Wikimedia Foundation elections/2020/Board of Trustees

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Info The elections have not begun. Candidates and votes will not be accepted.
Help translate the election.

Elections were postponed to 2021

The 2020 elections to the Board of Trustees were planned to be held in 2020. In April 2020, the board announced that the voting process was being postponed ("It does not currently seem likely that the process will resume before August 2020, but we are committed to completing it before the end of June 2021").

Per the Foundation's bylaws, members of the Wikimedia community have the opportunity to elect three candidates to a three-year term which will expire in 2023. The Board of Trustees is the ultimate governing authority of the Wikimedia Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization registered in the United States. The Wikimedia Foundation supports many diverse projects such as Wikipedia and Commons.

In February 2021, the Board organized a call for feedback regarding processes for community-selected Board seats, to run until March 14.

The elections committee will announce the results once the election is over. Detailed results will be available.

Information for voters[edit]

Information for candidates[edit]

The selection of new board members must comply with the Wikimedia Foundation Board's duty of care. The Board must act in a reasonable, diligent, and informed manner, and with the care that an ordinarily prudent person would use in similar circumstances. This duty of care, for example, applies to the careful selection of qualified individuals to serve on the Board who would not bring disrepute to that body.

Those who are considering a candidacy are urged to read the Wikimedia Foundation Board Handbook prior to submitting their candidacy.

Roles and responsibilities as member of the Board[edit]

The Board of Trustees is responsible for oversight of the Wikimedia Foundation's operations. Good board members enable good management by the Executive Director and staff. They do not manage the organization themselves or interfere in its day-to-day operations. The Board's oversight role includes decision-making, monitoring and leadership.

These responsibilities include:

  • Making decisions on vision, strategy, goals, and high level policies for the organization;
  • Monitoring the Wikimedia Foundation's performance, risks, finances, and compliance;
  • Advising the Executive Director and senior staff, drawing on the Board member's relevant expertise and experiences; and
  • Articulating and communicating the Wikimedia Foundation's goals to the Wikimedia community and general public.

Board members should maintain the legal and ethical integrity of the organization, recruit and orient new Board members, and cultivate diversity on the Board.

Learn more about the role of the Board of Trustees in the Wikimedia Foundation Board Handbook.

Prerequisites to candidacy[edit]

To be eligible, candidates must be willing and able to fulfil the duties of board and committee service, including expending the time and energy required to conduct due inquiry into relevant issues, to make informed decisions in good faith, and to attend board meetings regularly. The eligibility requirements for candidates are the same as for voters (see voter requirements), with the following additional requirements:

  • You must not have been convicted of a serious crime or any crime involving dishonesty or deception; and
  • You must not have been removed from a position at a non-profit organization or other company because of mismanagement or misconduct; and
  • At the time of nomination or election, you may not be banned or blocked from any Wikimedia project for a period of 30 days or longer; and
  • If you only meet the voter eligibility requirements as an editor: Your first edit must have been before 1 April 2018; and
  • You must publicly disclose your real name in your candidate presentation (because the identities of Board members are a matter of public record, it is not possible to hold a position on the Board of Trustees anonymously or under a pseudonym); and
  • Be at least 18 years old and of legal age in your home country; and
  • Submit proof of your identity to the Wikimedia Foundation (see below).

How to submit your candidacy[edit]

If you are eligible, you can submit your candidacy by doing the following:

  1. Write a brief statement of no more than 250 characters (not including spaces) describing yourself and your reasons for running. This statement will be displayed directly on the voting ballot to all voters and will receive priority for translation. You may not use your candidate statements to link to lists of endorsements or other platform pages, and may not run on a slate with other candidates.
  2. Write up two brief summaries of no more than 200 words describing your work on the Wikimedia Projects and your offline Wikimedia work.
  3. Submit your summaries between 00:00 DATE TBD 2020 (UTC) and 23:59 DATE TBD 2020 (UTC). Your statement may only be changed in the 3 days after submission, or up to the close of the nomination period at 23:59 DATE TBD 2020 (UTC), except for minor corrections (for instance, spelling correction) or translation. Any additions or changes to content submitted after this deadline will be time-stamped and presented separately from the original summary, and will only be presented to voters if they get translated into all of the same languages as the original summary. You should note that earlier submissions allow time for translation into more languages, and that submissions provided on the due date or just before may not be as widely translated.
    Please note: To allow voters to engage with candidates quickly statements may be sent for translation within 48 hours of submission. Future changes may not be as fully translated.
  4. Submit proof of your identity to the Wikimedia Foundation before 23:59 DATE TBD 2020 (UTC). You will be privately contacted by a member of the Election Committee with further information about meeting this requirement when you list yourself as a candidate.

Candidates who fail to comply with the above requirements and deadlines will be disqualified.

Submitting proof of identity to the Wikimedia Foundation[edit]

Candidates for this position must submit proof of identity and evidence of age of majority as a condition of candidacy. This proof may be provided in one of the following manners:

  • Copy or scan of driver's license.
  • Copy or scan of passport.
  • Copy or scan of other official documentation indicating real name and age.

This may be provided to the Wikimedia Foundation in one of the following means:

  • via email to secure-info(_AT_)
  • via facsimile to +1 (415) 882-0495 (if you do this please email secure-info(_AT_) to warn them that the fax is incoming).
  • via post (snail mail) to:
Wikimedia Foundation Inc.
1 Montgomery Street, Suite 1600
San Francisco, CA 94105
  • Note that post is not recommended. Exceptions will not be made if a candidate's documentation has not arrived at the Foundation offices by the deadline of DEADLINE TBA (UTC).

Candidate questions[edit]

The community is invited to ask questions of the candidates throughout the nomination period on the question page. At the end of the nomination period the Election Committee will collate those questions to collect similarly themed questions together and you will be invited to answer those questions directly on the wiki page. You are encouraged to answer those questions as early as possible to allow for translation so that your answers can be read by non-english speaking voters.

The committee has already decided that the following questions will be asked because they have been historically asked in past elections. You may wish to think about your answers now so that you can have an answer ready during the answering period.

  • Why do you think you would be a good candidate for a seat on the board
  • Is there any connection between your employment (or other financial interest) and the position on the board? If so, please describe how you can ensure this does not interfere.
  • I think the board should be focusing on: (what do you believe the board should be focusing on)

Questions asked so far include those on a proposal to amend the Bylaws regarding the eventuality of a Founder's seat vacancy, the endowment, harassment, combating problematic editing, headquarters location, logging readers' IP addresses, formation of employee union(s), project self-governance, and transparency.


The 2020 elections never took place.