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Wikimedia Foundation elections/2021/Candidates/Mike Peel

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Mike Peel (Mike Peel)


Mike Peel (talk meta edits global user summary CA  AE)

Candidate details
Me in 2017
  • Personal:
    • Name: Mike Peel
    • Location: Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
    • Languages: en-N, es-1, pt-BR-1, fr-1, python, C
  • Editorial:
    • Wikimedian since: 2005
    • Active wikis: English Wikipedia, Commons, Wikidata
statement (Not more than 450 words) I am primarily active on the English Wikipedia, Commons, and Wikidata, with over 350k edits combined since 2005. I work both on content creation (new articles, article expansion, new photographs), and wikignoming (e.g., linking Wikipedias, Wikidata, Commons). I authored the multilingual Wikidata infobox used in over 3 million Commons categories, operate Pi bot (over 8 million edits, mostly on Wikidata and Commons) and co-originated the term ‘editathon’ with the first event at the British Library in 2011.

I co-founded Wikimedia UK and was a trustee of it for its first 5 years as it was created as a charity and grew into an established organisation. I served on the Funds Dissemination Committee for four years, both on its initial committee in 2012–14 and another term in 2015–17. I have been part of Wiki Movimento Brasil since 2019 (informally since 2016), actively contributing to a thriving affiliate in an emerging community. This has widened my understanding of the diverse challenges our movement faces, particularly given local realities and the need to embrace diversity.

By day I am a radio astronomer working for international collaborative telescope projects. I have lived in the UK and Brazil, and am currently working in Spain (I've been learning Portuguese and Spanish).

I would like to bring my expertise from across the Wikimedia movement to the WMF board. My experience has given me a broad overview of the Wikimedia movement, understanding diverse affiliates by both being part of several and reviewing their activities through the FDC. At the same time I am an active on-wiki community member, and understand the different viewpoints across multiple Wikimedia projects as well.

Linked with the overall Wikimedia movement strategy, I would like to see less centralisation at WMF of movement expenditure and resources, with a corresponding increase in making use of (and growing) the expertise and leadership of the Wikimedia affiliates in their geographical areas and/or specialisms. I would also like to see the Board (and WMF more generally) become more transparent, and engage more with the community.

Top 3 Board priorities 1. New ED hiring, onboarding, and overall transition process

2. Increase transparency and engagement of the WMF board and organisation with the Wikimedia community

3. Provide guidance to rebalance the work done by the WMF vs. affiliates vs. community

Top 3 Movement Strategy priorities 1. Increasing engagement with emerging communities, while making the best use of the strengths of more privileged communities

2. Sustainable and innovative technical development

3. Increase engage with fellow-traveller organisations (e.g., GLAM)

Verification Identity verification performed by Wikimedia Foundation staff and eligibility verification performed by the Elections Committee
Eligibility: Verified
Verified by: Matanya (talk) 20:21, 1 July 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Identification: Verified
Verified by: Joe Sutherland (Wikimedia Foundation) (talk) 18:14, 29 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Trustee Evaluation Form

Trustee Evaluation Form
Years of Experience
<1 1–2 2–5 5–10 10+

Wikimedia experience. The candidate is a dedicated contributor to the Wikimedia movement. Eligible contributions include: contributions to the Wikimedia projects, membership in a Wikimedia organization or affiliate, activities as a Wikimedia movement organizer, or participation with a Wikimedia movement ally organization.

10+ years. Active on the English Wikipedia (editing since 2005, admin since 2007, ~70k edits), Commons (editing since 2006, admin since 2018, ~110k edits, ~40k photos uploaded), Wikidata (editing since 2013, admin since 2020, ~170k edits). I write bot code, and operate Pi bot since 2017 (8.3m+ edits). I am a member of Wikimedia UK (member #2) and Wiki Movimento Brasil. I have organised Wikimedia events like editathons, supervised summer students working on Wikimedia projects (currently two Outreachy students funded by WMF), attended Wikimanias, Wikimedia conferences, etc.

Board experience. The candidate has served on the board of trustees/directors or other similar governing body of a nationally- or globally-focused organization (non-profit, for-profit, or governmental).

5-10 years. I was a trustee of Wikimedia UK for 5 years, serving variously as its membership Secretary, Chair, and Secretary. I was on the FDC for two terms = 4 years, including serving as Secretary.

Executive experience. The candidate has worked at an executive level for an organization, department, or project of comparable (or greater) size, complexity, and scope to the Wikimedia Foundation.

<1 year. I work in academia, where I am currently a postdoc. I have experience with supervising students, teaching, and managing complex projects. This includes participating in international telescope collaborations, where I work on all aspects of multi-million-dollar projects: from telescope hardware, to data analysis pipelines, to scientific publications and public outreach.

Subject matter expertise. The candidate has worked or significantly volunteered in an area relevant to the work of the Foundation and the Board. Such areas will be determined on an annual basis and may include areas such as Global movement building and community organization, enterprise-level platform technology and/or product development, public policy and the law, knowledge sector (e.g., academia/GLAM/education), human rights and social justice, open Internet/free and open source software, organizational strategy and management, finance and financial oversight, non-profit fundraising, human resources, board governance.

10+ years. I have been in academia since I started as a PhD student in 2006. As an astronomer, I write a lot of code to analyse data, and generally understand software development.

Diversity: Background The candidate belongs or belonged to a group that has faced historical discrimination and underrepresentation in structures of power (related to, for example, gender, race, ethnicity, disability, LGBTQ+ identity, social class, economic status, or caste).


No. I am a white male, of which there are many within the Wikimedia community. I have lived in Brazil, and currently reside in Spain, so I have multicultural experience. I also work in international collaborations that include participants from, for example, Brazil, South Africa, China, South Korea, and Japan.

Diversity: Geography The candidate would contribute to the overall geographic diversity of the Board of Trustees, based on the geographic regions where they have lived.


Yes. I was born in the UK, have lived in Brazil, and am currently in Spain.

Diversity: Language The candidate is a native speaker of a language other than English.


No. I am a native English speaker. I am learning Spanish, and know some Portuguese and French - but it is enough to get by, not have conversations. I am also mostly fluent in Python.

Diversity: Political system experience The candidate has substantial experience living in and/or working to share knowledge in a non-democratic, state-censoring, or repressive context.


No. Both Brazil and Spain have non-democratic histories, which I have seen evidence of (and have documented memorials to), but I have not experienced it first-hand.