitor Deloitte), and is a board member of the Donors of Color Network and Beta Financial Services.

Courtney received her undergraduate degree in History with a certificate in African Studies, and as well as her Masters in Business Administration (MBA), both from Harvard University. She also has a Certificate in Organizational Leadership and Coaching from Northwestern University. 

“Throughout my career, I’ve embraced the ability of people to build transformative cultures together that can motivate and inspire. I’m excited to join a community of people committed to an inspiring global mission at the Wikimedia Foundation,” said Courtney Bass Sherizen, Chief Talent and Culture Officer.

Anusha joined the Wikimedia Foundation in 2019 as a Senior Director of Communications and was promoted to Vice President of Communications in 2021, leading the Communications department. She brings more than 15 years of experience across human rights, technology, international development, journalism and media innovation. She previously held communications leadership positions at the United Nations and Knight Foundation, and started her career as an employment and human rights lawyer in Toronto, Canada.

As Chief Communications Officer, Anusha will continue to lead the Communications department with a focus on increasing understanding of the Wikimedia mission and projects. She will oversee communications across external, movement and staff audiences, emphasizing unified storytelling that inspires people to care about the work of open knowledge and take action, while strengthening connections with and celebrating the achievements of volunteers. As the Foundation adapts to new opportunities and challenges in the areas of technology and knowledge delivery, she will position Communications as a key organizational partner in driving greater engagement through media, marketing, digital communications, brand building and community outreach. 

“I’m thrilled to continue my journey with the Wikimedia Foundation, as it explores ways to meet diverse knowledge needs with projects like Wikipedia that play an invaluable role in people’s daily lives,” said Anusha. “In a time of seismic shifts in the way online platforms are used, understood and regulated, communications is essential to showing how the evolving digital landscape affects the access and sharing of knowledge.”

Anusha has a master’s degree in journalism from New York University, a law degree from Queen’s University in Ontario and an Honors Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto. She is based in Miami, Florida. She is a Board member at the Communications Network and Awesome Foundation Miami, and a member of the Communications Network working group for diversity, equity and inclusion.

About the Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation is the nonprofit organization that operates Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia free knowledge projects. Our vision is a world in which every single human can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. We believe that everyone has the potential to contribute something to our shared knowledge, and that everyone should be able to access that knowledge freely. We host Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects, build software experiences for reading, contributing, and sharing Wikimedia content, support the volunteer communities and partners who make Wikimedia possible, and advocate for policies that enable Wikimedia and free knowledge to thrive. 

The Wikimedia Foundation is a charitable, not-for-profit organization that relies on donations. We receive donations from millions of individuals around the world, with an average donation of about $15. We also receive donations through institutional grants and gifts. The Wikimedia Foundation is a United States 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with offices in San Francisco, California, USA.


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Photo credits


Wikimedia Foundation / Efraín Villa

Open The Knowledge Journalism Awards Press Release

The Wikimedia Foundation