Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director Transition Team/2016/Survey

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General information[edit]

The survey was translated in 9 languages (Dutch, French, German, Italien, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish). It was launched from xxx to xxx.

2016 Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director Search Community Survey[edit]

The Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation has appointed a committee to lead the search for the foundation’s next Executive Director. One of our first tasks is to write the job description of the executive director position, and we are asking for input from the Wikimedia community. Please take a few minutes and complete this survey to help us better understand community and staff expectations for the Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director.

This is a challenging search because of the breadth of our activities, diversity of constituencies, and importance of our mission. We are seeking input from multiple sources including the community as well as foundation employees, partners, and donors. Very shortly we’ll synthesize everyone’s responses to help develop a job description. We will also publicly share the results of this survey.

Time is of the essence, so that we can get this position filled as soon as possible. Thus, we are leaving this survey open for only one week. Please complete the survey and tell others about it as soon as you can. We appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with us.

Thank you,

The Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director Search Steering Committee

1. Please select the top 3 areas that the Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation should focus on that will most directly support your work:

  • Forming the long-term vision and strategy of the Wikimedia Foundation
  • Managing the day-to-day work of the WMF
  • Engaging the community in WMF decisions
  • Fundraising from major donors and foundations
  • Maintaining relations with groups other than the community (eg, public relations, press, educators, government officials, politicians)
  • Developing partnerships and contacts (e.g. with universities, NGOs, companies)
  • I have no preference / I am not sure
  • Other

2. Based on your involvement in the Wikimedia movement, which 3 of the following audiences are the most important for the Executive Director to focus on?

  • Editors\Contributors\Volunteers
  • Employees
  • Donors
  • Readers
  • General public
  • Scientific world
  • The Wikimedia community most active in governance discussions (Wikimedia L, meta)
  • The Wikimedia affiliates
  • The ED should act in service to all of these constituencies
  • Other
  • I have no preference / I am not sure

3. Various people have already expressed that certain personal attributes should make it to the job description for the new Executive Director. To help us decide which points to include in the final job description, please rate the following attributes from 0 (not important) to 5 (must have). Note - If there is a critical attribute that you feel is missing from this list, please add it to the ED search feedback page ( )


  • Ambassadorial / diplomatic
  • High emotional intelligence
  • High commitment to diversity
  • High commitment to transparency
  • High commitment to free knowledge
  • Interested in sharing power
  • High commitment to a participative approach
  • Strong communication skills
  • Inspirational speaker
  • Curious and willing to learn (with respect to community, collaboration, etc.)
  • Big picture thinker (not micromanager)
  • Operational thinker (internal WMF and global Wikimedia movement operations)
  • Understands the basics of Wikimedia project's underlying technology

4. What is the most desirable background for the Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation? (Please rate 0 to 5 with 0 being not desirable and 5 being extremely desirable)

  • Academic institution (eg, Sorbonne University, Free University Berlin)
  • Government/administration agency (eg, World Bank, Library of Congress, European Research Council)
  • Wikimedia movement experience (e.g. WMF staff, affiliate staff, volunteer)
  • For-profit media site (eg, The Guardian, Huffington Post, NY Times,
  • Software or hardware for-profit (eg, Baidu, Microsoft, Vkontakte)
  • Tech-oriented not-for-profit (eg, Apache Foundation, Linux Foundation)
  • Non-tech oriented not-for-profit (eg, Red Cross/Crescent, Greenpeace)
  • Knowledge distribution organization (e.g. Emerald, PlOS One, TedEX)
  • Value-driven movement (e.g. Amnesty International, Occupy Wall Street)
  • Cultural or art-oriented institution (e.g. Musée National d'Art Moderne, Beijing Opera)

5. Please rate these other qualifications: (Please rate 0 to 5 with 0 being 0 not important; 5 for extremely important)

  • Experience working within an internationally diverse environment
  • Proven commitment to widely understood diversity (gender, race, LGBTQ, etc.)
  • Experience growing programs in the Global South
  • Proven commitment to open knowledge and open source values
  • Comfort with transparency and receiving criticism – often publicly
  • Experience of working in an a-hierarchical, participative management environment

6. If you could interview the final candidates, what is one question you would ask them? (text box)

7. Demographic Questions:

7a. Are you an active editor?

  • Yes (I generally make five or more edits a month)
  • I was an active editor in the past, but I am not currently an active editor
  • Never edited

7b. How long have you been part of the community?

  • Less than a year
  • 1-5 years
  • 5-10 years
  • 10 + years

7c. With which gender do you identify?

  • Female
  • Male
  • Another gender
  • Prefer not to specify

7d. In what country do you live? (drop down menu)

7e. Which of the following describes your association with the WMF?

  • I am currently an employee
  • I have been an employee in the past, but not currently employed by the WMF
  • I have never been employed by the WMF

Thank you so much for taking this survey!