Candidates for Election to the Board of Directors
I am one of the founding members of Wikimedia DC, director of Wikimania 2012, and president of Wikimedia DC since March 2013. I am a Wikipedia contributor of almost ten years. I have a BA in political science from American University.
We founded our organization in the pursuit of free knowledge in Washington—a city where narrative trumps reality. In the process we organized one of the largest Wikimedia gatherings ever, Wikimania 2012. We built fruitful relationships with major cultural institutions, including the Smithsonian Institution and the National Archives.
Since our original partnerships, our portfolio of partnering organizations has grown significantly. We have held events with scientific organizations such as the American Chemical Society and the National Institutes of Health. We work with historical organizations and local libraries. We organized our first hack-a-thon, in partnership with the Sunlight Foundation. There is a very strong interest in Wikipedia, and we will continue to seek out new opportunities to build our network and recruit new people and organizations into the Wikimedia movement.
To do this successfully requires the development of infrastructure. As a member of the Board of Directors I have pushed for annual plans with defined SMART criteria and regular evaluations of our activities so that we can figure out whether we’re making a difference. I helped develop organizational policies, including a fiscal control policy based on best practices for nonprofits, and a volunteer policy that pushes us to measure our operating requirements not just in dollars but also in people. Currently I am working on building up our IT capacity to better keep track of information of interest to the entire organization—ensuring that if people leave, they don’t take their institutional knowledge with them.
We have more work ahead of us. Over the next few years we will be implementing a strategic plan that describes a long-term vision for our organization. We will also be improving our public communications and diversifying our fundraising. I wish to continue serving on the Board of Directors so that Wikimedia DC may make the jump from a start-up to a mature organization, one that effectively carries out high-impact projects that improve the Wikimedia projects. I look forward to the next two years.
- (a) Conflict of interest: I do not have any financial interest in any transaction that will be undertaken by Wikimedia District of Columbia.
- (b) Conflict of duty: I have no conflict of duty that would prevent me from taking part in the full deliberations of the Board.
- (c) Felony convictions: I have not been convicted of any felonies.
- (d) Relationship with Wikimedia organizations: I am not an agent of the Wikimedia Foundation or any Wikimedia affiliate (other than Wikimedia District of Columbia), nor do I have a fiduciary duty to such organizations.
- (e) Relationship with Wikimedia projects: I have participated on Wikimedia projects since November 2004, chiefly on the English Wikipedia. I was briefly blocked on English Wikinews in 2010, but have not otherwise been subject to any restriction on my ability to participate.
I have been treasurer of this chapter since spring of 2013, and could continue if the Board asks. I am the chair of the chapter's Public Policy committee and can continue. Here are some of my accomplishments for the chapter and ambitions for the future.
- The chapter has received four grants from the Wikimedia Foundation during this periods, listed here, and has reported on one. Formally I am a contact for these and the WMF says we are in good shape.
- I keep track of government wikis and other collaboration platforms with broad audiences. I give talks on this subject including one at Wikimania 2012.
- I track the rules regarding government employees making edits to Wikipedia and other outside sites. Outside of the GLAM context we do not have many active partnerships with federal agencies, and if we can find open doors, I am looking to create more such partnerships. There are many specialists in the government who can help our open content.
- I co-organized the chapter's edit-a-thon on statistics in December 2013.
- Most years I attend several conferences related to wikis, including Wikimania, WikiSym (an academic symposium with presenters from several fields), and several academic conferences in social science fields and the history of technology. I made a plenary presentation about economic historians potentially working on Wikipedia at the 2013 Economic History Association conference.
- I'd like to support editing in languages other than English, ideally with a special edit-a-thon if we can find a supportive partner institution.
- I think the chapter is running well.
My background: I have a college degree from Harvard College in Applied Mathematics, a PhD in Economics from Northwestern University. I worked as a software developer at Symantec for some years then went to graduate school and now I am a research economist at a federal agency. My research is mainly on technological change, specifically on how new inventions and industries arise. Information-sharing institutions like wikis, conferences, journals, and clubs help these things happen.
- (a) I do not have a financial interest in any ongoing or planned transaction or arrangement undertaken by Wikimedia District of Columbia;
- (b) I do have minor "conflicts of duty" that could arise occasionally. My employer is a federal statistical agency whose rules regarding activities in outside organizations may require me to avoid taking public stands on legislation or candidates. I will follow those rules and norms. This won't affect my role in most activities of Wikimedia-DC. Also I help run, speak about, and advocate for internal federal government wikis and for government staff to participate directly in the Wikimedia projects. I cannot see how this would create a conflict with Wikimedia-DC; it should help.
