Wikimedia Foundation/Chief Executive Officer/Job description

Chief Executive Officer

The Chief Executive Officer is the senior staff officer of the Wikimedia Foundation, overseeing the operations of the Foundation and its professional staff. The Chief Executive Officer reports to the Board of Trustees and is supported by the Office of the CEO.

The CEO is responsible for running the business side of the Wikimedia Foundation, engaging with communities to inform decision making, and representing the Wikimedia Foundation to the broader public.



Chief Executive Officer, Wikimedia Foundation

Reports to


Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees

The Opportunity


Wikimediaʼs next chief executive officer and executive director (CEO/E.D.) champions the mission, charts the course and ensures the ongoing success of Wikipedia globally through Wikimedia. The CEO/E.D. will enter as the organization builds on its strengths in its 20th anniversary year, and delivers its global work, at scale.

The internal and external complexity has grown dramatically for Wikimedia and our next leader needs to have the proven ability to step into an ambitious growth-oriented tech/product environment, and lead a strong executive leadership team, making sure we have the right operating models internally for the next decade and beyond, to be able to effectively support the growth and aspirations of global Wikipedia communities.

By inspiring thousands of stakeholders globally (internal colleagues, community members, donors, Trustees, external stakeholders), the CEO/E.D. embodies, promotes and defends Wikipediaʼs values in all interactions and marshals the talent and financial resources necessary to successfully achieve Wikimediaʼs mission.

The leader navigates between identifying future trends and empowering talented staff driving critical work in advancement, communications, finance and administration, legal and policy, operations, product, talent and culture, and technology. Wikimedia, and the CEO/E.D., also operate under an expectation of significant transparency and public scrutiny, and within an increasingly complex and high risk environment around tech and policy regulation.

Externally, there are frequent efforts that threaten volunteers and are hostile toward Wikipediaʼs mission. In parallel, changes in tech, data and multimedia continue to accelerate in response to how users consume information differently. Wikipedia is the only nonprofit top-50 global website, and while currently well-resourced, has just a fraction of the investment capacity of other tech platforms.

Internally, as the organization scales, and regularly onboards new colleagues and pushes others to evolve rapidly, it is also becoming more geographically dispersed. The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated the move to a virtual workforce, placing a premium on culture-building and connection.




  • Through intensive consultation with the Board of Trustees, staff and community, set and execute a compelling strategy that clarifies and aligns Wikimedia Foundation team investments, priorities, and goals in support of the 2030 Movement Strategy.
  • Communicate transparently with the Board of Trustees and all constituents about Wikimediaʼs—and the Movementʼs—opportunities, choices, and progress toward goals.

Governance and Risk

  • Support the Trustees in their critical governance work.
  • Ensure the organization is anticipating security, reputational and technology risks.


  • Support the communities that create and manage Wikipedia and its sister projects.
  • Build authentic relationships throughout the global Wikimedia community; listen intently to community members, chapters, affiliates and user/thematic groups to develop, adapt and champion strategies that grow volunteer engagement and readership.

External relations

  • Inspire all stakeholders as a champion of Wikipediaʼs mission and values in a wide variety of settings (press, policy, tech) and the knowledge sectors—culture, academic, research, science—globally.


  • With the support of the Advancement department, cultivate major gifts and donor relationships for both ongoing operations and the Foundationʼs endowment.

Equity and Inclusion

  • Embrace diversity on every dimension, expanding and deepening Wikimediaʼs internally- and community-focused work on equity and inclusion.

Management and Culture

  • Reinforce and model Wikimediaʼs values in all interactions.
  • Recruit, lead, and partner with a high-performing executive team to prioritize and advance enterprise- and movement-level goals.
  • Empower executive team leaders; drive rational decision-making and resource-allocation.
  • Foster cross-organization and multidisciplinary collaboration, as well as role clarity, professional development, operational excellence, creativity, innovation, and continuous improvement.
  • Build strong interpersonal relationships with individual Board Trustees as well as with the Board as a collective.

The Leader



  • Deep resonance with Wikimedia's values and mission, ideally with personal experience in a social movement and a closely related field (open/free knowledge, media, knowledge equity and access, international development, human rights, etc.)
  • Strong leadership and management track record within a complex, mission-driven organization with both a significant operating budget (Wikimediaʼs operating budget is $100M+ currently) as well as globally dispersed staff (hundreds) and programs.
  • Has integrated a strong organizational culture to chart a higher impact course. Brings tangible examples of success in refining and executing on ambitious strategic plans, guiding investments (ideally with meaningful exposure to tech/product) and complex problem-solving. Listens to, integrates, and champions ideas from a variety of stakeholders.
  • Proven track record in recruiting, building, retaining and mentoring high-performing, diverse, global leadership teams
  • As a key spokesperson, has influentially represented an organization and its mission to multiple audiences. Develop and foster other faces and voices of the Foundation. Familiarity with and an ability to lead a global, annual fundraising effort, including identifying and executing on relevant, innovative new funding models.
  • Is at-ease with significant public visibility and scrutiny; champions voices that donʼt naturally get championed.
  • As a global citizen, has a track record of leading outside of just the North American context.
  • Deeply understands technology's vital role in enabling both mission and execution, especially as it relates to scale, products and emerging technologies.

Leadership Attributes

  • Shows—in action and thought—significant moral leadership: high integrity, ethics beyond reproach, humanity, empathy, and sound, deliberative judgment. * Is a trust-builder.
  • Visibly embraces and promotes diversity and equity in all dimensions.
  • Brings a relationship orientation and a communications style that inspire and galvanize volunteers to engage and donors to invest.
  • Flexible, collaborative, diplomatic, calm, patient and transparent style; able to effectively adapt to, and evolve, a strong culture. Humility to recognize that she/they/he is merely a steward of a broad, large-scale movement.
  • Curiosity and critical thinking skills; a lifelong learner who sees situations through multiple lenses.
  • An ability to report to and work with a small board that is hands-off in operations but brings a strong and varied understanding of the Wikimedia ecosystem.