Candidates for the Board of Directors
- Mandatory Disclosures:
- (a) I am a paid contractor for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Wikimedia DC has organized events with NIOSH, but there is no contractual or financial relationship between the two organizations. If there ever were to be such a thing I would abstain in my Wikimedia DC role for the purposes of reviewing or approving such a relationship.
- (b) I am not subject to any law, regulation, agreement, or covenant that would prevent me from taking full part in the deliberations of the Board of Directors.
- (c) I have not been convicted of a felony.
- (d) I have no fiduciary duty to a Wikimedia chapter other than Wikimedia DC. As a grantee of the Wikimedia Foundation in my personal capacity I am in a contractual relationship with them but this does not impose a fiduciary duty.
- (e) I have participated on the Wikimedia projects since November 2004. I am currently an active editor on English Wikipedia and Wikidata. 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 editing the Wikipedia since 2004, and I have been a member of Wikimedia DC’s board since the first board meeting on May 7, 2011. I have volunteered for Wikimedia DC in many roles; I was treasurer from May 2011 until March 2013, president from March 2013 until December 2015, and secretary since then. I organized numerous programs and events for Wikimedia DC, from large events to Wikimania 2012 to small edit-a-thons with few (but dedicated!) participants. I have attended many events as an organizer and as a volunteer to help newcomers learn how to edit Wikipedia. Outside of Wikimedia DC I work for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to make health and safety content readily available on Wikipedia. I also am a grantee of the Wikimedia Foundation working on WikiProject X, a project with the goal of making it easier for editors to organize and work together.
As a director I have prioritized the development of institutional memory and the improvement of volunteer workflows. To this end I have set up shared file storage systems and databases allowing Wikimedia DC volunteers to store and share information with fellow volunteers securely. I have also set up tools to efficiently gather metrics from our editing events, giving us insight as to what is accomplished at events and how effective we are at recruiting and retaining newcomers, as well as standardized workflows for processes such as expense reimbursement and grant applications that reduces our administrative burden as an organization. I have also written (and rewritten) several corporate policies, with an emphasis on clarified fiscal controls, documentation of current best practice within Wikimedia DC, and policies concerning the use of technology in Wikimedia DC, particularly as it relates to the collection and retention of personally identifiable information. While I was president I grew Wikimedia DC’s portfolio of projects and partners substantially, expanding the organization from a small group that put on occasional edit-a-thons to an influential organization of regional and national significance that has worked with over 40 partners putting on multiple events per month. Until earlier this year I had spearheaded Wikimedia DC’s strategic planning process; the research during this process was used to prepare the strategic plan that was approved by the Board of Directors in August.
There is room to grow yet. I seek re-election as a member of the Board of Directors to oversee Wikimedia DC as it begins to carry out its strategic plan. In particular, I would like to oversee the organization as it transitions from being an all-volunteer organization to one with staffing. This will allow Wikimedia DC’s volunteers to be more effective by creating a dedicated resource that helps keep the volunteers on task while handling other responsibilities that are more time-sensitive or require substantial effort that cannot be sustained solely on volunteer time. My goal is for Wikimedia DC be a more effective, more inclusive, more diverse organization, and I hope to play a role in that happening.
- Mandatory Disclosures:
- (a) I do not have a financial interest in ongoing or planned transactions or arrangements of Wikimedia District of Columbia.
- (b) I am not subject to laws, regulations, agreements, or covenants that prevent me from taking full part in the deliberations of the Board of Directors.
- (c) I have not been convicted of a felony.
- (d) I am not an employee, director, officer, or agent of the Wikimedia Foundation or any chapter besides Wikimedia DC.
- (e) I have participated in Wikimedia Foundation projects for nine years. I am active on English Wikipedia and English Wikisource, and sporadically active on other projects and sites as User:Econterms. I have not been subject to disciplinary actions on these projects.
I have been an active member of the chapter, especially since I joined the Board of Directors in March 2013. I actively organize and attend edit-a-thons, and teach and help new editors. I was the chapter’s treasurer from March 2013 until June 2015 and have been the chair of the Audit committee since then. I am the chair of the Public Policy committee, where we study and advocate on issues related to Wikimedia.
