Meet the Wikimedia Foundation Community Resources Team!

Wikimedia Foundation’s Community Resources team exists to support the communities around the world with different individual and mission-allied organizational funding opportunities and other resources to ensure that the free knowledge on Wikipedia and its sister projects is always available and accessible to anyone with an internet connection.

Program Officers work to grow the movement’s capacity by coordinating different grant programs in the Community Resources Team. Rapid Grants Program offers quick support for individuals, groups, and organizations under USD 2,000. Project Grants offers comprehensive project support for individuals, groups, and organizations over USD 2,000. Conference Grants Funding and planning support to host local, regional, or thematic Wikimedia conferences. Simple Annual Plan Grants support initial annual planning and operational capacity of movement affiliates and other organizations. Annual Plan Grants funds the annual budgets and mission objectives of mission-allied groups and organizations. We support Wikimedia organizations, including chapters, user groups, and thematic organizations, through grants, and connect them with resources to build their capacities to support Wikimedia communities. 

The Community Resources Team has been steadily growing and we are excited to introduce the Program Officers, Grants Administrators, and Strategists that have been making the waves around different Grant Programs and their strategies!

Kassia Echavarri-Queen

Director of Community Investment

Kassia Echavarri-Queen is the Director of Community Investment and leads the Community Resources Team at the Wikimedia Foundation

With an extensive experience of over eighteen years of international program management experience, Kassia joined the Wikimedia Foundation as the Director of Community Investment leading the Community Resources team. Prior to Wikimedia Foundation, Kassia has worked as the Principal Consultant at Thoughtworks advising both nonprofit and for-profit clients on how to define, structure, and build the organizational and technical capabilities needed to implement modern digital strategies. Kassia began her fieldwork with Médecins Sans Frontières aka Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in 2006 in Sierra Leone, having previously worked in marketing and strategy for technology companies, start-ups, and the Fritz Institute. In the years that followed, Kassia worked extensively in the field in a wide range of projects with MSF and as Country Director in Guatemala, South Sudan, and Syria. She is an elected member of MSF USA’s Board of Directors where she served as Vice President for three years. Salsa dancing is her favorite way to relax and she is an avid foodie. 

Chris Schilling

Senior Program Officer, Rapid Grants

Chris Schilling is a Senior Program Officer leading Rapid grants Programs. He has been working in the Wikimedia Foundation grant programs since 2016. Chris is most interested in increasing the accessibility application process for grants along with supporting participatory processes for decision making on how movement funds are distributed. Since 2006, Chris has also been an editor on English Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons under the username I JethroBT. His editing work is broad, including article creation & improvement, administrative maintenance, and supporting spaces that help new contributors. He has also led some edit-a-thons and workshops for volunteers. Prior to joining the Wikimedia Foundation, Chris studied and taught cognitive psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, with a focus on the mechanisms related to forgetting. Chris has been based in Chicago since 2009. You are likely to find him contra dancing or practicing taiko here in the city, two vibrant folk traditions supported by fantastic communities.

Davit Saroyan

Junior Program Officer

Davit is a Junior Program Officer based in Yerevan, Armenia, supporting the Rapid Grants program. Davit has been volunteering as an editor in Armenia Wikipedia since 2011. Davit comes from a background of research in molecular biology and virology. Prior to joining the Wikimedia Foundation, Davit worked as a Community Program Manager at Wikimedia Armenia for over five years. He has been the Visiting Wikimedian of Wikimedia Deutschland in 2017, supporting the Wikimedia Conference team to organize the Wikimedia Conference 2017 in Berlin. Davit is passionate about calligraphy, ancient languages, symbolism, and science. He likes reading and living with magical realism books with Jorge Luis Borges being his favorite author.

Veronica Thamaini

Senior Program Officer

Veronica is a Senior Program Officer leading the Simple Annual Plan Grants program. She has experience in program management and grant-making in development issues such as education, gender equality, and tech-for-development. She is keen on engaging in programs that focus on the equitable development of communities through sustainable innovations. When she’s not working, Veronica volunteers as the life skills instructor with Akirachix, an organization that builds great female tech talent for Africa and the rest of the world. She enjoys reading a good book, sharing laughter with friends, knitting, and taking nature walks at her current favorite trail at The Nairobi Arboretum.

