Trustee - Background: Social Sector Governance

Wikimedia, San Francisco, CA or Remote

A global movement whose mission is to bring free educational content to the world

About the Board of Trustees

Board members play a vital role in shaping and approving our strategy, ensuring the we use our resources in pursuit of our mission, and championing our vision, mission, and values within our communities and in public. The Board's role is to oversee the management of the Foundation, and advise, challenge, and support the Executive Director without crossing into management.

The Board is structured to hold a range of experiences and differing expertise, including:

  • three community-nominated volunteer seats,
  • two affiliate-nominated volunteer seats,
  • four appointed expert seats, and
  • an honorary seat held by Jimmy Wales, the founder.

We are currently looking to fill two appointed seats. The position listed below describes some of the specific subject-matter expertise we hope to add to our Board. Deadline for submission is March 6th, 2017.


Our governance practices and processes must evolve to meet our changing environment and needs. Yet good governance is about far more than process. We need intelligent, social sector change management too. The "Social Sector Governance" Board seat will us help us tackle our governance challenges with the big picture in mind.

We’d like you to have some or all of these kinds of experiences:

  • You have successfully led a social-sector organization through some tricky inflection point (e.g. significant growth, major evolution in strategy) by improving governance at the executive or board level.
    • Perhaps you have worked as advisors to executives and governments.
    • Perhaps you have been an executive yourself.
    • Perhaps you have worked in public radio, television, the Library of Congress, or other media.
  • You have taught, spoken, or written about governance.
  • You are seasoned through years of service with other boards.
  • You have contributed to the Wikimedia movement in some way, through donations, edits, uploads, or organizing community-driven efforts.

The commitment:

Board members serve for three-year, renewable terms. Each year, the Board convenes four times in person at different locations around the world and three to six times online as necessary. Meetings require coordination with members across the world and across time zones. Overall, the time commitment for standard service is roughly 75 hours per year (not including travel). Board members may additionally choose to dedicate time to one or more Board committees, supporting and providing counsel to the Executive Director and her team, or promoting the Wikimedia movement through speaking engagements and connecting with the Wikimedia communities. All Board positions are unpaid and provided in service of the movement.

Help us make free knowledge an established way of life everywhere.

About the Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation is the nonprofit organization that supports Wikipedia, the other Wikimedia free knowledge projects, and our mission of free knowledge for every single person. We help bring new knowledge to people around the world, lower barriers to participation, and make it easier for everyone to share what they know. We do this by keeping the Wikimedia projects fast, secure, and available to all, protecting the values and policies that allow free knowledge projects like Wikipedia to thrive, building new features and tools to make it easy to read, edit, and share from the Wikimedia sites, and by supporting the communities of volunteers who make the projects possible.

At the Foundation, we build technology to help people everywhere access Wikipedia, across devices and in nearly 300 languages. We engineer privacy for our readers and editors so they can safely and securely explore Wikipedia. We create programs and initiatives to make Wikipedia freely available to more people in more parts of the world. We build new tools for the community of editors so they can continue to improve and grow Wikipedia. Roughly a quarter of our budget goes to supporting the community that make the site possible, including through grantmaking programs that enable volunteers and enrich the information on the sites.

The Wikimedia Foundation is an equal opportunity employer, and we encourage people with a diverse range of backgrounds to apply.

More Information

  • https://wikimediafoundation.org
  • https://blog.wikimedia.org

About Wikimedia

The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization that supports and hosts Wikipedia and several other Wikimedia free knowledge sites. Every month, the Wikimedia sites are accessed by more than a billion unique devices. Wikipedia consists of more than 40 million articles across hundreds of languages. Every month, more than 70,000 volunteer editors contribute to Wikipedia. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is an audited, 501(c)(3) non-profit that is funded primarily through donations and grants. It currently employs over 240 staff members. 

Want to learn more about Wikimedia? Visit Wikimedia's website.