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Re: [Wikimedia Announcements] Announcing new Wikimedia Foundation CTCO: Gayle Karen Young
Welcome, wish you best,

On Tue, Dec 20, 2011 at 10:09 PM, Sue Gardner <>wrote:

> ***Resending this note because the earlier version seemed to have
> really broken formatting. Hope this is better.***
> Hello folks,
> I’m delighted to tell you that the Wikimedia Foundation has a new
> Chief Talent and Culture Officer, Gayle Karen Young.
> Recapping: the purpose of the CTCO role is to have a person on staff
> dedicated to continually strengthening and improving all our practices
> related to people --such as recruitment, on-boarding, skills
> development, organizational design, goal-setting, compensation and
> performance assessment-- with the overall goal of ensuring that the
> Wikimedia Foundation’s work culture is healthy and high-performance.
> I created the role because I believe that for organizations to be
> effective, it's critical that they have good talent and culture
> practices. Most non-profits skimp on funding HR because they want to
> be cautious with donors’ money, and they think investing in people is
> a bit of a luxury. I disagree. At the Wikimedia Foundation, half our
> spending is on salaries -- in other words, on people. So it seems to
> me that recruiting great people and creating the conditions in which
> they can flourish, is an excellent investment. That’s why the
> Wikimedia Foundation has a CTCO.
> Back to Gayle. A few months ago, Cyn Skyberg told Wikimedia she’d be
> leaving us. I then hired Lisa Grossman of m|Oppenheim to find us a
> successor for Cyn. Lisa spoke with hundreds of candidates, and brought
> six to be interviewed by me, Erik and Garfield Byrd. Our finalist
> candidates then spoke with Cyn, Barry, Geoff and Zack, and worked on
> projects for us which involved interviewing Aaron Schulz, Alolita
> Sharma, Asher Feldman, Brandon Harris, CT Woo, Dana Isokawa, Howie
> Fung, Jay Walsh, Kul Wadhwa, Leslie Harms, Melanie Brown, Rob
> Lanphier, Steven Walling and Tomasz Finc. They were also interviewed
> by Jan-Bart de Vreede, the vice-chair of the Board and the chair of
> the Board’s HR committee.
> It was an extensive search! And I am really happy about the outcome.
> Gayle Karen Young is a seasoned HR consultant and organizational
> psychologist with expertise in leadership development, change
> management, facilitation, group dynamics, and Agile team effectiveness
> training. She has worked with a wide variety of non-profit and
> for-profit organizations across industries including tech,
> hospitality, restaurants, airlines, healthcare, and education. She is
> the board president of Spark, a non-profit organization that engages
> young people in global women’s human rights issues. Gayle is also a
> facilitator for the Stanford Graduate School of Business for their
> Interpersonal Dynamics course and their Women in Management program.
> She mentors for the Thiel Foundation’s 20 Under 20 Fellowship program,
> and generally supports futurist causes because she likes audacious
> ideas and grand challenges. She has designed and facilitated
> conferences for the Singularity Summit, BIL (TED’s un-conference
> sibling), and the Seasteading Institute. She has a BA in psychology
> from the University of San Francisco, and an MA in organizational
> psychology from Alliant International University.
> I think Gayle will be a really great culture fit for the Wikimedia
> movement. She's an iconoclastic geek who goes to ComicCon, but unlike
> most geeks she is warm and people-centred: when she was a kid, she
> wanted to grow up to be Deanna Troi from Star Trek. She’s insatiably
> curious and reads widely. She was born in the Philippines and travels
> annually with Spark, most recently to China and Cambodia. You can read
> more about Gayle here on her userpage on the English Wikipedia:
>, and you can see some of
> the work she’s done for us here:
> .
> I want to thank everyone who was involved in this long and elaborate
> hiring process, and I want to especially thank Cyn. As the Wikimedia
> Foundation's first CTCO Cyn had the unenviable task of breaking lots
> of new ground – she leaves us in much better shape than she found us,
> and I’m grateful to her for everything she's done for us.
> Gayle will start work January 3. She’s a foundation-l subscriber, so I
> believe she will see any replies to this e-mail. I'm on holiday for
> the next three days, so if there are any replies to this note that
> need a response from me, you'll hear from me Friday.
> Thanks,
> Sue
> --
> Sue Gardner
> Executive Director
> Wikimedia Foundation
> 415 839 6885 office
> 415 816 9967 cell
> Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in
> the sum of all knowledge. Help us make it a reality!
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