Wikimedia Foundation elections/2022/Apply to be a Candidate
Thanks for taking this important step to learn more about candidacy on the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees.
Wikimedia is a global movement that seeks candidates from the broader community. Ideal candidates are thoughtful, respectful, and community-oriented and align with the Wikimedia Foundation mission. Candidates should think about what experiences and perspectives they will bring to the Board.
Candidates should read the Wikimedia Foundation Board Handbook and review the legal and fiduciary obligations for trustees before applying as a candidate. They can also ask for a one-on-one session with a current or former trustee.
Desired Skills and Experiences
The Board would like to find perspectives and voices that are essential but underrepresented in our movement. Accordingly, this year the Board will be asking all candidates to include statements in their application that speak to their experiences in the world and in the movement.
Many community members and affiliates noted the lack of representation of our movement’s diversity on the Board of Trustees. To fill gaps in historic and current representation within the Board, we hope to encourage applications especially from those with experience in the following regions: Africa and MENA, South Asia, East and Southeast Asia and Pacific, and Latin America and Caribbean. Desired regional experience is not a requirement, but a bonus factor. Instead of being mandatory, these are important characteristics that the Board asks the Analysis Committee, Affiliates and voters to consider.
The Board understands it is possible that some candidates from deprioritized regions bring a better lens on diversity than some other candidates from prioritized regions who are not familiar with equity considerations. Candidates should share how their experiences have equipped them to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The candidates will respond to the following statements on their applications:
- Contributions to the Wikimedia projects, memberships in Wikimedia organizations or affiliates, activities as a Wikimedia movement organizer, or participation with a Wikimedia movement ally organization. (100 word maximum)
- Lived experiences in the world. We are especially interested in reading about lived experiences in the regions of Africa, South Asia, East and South East Asia & Pacific, and Latin America & Caribbean. We believe that experience in these regions could help expand the board’s ability to fulfill the movement strategy goal of more equitable participation, although we recognize that other experiences may also provide important contributions. (250 word maximum)
- Cultural and linguistic fluency with regions and languages additional to your native region and language. Intercultural awareness helps build bridges in our multicultural community. (250 word maximum)
- Experience as an advocate for creating safe and collaborative spaces for all and/or experience in situations or contexts of censorship, repression, or other attacks to human rights. (250 word maximum)
- Experience in relation to (or as a member of, to the extent you choose to share) a group that has faced historical discrimination and underrepresentation in structures of power (including but not limited to caste, race, ethnicity, colour, national origin, nationality, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, language, culture, education, abilities, income and environment). (250 word maximum)
The areas of experience that the Board has indicated would be most beneficial for new trustees to bring are:
- Organizational strategy and management
- Enterprise-level platform technology and/or product development
- Public policy and the law
- Social data science, big data analysis, and machine learning
The candidates will respond to the above skills on their applications in 150 words or less.
Roles and responsibilities as a Board Trustee
The Board of Trustees has oversight of the Wikimedia Foundation's operations. Good trustees enable good management through the Chief Executive Officer and the staff. They do not manage the organization in its day-to-day operation. The Board's oversight role includes decision-making, monitoring, and leadership.
Here are some examples
- Making decisions considering strategy and organizational goals and policies;
- Monitoring the Wikimedia Foundation's performance, risks, finances, and compliance;
- Advising the Chief Executive Officer and senior staff using relevant expertise and experiences; and
- Communicating with the Wikimedia community regarding the Board role and responsibilities.
Trustees maintain the legal and ethical integrity of the organization. They also recruit and cultivate diversity on the Board. Trustees must always act in the best interest of the Wikimedia Foundation. Trustees may be selected through a community vote, but once on the Board, they are not community representatives.
Learn more about the role of the Board of Trustees in the Wikimedia Foundation Board Handbook.
Candidates must fulfill the duties of board and committee service. This includes looking into relevant issues, making informed decisions, and attending board meetings. The eligibility requirements for candidates are the same as for voters with these additional requirements:
- You must not have been convicted of a serious crime or any crime involving dishonesty or deception. You do not have to provide any documentation for this at this time;
- You must not have been removed from a position at a non-profit organization or company because of mismanagement or misconduct;
- 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;
- If you only meet the voter eligibility requirements as an editor, your first edit must have been before 18 April 2020;
- You must disclose your real name on your Candidate Application;
- It is not possible to hold a position on the Board of Trustees under a pseudonym because Board Trustees identities are public record.
- You must be at least 18 years old and of legal age in the country where you hold permanent residence;
- You must submit proof of your identity and age to the Wikimedia Foundation; and
- If you are selected and appointed to the Board of Trustees, you must resign from any other board, governance, or paid positions at the Wikimedia Foundation, chapters, thematic organizations, and user groups.
- You may not link your application or statements to lists of endorsements or other platform pages. You may not run on a slate with other candidates.
- Applications accepted between 00:00 18 April 2022 (UTC) and 23:59 16 May 2022 (UTC). You can only change your application up to 3 days after submission, or by the close of the nomination period at 23:59 16 May 2022 (UTC). Minor spelling or translation corrections are acceptable outside of these times.
- You must submit proof of your identity to the Wikimedia Foundation before 23:59 16 May 2022 (UTC). A member of the Election Committee will contact you about this after you apply.
How to Submit Proof of Identity
Candidates for this position must submit proof of identity and evidence of age of majority as a condition of candidacy. A copy of one of the following documents fulfills this:
- Driver's license
- Other official documentation indicating real name and age
This may be provided to the Wikimedia Foundation via email at secure-infowikimediaorg.
If you are one of the selected candidates, the Wikimedia Foundation may need to request additional information to run a candidate's background check prior to your appointment to the Board.
Candidates who fail to meet the above requirements and deadlines will be disqualified.
How to submit your candidacy
If you are eligible, you can Apply to be a Candidate. Candidate resources are available to support candidates during the 2022 election. Please feel free to reach out to the Movement Strategy and Governance team for more information.