Wikimedia Foundation Board noticeboard/Wikimedia Affiliations Committee: Call for New Members + Membership changes

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This message, "Wikimedia Affiliations Committee: Call for New Members + Membership changes", was sent by Nataliia Tymkiv on 17 October 2023.

Wikimedia Affiliations Committee: Call for New Members + Membership changes[edit]

Dear all,

TL;DR

There are two topics this letter talks about – 1) the for new members of the Wikimedia Affiliations Committee (AffCom) is open on Meta until 17 November 2023; and 2) there are membership changes in the committee to ensure the transition process for offboarding existing members, and onboarding new ones.

2023 Call for AffCom members[edit]

The Affiliations Committee is, until 17 November 2023, seeking additional members to help the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees (Board) support the affiliate ecosystem. As a note: two other movement groups (Ombuds commission and Case Review Committee) are also seeking members. You can read about the process and how to apply here on Meta.

AffCom makes recommendations to the Board on the recognition, approval, or derecognition of Wikimedia movement affiliates. It helps Wikimedians from around the world self-organise into chapters, thematic organizations, and user groups, and to gain official recognition from the Wikimedia Foundation. AffCom’s work involves the recognition of new affiliates, helping them retain their affiliate status through yearly reportings, and conflict mitigation when challenges happen within affiliates.

Volunteers in this role should be experienced Wikimedians from any project, have experience working with affiliates to practice good governance. International perspectives, collaboration, teamwork and experience handling sensitive situations are among traits needed. Given the scope of work, proficiency in English is required. AffCom seeks members committing 7-10 hours monthly for a 3-year term. The members will have the option to run again after completion of their terms.

Members are required to sign the Confidentiality agreement for nonpublic information and must be willing to comply with the appropriate Wikimedia Foundation board policies (such as the access to non-public information policy). Members must also be over 18 years of age.

The information about this was previously shared on village pumps of the Wikimedia projects, but as usual this call is also shared here, on the mailing list.

AffCom transition period[edit]

The number of members AffCom needs to recruit this year is not set, as there was the intentional delay in selecting new members last year (announced in December 2022, as AffCom was “a key input for the Board in developing the Wikimedia Foundation Affiliates Strategy”[1] ), but it has created a need to stagger selection - as all AffCom members term come to end at the same time: December 31, 2023. The number of seats available will depend on how many existing members decide to carry on.

As having a committee formed entirely of new members is not sustainable, there is an option for the current members to remain in their seats for a transition period of 6 to 12 months (maximum until December 2024). Others may choose to step down, before or after helping to onboard new members, and pass on open tasks, and some may choose to join the volunteer process to apply for another three year term as AffCom members.

With the goal of ensuring continuity, we, as the Board liaisons to AffCom, have suggested to AffCom to convert two current AffCom advisors for a one year term as AffCom members – as they have been a part of the AffCom work for a while, they would need minimal onboarding, and would be able to support the current workflows. Thus as of now, AffCom has two more members joining it for a term ending 31 December 2024:

  • Maor Malul, also known as User:Maor X, who has considerable experience on this committee, having served even before his current role as advisor as a member between 2013 and 2019, during which time he served first as chair and then as co-chair;
  • Aleksey Chalabyan, also known as user:Xelgen, who has already been providing considerable value as an advisor since his appointment last year.

Speaking on behalf of the Board and reflecting the sentiments voiced by AffCom itself, we are very happy that Maor and Aleksey have agreed to support us in this way.

You can view more details about what this important committee does on Meta in its “What we do” section and also in their charter.

There will be a public comment period on applicants from 17 October to 17 November. Candidates will meet with AffCom, Board liaisons and staff to discuss the role and their interest in it. The Board’s Community Affairs Committee will also review the AffCom candidates, to provide input. Per its Charter[2] the AffCom will appoint new members, taking into account also the community feedback. The new members will be announced in late December 2023, after individuals have been notified.

Thank you for reading this long letter, and thank you in advance for your interest to join AffCom – or Ombuds commission and Case Review Committee! And if you are not interested but know someone who might be, please share this message with them, personal encouragement goes a long way in the Wikimedia Movement. Also please let us know if you have any questions.

Links:


Best regards,

Nat & Shani & Lorenzo

Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees Liaisons to the Affiliations Committee