Wikimedia New York City/Press

Wikimedia NYC welcomes Pacita Rudder as first Executive Director

Pacita Rudder, first Executive Director of Wikimedia NYC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: (press release)

May 15th, 2024

New York, NY—The Board of Directors of Wikimedia NYC announced today that it has hired Pacita Rudder to lead the organization as its first Executive Director. Rudder’s career spans across nonprofits and city government in public policy, social impact, cultural strategy, and community organizing. She joins Wikimedia NYC from the public-policy nonprofit SPUR where she served as the Director of Engagement.

Richard Knipel, board chair: “Pacita's role as our first Executive Director marks the emergence of Wikimedia NYC onto the New York cultural landscape, with an ambition to stand alongside such vital civic institutions as our cherished local public radio and library systems. As a cultural strategist, her experience supports a people-centered vision of technology with a nonprofit mission to empower New Yorkers in diverse communities through active participation in free knowledge systems.”

Wikimedia NYC began as a grassroots community of Wikipedians, information professionals, and activists committed to connecting the communities and institutions of the New York metropolitan area with Wikipedia and the larger free-culture movement. Prior to its recognition in 2009 as an official chapter of the global Wikimedia movement, its members clearly articulated their commitment to building a Wikipedia as democratic and diverse as the New York City subway and to partnering with libraries, museums, and educational institutions that shared their vision in providing access to knowledge.

“I am delighted to step into this role and lead such an influential community. Over the years, Wikimedia NYC has developed projects and initiatives whose knowledge-democratizing impact has rippled through the global information ecosystem,” Rudder said. “I look forward to continuing that tradition while expanding our programs and partnerships to meet the moment. This is an incredible network of people and institutions with the power to help shape the cultural landscape and I’m excited to support Wikimedia NYC and the larger movement in its growth.”

Rudder brings extensive experience in nonprofit management and programmatic strategy. Prior to directing engagement efforts at SPUR, she was a Cultural Strategist in Government with the City of Oakland helping to craft the plan around climate, sustainability, and resilience efforts and public–private partnerships and has led cultural organizing campaigns on the local, state, and national levels.

About Wikimedia NYC

Wikimedia New York City is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and local Wikimedia chapter dedicated to fostering a brighter, broader, and better Wikimedia movement through advancing projects like Wikipedia and other open-content initiatives in partnership with the communities and institutions of the Greater New York City Area. For more information, visit