Rupika Sharma

Junior Program Officer

Based in Chandigarh, India, Rupika is the Junior Program Officer supporting different grant programs and communications strategy for the Community Resources team. Rupika has led initiatives in India and South Asia, across the global South, and internationally for over six years, to amplify marginalized voices and have helped build diverse communities in her native community of India and globally. She has formerly worked with the Strategy department and Communications department of Wikimedia Foundation in various roles. She likes to engage in cross-sectional work amongst international communities and has designed strategies for and led various gender and cultural equity international campaigns. When she is not advocating for open movement, you can find her reading novels, sipping caramel Frappe and enjoying K-Pop and Hispanic music. 

Marti Johnson

Senior Program Officer, Project Grants

Marti Johnson has worked in grantmaking at the Wikimedia Foundation since 2014, supporting community innovation in technology, research and community organizing. She is committed to advancing gender equity and was a lead writer in the 2018 Gender Equity Report. As a grantmaker, she is actively invested in participatory grantmaking as a philanthropic model that centers shared decision making power. She studied and taught Nonviolent Communication from 2015-2020 and brings an empathy-oriented approach to facilitation. Prior to working for the Wikimedia Foundation, her background was in managing collaboratively driven resource conservation projects in California coastal watersheds. She is specialized in coordinating meaningful, productive partnerships among diverse stakeholders and has co-led a private-public alliance awarded as the California’s highest honor for environmental and economic leadership. She became a fan of the Wikimedia movement when she discovered MediaWiki software, which she used extensively to support open communication, innovation and resource-sharing in her conservation work.

Irene Florez

Data Analyst | Architect, Global Data & Insights

Irene works on data analysis projects and data architecture solutions for the Community Resources team. Irene is a native of Bogota, Colombia and she is based in San Francisco, CA. Irene enjoys working on performance measurement, strategy, and streamlining operations. In her free time, she appreciates reading nonfiction, trail running, and salsa dancing.

Janice Tud

Grants Manager, Finance and Accounting

Although Grants Administration has since moved under the Finance and Administration department, as Grants Manager, Janice works closely with the Community Resources team along with Grantees, Program Officers from other grant teams, and the Legal and Accounting teams to process and fund grants. Janice started her journey at the Wikimedia Foundation from the Human Resources team in 2011 as HR Generalist, where she worked on payroll and employee benefits. She moved to join the Community Resources team as Grants Administrator in 2014.  She likes reading, hiking, and traveling.

Mercedes Caso

Senior Program Officer

Mercedes Caso is a Senior Program Officer at the Community Resources team supporting the Project Grants program. She is a grant-making professional with fifteen years of extensive experience working with migrants in the U.S., returning migrants and dreamers, indigenous groups around the globe, and women leadership empowerment. Prior to joining Wikimedia Foundation, Mercedes worked as the Community Partnerships Director at Sacred Fire Foundation, where she managed the Annual Grants Program and designed a grantee collaborative pilot program to promote knowledge sharing, and ultimately, to ensure the continuance of ancestral wisdom in our world. She led the Levantemos México Fund launched by Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna, and Documental Ambulante in response to the Mexico earthquakes of September 2017. She managed a grantee capacity-building program that included communications and self-documentation, and horizontal knowledge exchange with a focus on integral community reconstruction processes. She received her master’s degree in Nonprofit Management from The Milano School of Policy, Management, and Environment in New York, and a bachelor’s degree in Art History from Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. She strongly believes in the value of protecting and promoting cultural diversity and the importance of recognizing Indigenous wisdom as a heritage for humanity. Mercedes loves hugging trees, walking in nature, enjoys music of all types, and could be dancing all day long.

Tanveer Hasan

Senior Program Officer, Annual Plan Grants 

Tanveer is Senior Program Officer leading Annual Plan Grants at the Community Resources Team. Tanveer joined Wikimedia Foundation in 2018 in the Movement Strategy Team. 

Morgan Jue

Grants Administrator, Finance and Accounting

Morgan is a Senior Grants Administrator for the Wikimedia Foundation grants. She joined the Community Resources in 2015 as an intern researching and providing support to the Annual Plan Grants program. Later she transitioned towards the Grants Administration role, primarily in support of Rapid Grants, Simple Annual Plan Grants, and Annual Plan Grants programs. Her role is heavily involved in the grants process and compliance spaces for returning grantees and new applicants in WMF grant-making. 

If you would like to learn more about the Wikimedia Foundation Grants, please refer to the Meta-Wiki page. You can also send us an email at comunityresources@wikimedia.org if you have any questions or comments. 

Rupika Sharma is the Junior Program Officer in the Community Resources team at the Wikimedia Foundation.