- (c) I have not been convicted of any felony;
- (d) I have no fiduciary duty to, nor am I an employee, director, officer, or agent of, the Wikimedia Foundation, or of any Wikimedia chapter other than Wikimedia District of Columbia;
- (e) I participate in editing Wikipedias especially in English, and in editing Wikisource, and have not been subject to disciplinary action in those contexts.
I'm a chemist specializing in DNA nanotechnology research. I have always strongly believed in communicating science to the public, since having a well-educated public is important to resolving the many policy issues that have a scientific basis. This has been the main reason I contribute to Wikipedia, where my editing is mainly on the topics of nanotechnology, biomolecular structure, science policy, and budgetary policy.
I am especially interested in bringing the Wikimedia movement's viewpoints into the government law- and rulemaking process. I have already served on Wikimedia DC's Public Policy Committee, and originated its first major effort, submitting a written comment to the Copyright Office on orphan works for which I was the primary editor. My interests in policy and leadership also extend outside of Wikipedia. Earlier this year I was a Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Academy of Sciences. Also, at Caltech I was in charge of writing a new Constitution for my residence, where I emphasized public input and discussion to allow people of strongly opposing opinions to accept the final document.
I earned my B.S. at Caltech and my Ph.D. at Harvard, and I currently work for the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. I am excited at the prospect of further supporting the Wikimedia movement and Wikimedia DC as a member of the Board of Directors.
- (a) I have no financial interest in any ongoing or planned transaction or arrangement undertaken by Wikimedia District of Columbia.
- (b) I am not subject to any law, regulation, agreement, or other covenant that would prevent me from taking full part in the deliberations of the Board or require me to excuse themselves from such deliberations. My employers have confirmed that serving on the Board of Directors would be consistent with the terms of my fellowship appointment.
- (c) I have never been convicted of any felony.
- (d) I am not an employee, director, officer, or agent of the Wikimedia Foundation or of any other Wikimedia chapter, and I hold no fiduciary duty to said organizations.
- (e) I am active on English Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons, I participated in the Campus Ambassador Program in 2011, and in events organized by Wikimedia New England before its official organization as a user group. I have never been subject to disciplinary action in any of these contexts.
My name is Diane Shaw (Uncommon_fritillary on Wikipedia). I have been an active participant in Wikimedia DC-sponsored activities at least since 2012, including Wikimania 2012, the Wiki Loves Monuments DC photo expedition and several local editathons, and I frequently attend monthly Wikimedia DC meet-ups. I have also helped to organize and run a successful editathon at the Smithsonian Libraries in 2012. As an employee of the Smithsonian Libraries, I am particularly interested in facilitating collaborative efforts between Wikipedians and GLAM institutions [Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums]. Washington, D.C. is an ideal location for encouraging such endeavors, and this chapter is well-positioned to work together with Wikipedian communities in New York City and Philadelphia and other Mid-Atlantic locales to sponsor a variety of activities that support the goals and vision of Wikipedia in creating and enhancing open content and knowledge. I appreciate the efforts already made by the Wikimedia DC chapter to foster a friendly and supportive environment for both new and experienced editors. As a member of the Board of Directors, I would especially like to encourage more members of under-represented groups (for example, women and the LGBT community) to actively contribute to Wikipedia, using GLAMWiki collaborations as the catalyst for their increased participation.
- (a) I have no direct or indirect financial interest in any ongoing or planned transaction or arrangement undertaken by Wikimedia District of Columbia.
- (b) I am employee of the Smithsonian Institution, which occasionally hosts or serves as a venue for Wikimedia DC-related activities. In any situation that might appear to be a financial conflict of interest involving my employer, I will excuse myself from the deliberations of the Board.
- (c) I have never been convicted of any felony.
- (d) I am not an employee, director, officer, or agent of the Wikimedia Foundation, or of any Wikimedia chapter other than Wikimedia District of Columbia; nor do I otherwise hold a fiduciary duty to said organizations.
- (e) I have participated in several projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation or any Wikimedia chapter, and I have never been subject to disciplinary action (including, but not limited to, the imposition of any restriction on the Candidate's ability to fully and freely participate in said project) by the community of said project, or by any body convened for the purpose of undertaking such disciplinary action on said project.