Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees/Call for feedback: Community Board seats/Reports/2021-03-08 conversation with Florence Devouard


  • Bachounda: Facilitation support for French language and MENA region (notetaker)
  • Mahuton: Facilitation for French language (Facilitator)
  • Florence Devouard: former board member of the WMF from 2004 to 2008 and chair of its board from 2006 till 2008. Florence is also Co-founder of Wikimedia France and formely its Vice chair.

Topics discussed


Timing of the call for feedback, Skills, support for candidates, Quotas, vettings of candidates

Timing of the call for feedback


Poor. The Call for Feedback happens at a moment that the community is called on many topics. However, it is important to have elections.

Gender gap within the board


The board could be lacking other types of diversity like geographic one but doesn’t think there is a gender gap within the board. Since its creation, there has always been women at the WMF board.



It is important for candidates at the Board to have some specific skills as they are important for working at a board.

Support for candidates


Training prior to candidating should be proposed (through WikiLearn ?) with a certification process. Training would be ideally organized with external or independent organizations. Training like Leadership, finances, audit, legal, crisis management .... could be offered to community members generally (leaders) and help increase the skills of our community as a whole. Community members would have the opportunity to follow those trainings prior to candidating to the board, thus putting more expertise on the table, and showing a willingness to learn to be more suitable to the tasks related to the role.

It could be interesting to have an experience-sharing mechanism for former board members to share their experience with the community and with candidates.



There should be a clear definition of what the board is looking for in terms of diversity. It is difficult to satisfy all types of diversity as there are only 6 seats. Doesn't agree with the regional quota idea (due to the limited number of seats. Global Council would be a better venue for quotas).

Vetting of candidates


Some questions in the evaluation form may be a barrier: some candidates may not want to share publicly some of their personal information.

Issue with how to evaluate the quality of the feedback (candidates claiming that they have a certain expertise, how to verify ?)

The Global Council if was in place can vet candidates as the Council would be the emanation of the community.