Executive Director

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The current Executive Director information may be found at Staff and contractors.

The Executive Director is the senior officer of the Wikimedia Foundation, in charge of overseeing the operations of the Foundation and its professional staff. The Executive Director reports to the Board of Trustees.


Executive Director, Wikimedia Foundation

Reports to

Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees

Positions reporting to this one

All Wikimedia Foundation staff


The executive director is the chief executive officer of the Wikimedia Foundation and as such, is the position primarily responsible for carrying out the organization’s strategic plans and policies, on behalf of the board of trustees. With the chair, the executive director enables the Board to fulfill its governance function.


  • Works with the board to craft strategic vision, then aligns organizational resources with it;
  • Set an effective agenda and ensure performance goals are met and set;
  • Responsible for administrative procedures and processes to maintain fiscal accountability and control, equitable and fair personnel practices, and efficiency of operations;
  • Oversees and coordinates fundraising and donor management activities;
  • Develops other revenue sources including business arrangements and funding proposals;
  • Develops and maintains effective working relationships with members of the board of trustees and advisory board;
  • Serves as a mentor, guide and coach to staff;
  • Creates and manages the annual budget;
  • Ensures compliance with all appropriate regulations;
  • Ensures appropriate information flow both within and outside the organization;
  • Represents the organization; serves as its public face as appropriate;
  • Oversees marketing, media relations, public relations and issues management activities;

List of Executive Directors

March 2016 – present

On 10 March 2016, the Foundation announced the appointment of Katherine Maher as interim Executive Director, effective 14 March 2016. Related Board of Trustees resolution.

On 24 June 2016, the Foundation announced the conclusion of its search for an Executive Director and the appointment of Katherine as Executive Director, effective 23 June 2016. Related press release, blog post and Board of Trustees resolution.

June 2014 – March 2016

After an extended search that began in March 2013, the Foundation announced in May 2014 that Lila Tretikov would serve as Executive Director beginning June 2014. Related press release and Board of Trustees resolution.

December 2007 – May 2014

The Foundation announced in November 2007 that it concluded its search for an Executive Director with the hiring of Sue Gardner. Related press release and Board of Trustees resolution.

January 2007 – November 2007

From April to June 2007, the Foundation searched for an executive director (see "Job openings" at that time). In July, the Foundation announced the hiring of Sue Gardner as Consultant and Special Advisor.

In October 2007, the Board of Trustees created the Executive Director Subcommittee tasked with finding, monitoring and reporting on, and (if necessary) firing an Executive Director. The membership consisted of board members Jan-Bart de Vreede (Jan-Bart), Kat Walsh (Mindspillage), and Florence Nibart-Devouard (Anthere).

June 2006 – January 2007

On 12 June 2006, the Wikimedia Foundation announced the hiring of Brad Patrick as interim Executive Director and General Counsel, the latter position on a permanent basis. He resigned as Executive Director in January 2007 and as General Counsel in March 2007.

In his position as interim Executive Director, he was tasked with helping find a permanent Executive Director and work to prepare things so that the organization is ready for that person to take over.

For more information, see Brad's personal FAQ.

External links