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Wikimedia Foundation elections/Board elections/2009/Candidates/en

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The election ended 10 August 2009. No more votes will be accepted.
The results were announced on 12 August 2009.
2009 Board elections

Adam Koenigsberg (CastAStone)[edit]

Summary details
  • Personal:
    • Name: Adam Koenigsberg
    • Age: 25
    • Location: Columbus, Ohio, USA (physically in Dublin, Ireland until 15 August)
    • Languages: English, Written Spanish
  • Editorial:
    • Wikimedian since: 25 September 2005
    • Active wikis: en.wikipedia, although I do work elsewhere when I notice something I can do to help
Statement Summary:
  • Board Experience
  • Fundraising Experience
  • Graduate Level Business Education
  • Collaborator

Listening and collaborating to reach common ground on difficult and time consuming issues, because there’s something more important at stake than our egos: This is what I learned in my five years of not-for-profit board membership, and my experience in the United States Senate. My experience managing political campaigns gifted me the ability to raise funds without selling out principles, something needed by Wikimedia right now. These experiences, combined with my MBA, have given me the ability to inform the difficult decisions the board faces, utilizing my training in marketing and finance.

Wikimedia to me means bringing the world knowledge through Accuracy, Openness, and Civility. I look forward to listening to everyone over the next two years, and working to uphold these ideals.

Please select me as a trustee for 2009-2011. I will not only meet, but exceed your expectations.

Beauford Anton Stenberg (B9 hummingbird hovering)[edit]

Summary details
  • Personal:
    • Name: Beauford Anton Stenberg
    • Age: 36
    • Location: Melbourne, Australia
    • Languages: English, principally
Statement Inclusionist, passionate about transparency, capacity building & developmental sustainability, triple bottom line & ecological rigor as standard business & deep consultation in strategic envisioning.


  • Advocate an interdisciplinary Community program driven by Fundraising to establish curriculum for teachers with lessons to learn how to learn, learn how to research and learn how to discern quality & reputable sources identifying agenda & bias through engaging the Projects. Supporting ownership of Wikimedia Projects in children & driving translations of these learning initiatives & syllabus in diverse languages in order to grow the future of Wikimedia Projects & engaged children particularly in supported fundraising activities.
  • Table an investigation into models of integrated communication channels in MediaWiki architecture, Extension/Widget with IM & social media functionality within the online application interface: a universal Wikimedia communication channel to enable sustainable development of realtime decentralized governance & deep collaboration & knowledge exchange. Program of supported uptake throughout the Community.

Brady Brim-DeForest (Bradybd)[edit]

Summary details
Brady Brim-DeForest
  • Personal:
    • Name: Brady Brim-DeForest
    • Age: 25
    • Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
    • Languages: English, some French
  • Editorial:
    • Wikimedian since: 29 January 2005
    • Active wikis: en.wikipedia, intermittently active on commons, en.wikitionary
Statement As a Trustee, I will be an advocate of open, transparent dialogue with the community and will strive to serve as both its voice and its messenger.

Specifically, I will:

  • Plan for the long-term viability of the Wikimedia projects through establishment of an endowment that doesn't compromise the independence of the organization.
  • Encourage Wikimedia's adoption of open standards for interoperability, ensuring its continued role as the hub of the open knowledge ecosystem.
  • Fight to protect the neutrality of the internet to ensure that the efforts of the Wikimedia community pay long-term dividends and are preserved for future generations.

I have an extensive background in non-profit management and board experience that spans both the non-profit and for-profit worlds.

Outside Wikimedia: I work at Tubefilter. I am an active participant in the DataPortability Project, where I have served as a member of the Steering Group and Treasurer of the Board since early 2008. I am a member and Secretary of the Open Web Foundation, a member of the OpenID Foundation, and a co-founder of the OpenFriends Project. I also lead efforts at Open Soil to create an open source model for seed licensing.

