The Wikimedia Foundation welcomes two community-and affiliate-selected trustees

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The Wikimedia Foundation is pleased to welcome two community-and-affiliate-selected trustees from the 2022 election cycle: Mike Peel, who will be joining the Wikimedia Foundation Board for the first time, and Shani Evenstein Sigalov, who will continue her tenure into a second term. The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees is a volunteer group of movement members and external experts that guides the work of the Wikimedia Foundation.

“On behalf of the Board, I would like to express our thanks to the nearly 6,000 Wikimedia contributors and affiliate members, developers and staff, who cast their vote in this year’s selection process, and to the Board Selection Task Force and the Elections Committee for supporting the process. We look forward to benefiting from Shani and Mike’s decades of combined experience in the Wikimedia movement as they help guide the Foundation towards reaching its strategic goals during their three-year terms.”

Nataliia Tymkiv, Chair of the Board

About Mike 

“I want to bring my Wikimedia and lived experience to the WMF board at a time of change, as we redefine how we organise the movement through the movement strategy and Global Council, and to significantly improve how the WMF and the community interact and support each other.”

A volunteer editor since 2005, Mike Peel has been involved in many facets of the Wikimedia movement. He is an administrator on Wikidata, Wikimedia Commons, and the English Wikipedia. He co-founded Wikimedia UK and served as a trustee there for five years. He is also a member of Wiki Movimento Brasil and Wikimedia España. He served on the Wikimedia Foundation’s Funds Dissemination Committee for four years, and for the last year he was a member of a Northern and Western Europe Regional Grants Committee.

Mike earned his PhD in radio astronomy at the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics in England before relocating to the Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil in 2016 to work on a new telescope, BINGO. His work then landed him at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias in the Canary Islands, where he took part in the GroundBIRD and QUIJOTE experiments. Throughout his global professional experience, Mike has regularly worked with scientists and students from all backgrounds. He has supported multilingual knowledge creation through Wikidata, where he developed the multilingual Wikidata infobox that is now used in over four million Commons categories. Mike hopes to bring these perspectives to his work as a trustee to help Wikimedia grow in regions where it has historically been undersupported. 

Mike’s first committee assignments will be as a member of the Community Affairs Committee and an alternate to the Audit and Product & Technology Committees.

About Shani 

“It is an honor and a privilege to continue serving the Wikimedia Foundation and supporting the Wikimedia Movement that I believe in so much. In a world of uncertainty, fake news, and post-truth, our mission of access to reliable information and the basic right for education to every human on the planet in their language, is more relevant than ever. I look forward to this second term, in which I hope to see us evolve technologically, mature further, and advance toward reaching our strategic goals.”

Shani Evenstein Sigalov is an educator, researcher and free knowledge advocate, focusing on bridging gender, language and social gaps in free knowledge projects. Shani is currently finishing her PhD at the Technology & Learning Program, School of Education, Tel Aviv University, with her research focusing on the Semantic Web as a learning platform, specifically on Wikidata as a case study. As part of her work at Tel Aviv University, she served as an EdTech Innovation Strategist at the School of Medicine for a decade, and since 2013 has been a lecturer in various courses on campus, designing and leading academic courses focusing on Wikimedia projects. In 2013 she opened the first for-credit course in the world focusing on medical content on Wikimedia projects, with her students contributing over 13% of Hebrew Wikipedia’s medical content. In 2015 she opened a second academic course focusing on using Wikipedia as a platform to gain skills and have social impact, which is available to all undergraduates at TAU, and in 2018 she opened the first academic course in the world to feature Wikidata. Shani is an Azrieli Foundation PhD Research Fellow, and also serves as a Visiting Researcher at Digital Humanities Research Hub, School of Advanced Study, University of London. Besides contributing to Wikimedia projects, Shani serves as Chief Editor and Chairperson for Project Ben-Yehuda, a free online library of Hebrew writings.

Shani is entering her second term as a Wikimedia Foundation trustee and serves as a Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees. During her first term, she founded and served as the Chair of the Community Affairs Committee – a Board committee designed to strengthen the relationship between the Wikimedia Foundation and the Wikimedia communities in working toward the joint mission and vision of the Wikimedia movement. She is also an active member of the Product & Technology Committee since its inception, the Governance Committee, and also serves as Board  Liaison to the Affiliations Committee and the Movement Charter Drafting Committee. Prior to joining the Board of Trustees, Shani served as the Chairperson for both Wikimedia Medicine and Wikipedia & Education User Group. She is also a founding member of the Wikipedia & Libraries User Group, and a former board member of Wikimedia Israel.

Mike and Shani will sit on the 12-member Board of Trustees that provides guidance and oversight to the Wikimedia Foundation. Their terms will run until 2025. The next Wikimedia Foundation Board election will take place in 2024.

Want to know more about the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees? Check out this short informational video or visit the Board’s page on Meta-Wiki.

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