Press releases/Katherine Maher appointed as interim executive director for the Wikimedia Foundation

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Katherine Maher appointed as interim executive director for the Wikimedia Foundation

San Francisco, CA. March 17, 2016 -- Katherine Maher, the chief communications officer of the Wikimedia Foundation, has been chosen as interim executive director of the San Francisco-based nonprofit by its board and leadership team. She replaces Lila Tretikov, who announced her resignation on February 25, 2016. Katherine began serving in this role on Monday, March 14.

In announcing this appointment, the board chair Patricio Lorente wrote: "In choosing an interim executive director, the leadership team started by identifying immediate priorities for the coming months, including building trust, improving communications, and filling key leadership positions. They felt, and we agree, that Katherine is the right person to lead the organization while it addresses these and other important issues."

In accepting the appointment, Katherine Maher wrote: "I want to thank the Board for this opportunity, and for their confidence in the Foundation. I also want to thank community members and staff for continuing to be such committed advocates for our future -- your passion and belief in our movement and purpose have been tremendous things to behold."

Katherine has been with the Foundation as Chief Communications Officer since April 2014. During that time, she has developed a versatile and effective team that serves the needs of the organization and movement, collaborating closely with other departments and the community.

She has been a longtime advocate for global open communities, culture, and technology. Prior to joining the Foundation, she led advocacy for the international digital rights organization Access Now, where she worked on freedom of expression, access to information, and privacy. She has supported the efforts of citizens and governments around the world to deepen transparency and participation in her work with the World Bank, National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, and UNICEF (where her team built wikis for youth participation in major global issues). She is a member of the advisory board of the Open Technology Fund.

As interim Executive Director, Katherine will report to the Board. Geoff Brigham will continue serving as Board Secretary, and Jaime Villagomez as Board Treasurer, reporting to the Board in those capacities.

The Board is currently planning, and will soon implement the search for a permanent Executive Director. More information about that process and future developments will be made available online: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/EDTT16

For more on this update, see this blog post by Board Chair Patricio Lorente: http://blog.wikimedia.org/2016/03/16/board-welcomes-katherine-maher/

About the Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization that supports and operates Wikipedia and its sister projects. Wikipedia attracts more than 15 billion page views each month. Every month roughly 80,000 people edit Wikipedia and its sister projects, collectively creating, improving, and maintaining its more than 36 million articles across hundreds of languages -- this all makes Wikipedia one of the most popular web properties in the world. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charity that is funded primarily through donations and grants.

About Wikipedia

Wikipedia is the world’s free knowledge resource. It is a collaborative creation that has been added to and edited by millions of people from around the globe since it was created in 2001: anyone can edit it, at any time. Wikipedia is offered in hundreds of languages containing a total of more than 36 million articles, and visited by nearly half a billion people every month. Wikimedia and its sister projects are the largest collection of free knowledge in human history.

Wikimedia Foundation Press Contact

Juliet Barbara

(415) 839-6885

press@wikimedia.org