Dan Rosenthal (Swatjester)[edit]

Summary details
Dan Rosenthal
  • Personal:
    • Name: Dan Rosenthal
    • Age: 26
    • Location: Washington, D.C.
    • Languages: English
  • Editorial:
    • Wikimedian since: January 2006
    • Active wikis: en.wikipedia, intermittently active on meta, commons, OTRS Wiki, Wikimedia Foundation Wiki and Simple English.
Statement I believe that I have the expertise and experience necessary to serve on the WMF Board of Trustees. I’m a member of the WMF Communications Committee, a Press Contact for the foundation, and an OTRS Legal Queue representative. I’m also active in the community offline: I've attended several Wikimeetings, assisted the NIH Wikipedia Academy, and headed up the Wikipedia Loves Art event in Washington, DC. I’m a clinical student attorney with the Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Clinic and will be receiving my J.D. in May from American University, a top tier law school. I have national non-profit board experience, and have overseen a three-quarter million dollar annual budget.

I’ve met the office staff numerous times and they’re fantastic, talented, dedicated people. It is not the board’s place to interfere with their day to day efforts, but to guide and oversee the Foundation as a whole. I will help to do this by developing strategic partnerships with like-minded organizations. For instance, I’ve developed a relationship with the Smithsonian American Art Museum, which has culminated in an agreement to release a large portion of their digitized collection for upload to Commons.

Domas Mituzas (Midom)[edit]

Summary details
Domas Mituzas, 2008
  • Personal:
    • Name: Domas Mituzas
    • Age: 26
    • Location: Vilnius, Lithuania
    • Languages: Lithuanian, English, Russian
  • Editorial:
    • Wikimedian since: October 2003
    • Active wikis: wikitech, board
Statement I've worked on core site technology and operations since 2004, and joined the WMF Board of Trustees in January 2008 - thus participated evolution of both technology and organization over the long years.

I see Wikimedia Foundation as a service organization, assisting communities with the projects, and maintaining the infrastructure for creativity and collaboration - providing legal groundwork, communication environment and of course, the free content technology.

Organization itself is and should be, due to financing model, always ensuring high efficiency, and always be ready to balance between needs, wishes and capabilities.

I'd like to represent a much larger community, not only editors bearing voting rights. There is wide audience of non-contributing users, who have their needs, and for those needs we are or should be working. There are advocates of our work and our mission, and we should assist them.

This organization is just part of greater movement, which has chapters, sister organizations and all the volunteers - and it is important to steer it, to maintain the most sustainable balance, ensuring availability of free content for ages ahead - empowering each other.

Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)[edit]

Summary details
  • Personal:
    • Name: Gerard Meijssen
    • Age: 50
    • Location: Almere, Nederland
    • Languages: Dutch, English, some German and a little French
  • Editorial:
    • Wikimedian since: 2004
    • Active wikis: GerardM
Statement I have been involved in many projects, Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Commons, translatewiki.net and I learned that a lack of technology, a lack of support and a lack of organisation hamper our projects. I am a firm believer in "putting your money where your mouth is" and I have invested in technology like OmegaWiki, the LocalisationUpdate extension and the proof of concept for a multilingual search for Commons. I will seek resources to realise with priority the missing functionality needed to properly support our existing languages and projects.

As a result of my advocacy for the support for the languages other then English, I became part of the language committee, a member of the World Language Documentation Centre. As a result of my interest in quality illustrations for our projects I promote digital restorations and I am instrumental in good relations with several Dutch GLAM.

As a board member, I will seek to balance the needs of the other languages and cultures. I strongly believe that there is this Wikimedia movement and, in my experience we need to partner with organisations that share our values. Together we will realise our aim; to share the sum of all knowledge with everyone.

Gregory Kohs (Thekohser)[edit]

Summary details
Gregory Kohs
  • Personal:
    • Name: Gregory Kohs
    • Age: 40
    • Location: Pennsylvania
    • Languages: English, some German and French
  • Editorial:
    • Wikimedian since: March 2005
    • Active wikis: en.wikipedia, intermittently active on Meta, Commons, Wikiquote, and Wikiversity.
Statement I have an agenda to lift the accountability, professionalism, and excellence of the Wikimedia projects' leadership and content. I am a marketing research practitioner at a Fortune 100 media and communications company employing approximately 100,000 people. I have also played instrumental roles in launching several Internet brands, including MyWikiBiz.com and Akahele.org (the output of a non-profit corporation). I serve on the Boards of two different non-profit organizations. I'm happily married (sorry, gals) and I have one highly exuberant daughter.