I want to continue to support cooperation between the Wikimedia movement, technological advances, academic research, and government agency practice in ways that helps us build the best reference works that we can IMAGINE — with historical source materials, equations, footnotes, maps, photos, sounds, moving images, many human languages, and more.
Our chapter has been successful and continuing on our path we can succeed further. I hope to do what I have been doing which apart from the items above, includes;
- I actively encouraging U.S. federal government participation in the Wikimedia projects and in using Wikimedia software. I look to find new partner agencies. I invite you to let me know of good opportunities to work with federal agencies on wiki matters. My ambition is that every U.S. government employee has a way to edit an internal wiki so as to enable the efficient sharing of information.
- I attend conferences on wikis and Wikimedia. This year I represented the Chapter at the Wikimedia conference of affiliates. I often attend the worldwide Wikimania conference, the north American conference, and the academic WikiSym conference.
- As always I have a lot to learn about the technology myself. I study and experiment on my own wiki sites.
- Encouraging others to bring their diverse and unique capabilities is sometimes the most valuable thing one can do for the projects.
My background: 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.
I ask for your votes. With your support, I can continue on the Board of Directors doing the good work of the chapter.
- Mandatory Disclosures:
- (a) I do not have a direct or indirect financial interest in any ongoing or planned transaction or arrangement undertaken by WMDC.
- (b) My only possible conflict of duty is my full-time employment as a librarian by the Smithsonian Institution, which occasionally enters into collaborative projects with WMDC. However, I do not expect there to be any conflict of interest arising from this situation. If there are financial or other matters coming before the Board that might pose a conflict of interest with my employment at the Smithsonian, I will excuse myself from any relevant deliberations of the Board.
- (c) I have had no felony convictions in the past 10 years (or ever).
- (d) I am not a member of any other Wikimedia chapter than WMDC, and I am not an employee, director, officer, or agent of the Wikimedia Foundation.
- (e) I have never been subject to disciplinary action for my participation in any Wikimedia project.
I am running for a second two-year term on the Wikimedia District of Columbia board of directors. As an active Wikipedian who works in the Smithsonian Libraries, I am particularly interested in supporting GLAM-Wiki initiatives [involving Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums]. Wikimedia DC, serving a region with a wealth of museums and other vibrant cultural organizations, has been actively initiating and helping to sustain a number of GLAM-related events and projects, and I have been pleased to attend and lend a hand in organizing these activities over the past two years. I have taken a leading role in arranging the National Museum of American History’s 2015 Wiki Loves Pride edit-a-thon and the Anacostia Community Museum’s 2016 edit-a-thon, and in serving as a sponsor for the Smithsonian Libraries’ first Wikipedia Visiting Scholar who is working to improve articles relating to African art. I have participated in recent edit-a-thons at the DC Public Library, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the National Archives, as well as at other Smithsonian units including the Archives of American Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Smithsonian Institution Archives, and the Biodiversity Heritage Library (based in the Smithsonian Libraries).
In my time serving on the board of directors of Wikimedia DC, I have worked to support the training and participation of Wikipedia editors from diverse and lesser-represented groups, including women, members of the LGBTQ community, African Americans, Asian Americans and others. I have attended Wikimania 2012, Wikiconference USA 2014, and the Wikimedia Diversity Conference 2016 --events that have given me greater insight into the traditions and culture of Wikipedia, as well as a better acquaintance with the many worthwhile Wikimedia Foundation projects which are kept running by the volunteer efforts of the worldwide community of Wikipedians. I am inspired by the collaborative spirit of Wikimedia DC’s membership and the opportunities that this organization offers to develop more creative approaches to engaging with new and experienced editors. Wikimedia DC has generated increasing enthusiasm among local organizations wishing to partner with it, because they recognize that Wikimedia DC is so open to working with the community to improve the content of various Wikimedia projects. I hope to continue playing an active part in supporting the work of Wikimedia DC, and I thank you for considering my appointment to the board of directors for a second two-year term.