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[Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Announcement: A new structure for WMF Community Engagement
Dear Wikimedians,

Among the WMF’s top priorities for 2015 is strengthening our engagement
with Wikimedia editors and volunteers. Today we are taking the first step
by bringing together the people who know our communities best and asking
them to break barriers and improve engagement. Everyone at the WMF who
carries responsibilities directly related to the communities will join a
new Community Engagement department.

I have asked Luis Villa to lead the Community Engagement organization as
the Senior Director of Community Engagement, reporting to me. Promoting
from within the WMF for this critical role will allow us to leverage the
knowledge and experience with our communities and reinforce the strengths
of our people.

Luis’s experience with communities is lengthy and deep. He has been
involved in open communities since the late 1990s, from communities as
small as the Lego Mindstorms hackers to those as large as Mozilla. He
worked in open communities as a lawyer, a programmer, a bugmaster, an
engineering lead, a community leader, and a board member. Luis has
performed exceptionally within the Foundation and supported some of our
most fruitful community engagements. The Grantmaking, L&E, Education,
Community Advocacy and Community Liaisons teams will join the new Community
Engagement department [2] under his leadership.

Unfortunately, Anasuya Sengupta -- our beloved leader of grantmaking --
will be leaving us due to personal health concerns at the end of March. We
will invite you soon to celebrate her time with us, her work at the WMF and
the deep insight she brought to the Foundation. We are saddened to see her
go. The team she has nurtured will provide an important foundation for our
upcoming work.

Siko Bouterse will move up to lead the day-to-day work of the Grantmaking
team as Director of Community Resources, supervising all department Grant
programs and the Global South strategy. Siko has been instrumental in
innovating programs at the WMF, including initiatives like the Teahouse[1]
and the IdeaLab[2] combining vision with strong support for volunteer
community, tough decision making, and great project management skills.

These changes are an opportunity to improve the coordination of our work
supporting the communities. To accelerate this, I have asked Luis to lead
an internal “tiger” team to better understand the needs, concerns and
priorities of our volunteers, and to develop recommendations for future
programs. This work will be shared with all of you as it becomes available.

Please join me in congratulating Luis and Siko and in supporting our teams.
The Wikimedia communities are what makes the projects strong, unique, and
irreplaceable. This is the next step forward in our support to them, and in
service of our mission.


[1] As Director of Community Resources, Siko will oversee the IdeaLab,
Annual Plan Grants, Project and Event Grants, and Travel and Participation
Support. Her team will include Katy Love, Winifred Olliff, Alex Wang,
Janice Tud, Jonathan Morgan, and Asaf Bartov. Asaf will also take on a new
title as Senior Program Officer, Emerging Wikimedia Communities.

[2] Rachel DiCerbo, Philippe Beaudette, Siko, and Anasuya’s other direct
reports, and their respective teams (CL, CA, and Grantmaking/GLEE) will
report to Luis. The Engineering Community team will be part of the tiger
team but will continue to report to Engineering.


Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Announcement: A new structure for WMF Community Engagement [ In reply to ]
Lila, Anasuya, and everyone else-

Lila, thank you so much for the opportunity, and thank you Anasuya, Geoff,
and Erik for your long-term work with the GLEE, CA, and CL teams — you’ve
laid a strong foundation to build on. I would also like to congratulate
Siko on her expanded role — I am looking forward to working together with
her and the rest of the team on some of our most complex challenges.

I am excited to have the opportunity to work with our current leaders and
teams. We are lucky to have some incredible people on the team, and I look
forward to collaborating, learning, and creating even better engagement and
results together.

As Lila mentioned, I’ve been a contributor to a variety of open
communities, large and small, for over a decade and a half. Since the first
time I hacked on Lego software with someone on another continent, I’ve been
a strong believer that healthy communities and personal relationships are
the core of the special thing that we do. I expect to carry that forward
into the leadership of this team, with a focus on making the Foundation a
strong, supportive partner of growing, diverse, global Wikimedian

The creation of this new team within the Foundation shows a renewed
dedication by WMF to deepen our relationship to the people who create and
drive the projects. This focus will be critically important as we seek to
support and grow our mission. There are a huge number of opportunities to
get us ever-closer to our goal of a world of free knowledge.


Luis Villa
Sr. Director of Community Engagement
Wikimedia Foundation
*"Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the
sum of all knowledge. That's our commitment."*