I firmly believe that the WMF Board of Trustees is in need of a good shake-up, as it is engineering the growth of the Wikimedia properties, staff, and budgets with alarming speed, while doing almost nothing to curb the culture of unaccountability, lack of professionalism, and sub-average content quality. The "Wiki Way" was paved with good intentions, but lately harm to individuals and embarrassing disrepute seem to be more frequently ruling the day; so, it is time to step up and start making the hard decisions needed to save the Wikimedia projects from destroying themselves.

José Gustavo Góngora (Góngora)[edit]

Summary details
Góngora, April 2009.
  • Personal:
    • Name: José Gustavo Góngora
    • Age: 22
    • Location: La Seu d'Urgell, Catalonia, Spain
    • Languages: Spanish, English, Catalan, Italian and Portuguese
  • Editorial:
    • Wikimedian since: July 2006
    • Active wikis: ca.wikipedia, es.wikipedia (several edits in other Wikimedia projects: mostly en.wiki and pt.wiki)
Statement As an English linguistics student who respects plurality, I consider myself suitable for taking this task and communicating with other people internationally. I study at UNED, a distance learning university. For this reason, I can organize my time and, if elected, participate in board duties.

Furthermore, I have been involved with the Spanish Arbitration Committee (aka CRC) during one year. I am also an administrator and bureaucrat since 2007. Apart from that, I am currently a checkuser on the Catalan wikipedia project, from where I am also preparing a talk that will take place in Wikimania 2009, in Argentina, next August. I have been able to earn the community confidence in those projects. In other words, I feel highly committed with Wikimedia projects and principles.

As an experienced translator, who has attended and organized several wiki-meetings, with more than 100 articles translated, I feel myself able to translate Wikimedia policy if necessary. I have promoted Wikimedia projects worldwide in countries such as Uruguay, Spain or Andorra, in several interviews with the Media. I would like to keep on doing my job by assuming this responsibility from now onwards.

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen (Cimon Avaro)[edit]

Summary details
  • Personal:
    • Name: Jussi-Ville Heiskanen
    • Age: 43
    • Location: Helsinki, Finland
    • Languages: Finnish (native), English (native equivalent/professional), Swedish (conversational); rudimentary communication in German, French & Scots; also very basic Afrikaans and rusty vocabulary in lojban & Esperanto.
Statement You should vote for me if you agree that:
  • The wide range of our languages should be reflected on the board better than by just one token trustee who isn't a native speaker of a major world language.
  • The reorganized advisory committee should be encouraged to become an active and authoritative voice in foundation matters side by side with the foundation staff and board of trustees.
  • Any authority the Board can find a way to legally and feasibly delegate to other organs of the community, it should. But when necessary, the board must boldly clarify what our central mission is.
  • The chapters cannot be the only organ for crosslanguage interaction (though they are a vital component). Those community members who are not interested in organized forms of contributing, must be involved directly in bridging the gaps between communities and the content in our various languages and projects in the more ad hoc way they prefer. And we must never forget those areas and languages which will never have chapters, for whatever reason.
  • What we do is for the ages, and genuinely without comparison!

Kat Walsh (mindspillage)[edit]

Summary details
Kat Walsh
  • Personal:
    • Name: Kat Walsh
    • Age: 26
    • Location: Herndon, VA (suburb of Washington, DC), USA
    • Languages: English, basic Spanish
  • Editorial:
Statement I have been a WMF board member since October '06. I will finish my JD this year at George Mason, focusing on copyright, patent, trademark, policy, and economics, and have been an editor of the Journal of Law, Economics, and Policy. I am also a registered patent agent and a classical musician.

I see my role thus far as a "conscience", helping keep the board focused on Wikimedia's core values and principles: freedom, openness, neutrality, transparency, collaboration. I have a commitment to and understanding of free content and free software, the communities around them, and their ideals, goals, and practical aspects.

I think it's also important to stand back and encourage independent community action, growth, and experimentation. I see the board as working on a big-picture level, creating a framework for decentralized community effort, and thinking both on the short term and the very, very long term.

Some key projects I have been involved with include the license transition, licensing policy, patents/file formats, staff search/hiring/evaluation, subnational chapters, board restructuring, and the development of a professional office compliant with good nonprofit practices.

