Nominating Committee

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The Nominating Committee was a working group created by the WMF board in April/May 2008 to assist the Board of Trustees in appointing trustees with additional expertise to better oversee the Wikimedia Foundation. There are four trusteeships designated to be appointed through this process. The Nominating Committee helped to identify the types of expertise needed, create a list of candidates, and make recommendations; the final decision of whom to appoint rests with the elected and selected trustees.

The committee consists of six members:

  • Two Trustees
  • Two volunteers from the Wikimedia community
  • One member of the Advisory Board
  • The Executive Director

The appointed seats are for one-year terms, so a Nominating Committee needs to be organized each year. A rough outline of how the process would work is as follows:

  • The board will brief the Nominating Committee regarding its role, the restructuring, and the board's assessment of its own strengths and skills gaps. That briefing will result in a set of criteria for potential board candidates.
  • Then the Nominating Committee will generate a list of possible trustees. All community members should feel free to contribute to this list by sending names to any member of the Nominating Committee at any time. Names will also be generated by the Nominating Committee's own research, as well as recommendations solicited from other friends and supporters of Wikimedia.
  • Once the Nominating Committee has generated a full and rich list of possibilities, it will begin a research and screening phase. At that point, it will research the names which have been put forward, and assess their fit against the selection criteria developed earlier. This will result in a shortlist of candidates.
  • Once a shortlist has been developed, the Nominating Committee will begin contacting candidates to assess their level of interest in us.
  • Then the Nominating Committee will deliver to the board a final list of interested candidates who fit the criteria for the "specific expertise" roles. The goal will be to give the board a full briefing on the top eight candidates for the four "expertise" seats, along with a recommendation for the four who the Nominating Committee thinks would be the best fit.
  • Then the community trustees will vote to determine who will fill the four seats.

Scope of work


The scope of work for the Committee is described in Nominating Committee/Scope of Work

2008 Nominating Committee


For the 2008 cycle, the Nominating Committee consists of:

Suggestions for potential board candidates and other kinds of input may be sent directly to a member of the committee.

Status report


Proposed timeline (as of 2008): before Oct. 3rd to 5th, the board should have a list of candidates for face to face interviews during the board meeting. By late November or early December the new trustee should be named, so that they can actively begin their term on January 1st.

Members begin discussion about the expertise considered necessary for the board.

As of now, the following expertise is suggested:

  • finance
    • Expertise to function as oversight of staff finances
    • Expertise to chair audit committee
  • nonprofit governance
    • NGO experience
    • Experience with a grassroots organization
    • Membership in a Wikimedia community
  • legal compliance
    • Knowledge of US corporate law
    • Knowledge of international (pick one: copyright, contract, slander) law
  • fundraising
    • Expertise to function as oversight of staff fundraising
  • Experience with the developer community
  • Pairing professional expertise with representation from as many regions as possible

A long list of proposed candidates were presented to the trustees on the board meeting at Oct. 5th. The board discussed the list and finalized a shortened list of criteria:

  • fundraising experience
  • 501(c)3 governance experience / board development / non-profit law
  • deep knowledge and experience outside North America and Europe
  • gender equity

This list was communicated to the NomCom. During November the list was refined further. In early December after intensive evaluation it was reduced to a shortlist, and tentative approaches to contact the candidates on this list were discussed.

See also