Kevin Riley O'Keeffe (KevinOKeeffe)[edit]

Summary details
Kevin Riley O'Keeffe, 2009
  • Personal:
    • Name: Kevin Riley O'Keeffe
    • Age: 38
    • Location: San Jose, Northern California, USA
    • Languages: English
Statement Since I have become active at Wikipedia, I have noted that while every single episode of South Park has its own article, numerous topics which are of interest and genuine intellectual concern to those of us on the far right, have been treated with apparent disdain, and have been subjected to seemingly arbitrary deletion. It often seems to me as if articles that are of interest to persons on the political right, are held to a significantly higher standard, for the purposes of achieving notability.

My candidacy is derived from my concerns pertaining to the issue of freedom of speech, or perhaps more precisely, the objectivity of the administration of the WikiMedia Foundation's various projects, with particular emphasis on what I have come to perceive as a liberal-leftist bias ("political correctness") with regard to the administration of Wikipedia. I do not claim this is a huge problem. On the contrary, I have a very high regard for Wikipedia, as well as for the Wikimedia Foundation's efforts as a whole. However, my experiences at Wikipedia, as well as what I have learned in conversations with various others who have had similar experiences, have led me to conclude that this has become an issue that requires redress, and thus is one that can perhaps be best dealt with by having a sympathetic ear on the Board of Directors of the WikiMedia Foundation.

Lourie Pieterse (LouriePieterse)[edit]

Summary details
Lourie on a windy trip.
  • Personal:
    • Name: Lourie Pieterse
    • Age: 18
    • Location: Upington, South Africa.
    • Languages: Afrikaans (native), English.
  • Editorial:
    • Wikimedian since: October 2008
    • Active wikis: en.wikipedia, less active on Commons.
Statement After I have finished high-school this year, I intend to pursue an Honours Degree in nuclear physics at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. I am a committed team player, but confident in taking the lead when required. I am determined, organised, and hard working. I have made significant contributions to the English Wikipedia, having both “Rollback” and “Account creator” rights.

I truly believe that I would make a great trustee. Although I am young, I am capable and mature. By striving for the impossible I always achieve the possible. Being on the board would give me the opportunity to make a significant difference. My main goal is to get South Africa, but also Africa, to become more involved with the Wikimedia Foundation. This would bring financial support, increased involvement, and help the Foundation to expand into largely untapped geographical regions.

Being part of the Board of Trustees is one of my greatest dreams. By becoming a trustee, I could help the Foundation expand in various geographical regions. I am not seeking prestige or power; I would be highly motivated knowing that I could help achieve the Foundation's goals. So please, do not pre-judge me. I have what it takes.

Ralph Potdevin (Aruspice)[edit]

Summary details
Ralph Potdevin.
  • Personal:
    • Name: Ralph Potdevin
    • Age: 37
    • Location: Rouen, France
    • Languages: French, English, Spanish, German
  • Editorial:
Statement As an engineer, currently unemployed, and a former student in computer sciences, cognitive science and electr(on)ical engineering, I think I have the skills required to imply in WM and the Wikipedias in particular. I appreciate and support the seriousness, independency, democracy and open-mindedness of Wikipedias. I regularly improve the French Wikipedia, essentially, by correcting typos, changing bad syntax into good and the like, and participating in the redaction of articles. I intervene in discussions and votes on page suppressions and so on. I'm doing my best to continuously continuing to learn wiki syntax and thus making more efficient contributions. I would be very glad to go on that way in the coming months, as a community member and why not as a board member.

Samuel Klein (Sj)[edit]

Summary details
In Taipei, at Wikimania 2007. Credit: Joi Ito
  • Personal:
    • Name: Samuel Klein
    • Age: 31
    • Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
    • Languages: English, some German, Spanish, French
  • Editorial:
Statement Wikimedia should be a model for open, scalable organizations.

As a Board member, I would be a strong community voice, communicating regularly about the Board's work, holding open meetings and soliciting public input. I support developing expertise within the community.

I would also:

  • fight for better support for translation and multilingual communication across Wikimedia, particularly for planning discussions
  • represent the technical and practical needs of smaller projects
  • encourage careful use of funds and goodwill, planning for long-term availability of the projects (with an endowment and core services)
  • encourage delegating outreach & community development to chapters

About me: I am an editor, translator, and advocate for Wikipedia. I am a steward, and started the Meta translators network in 2004. I published the Wikimedia Quarto newsletter (in 5 languages), and was secretary of the Special Projects Committee. I founded the Boston meetup group and helped run the first two Wikimanias, hosting Wikimania2006 in Boston.

Outside Wikimedia: For 3 years I have been director of content at One Laptop per Child, working on local partnerships for free content and offline distribution.

Steve Smith (Sarcasticidealist)[edit]

Summary details
  • Personal:
    • Name: Steve Smith
    • Age: 27
    • Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (attending school in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada)
    • Languages: English, formerly-fluent but ever-deteriorating French
  • Editorial:
    • Wikimedian since: 23 February 2007
    • Active wikis: en.wikipedia, Commons, a handful of edits on a few others
Statement My name is Steve Smith, and I am a law student from Canada. I am a former business manager for a non-profit with annual revenues in excess of half a million dollars and a former director of three different non-profit corporations and one for-profit. While this 1200 character limit is awfully restrictive, my platform is as follows:
  1. promote the use of the “specific expertise” board seats to become less insular,
  2. make what adjustments to the privacy policy as are necessary to promote accountability on-wiki,
  3. issue such Foundation-level dictates on biographies of living persons issues as can be issued without jeopardizing the Foundation’s protection under s. 230 of the Communications Decency Act,
  4. advocate for the Foundation-imposed creation of committees in our largest projects, such committees to be
    • empowered to make project-specific policy,
    • elected to finite terms by the community and recallable by same,
    • overrulable by community consensus,
    • authorized to alter their own makeup, and
    • no threat to the Foundation’s Section 230 immunity as a nonpublisher;
  5. guard against over-optimistic growth projections, and
  6. oppose paid advertising on any Wikimedia project.

Thomas Braun (Redlinux)[edit]

Summary details
  • Personal:
    • Name: Dr. Thomas Braun
    • Age: 47
    • Location: Schönthal, Bavaria, Germany
    • Languages: German, English, and some written Latin and Spanish
Statement About me: 47, (family, 3 children) and working as a specialist in internal medicine, sports medicine and as a senior emergency doctor in a rural region of Bavaria. A large part of the remaining time I'm working for Wikipedia, because I know that a vision only lives from people working for it.

The fact that Wikipedia is not only an innovation but a vision, that's no secret. ... and even a vision that has been high-flying so far. In addition, wiki succeeded not only in defining, but also in implementing transnational ideals and values. Some wiki-projects do run very good, others more hesitant. So, a vision is not a self-runner, but needs consistent support and goals. What they actually need, no one knows better than the community itself; so I (in case of being choosen) will be a board member "to touch" - who will try to realize your ideas (and not just my own). I have some experience in the leadership of volunteer organizations (although not on the global stage ☺). It would be a great honor for me to be allowed to represent your interest in the Board.

Ting Chen (Wing)[edit]

Summary details
Ting at Wikimania 2008
  • Personal:
    • Name: Ting Chen
    • Age: 41
    • Location: Mainz, Germany
    • Languages: Chinese, German, English, French
Statement I was elected as a board member last year. In the past year I have actively worked on various resolutions and topics on the board, including the resolution about BLP, the change of licensing policy just to name the two most prominant ones. I am on the board nomination committee and am one of the board representative on the Chapters Committee. Last autumn I was with Jimmy Wales in Beijing, China to explain our work, mission and goal to the Chinese officials and to persuade them to keep Wikimedia projects unblocked after the Olympic Games. I see it as my duty to keep the community informed about what the board and the Foundation is doing, thinking and planning and to relay the opinions of the community back to the board and the Foundation. Despite my job, my work on the board and other things in my life I have kept my promise to remain a community member, to take part in discussions as a community member about different and controversial topics and to continue my work on Wikipedia: Since my election I have created numerous new articles on zh-wp or have improved them from stubs to normal articles. I have continued my administrative work in cleaning up copyvio texts or images and in helping SUL requests. I would like to continue this work over the next two years, as a community member and as a board member.