The Wikimedia Endowment is excited to add two new members to its Board of Directors with the appointment of Alex Farman-Farmaian and Lisa Lewin. These new At-Large Directors will bring financial and governance expertise that is critically important at this moment in the Endowment’s maturation.
Alex Farman-Farmaian has been a Wikimedia donor for more than a decade and is passionate about Wikimedia’s vision of bringing free knowledge to all the world’s people. Since 2006, Alex has been Vice Chairman, Partner, and Portfolio Manager at Edgewood Management. Prior to Edgewood, he was a senior member of the Portfolio Management team at W.P. Stewart & Co., chairing the Investment Oversight Committee. Alex will bring his finance and investment expertise to the Wikimedia Endowment as a member of the Finance Committee.
“I see Wikipedia as an essential resource that’s almost taken for granted, like the air we breathe. As a long-time supporter, I’m excited to be part of the Board that is helping ensure this neutral and reliable resource is protected,” Alex said.
Lisa Lewin served on the Board of the Wikimedia Foundation from January 2019 through to September 2021. She is CEO of General Assembly, which has built transparent career pathways for over one million people and diverse talent pipelines for hundreds of the world’s leading employers. She brings to the Endowment Board a deep knowledge of the Wikimedia movement as well as 25 years of experience leading and advising private, public, and nonprofit sector organizations. Lisa will serve on the Governance Committee, helping to ensure the Board is governed efficiently and effectively.
Lisa said of her appointment, “I care deeply about the Wikimedia ecosystem and am committed to ensuring its sustainability. This is the endowment’s singular focus, and it is mine as well.”
After five years of service, Niels Christian Nielsen has stepped down from the Endowment Board. “We are tremendously grateful to Niels for the time and expertise he contributed during the Endowment’s earliest days. The fact that we met – and even surpassed – our expected timeline for the Endowment’s maturation into a 501(c)(3) is a testament to his service,” said Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia and Chair of the Board of the Wikimedia Endowment.
These changes bring the Endowment Board to nine members, including two Community Directors, providing expertise and perspective from the global Wikimedia community, alongside seven Directors who provide expertise in finance, governance, philanthropy, fundraising, business, education, and technology. Newly elected Board members are appointed for three years and may serve up to three terms. A full Board roster can be found on the Wikimedia Endowment website.
Launched in 2016 to support the future of Wikimedia projects, the Wikimedia Endowment is a permanent fund that supports Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects in times of uncertainty and enables long-term investments to support their growth. In 2021, the Wikimedia Endowment reached its initial $100 million fundraising goal. To support the development of the Endowment in its next chapter, the Endowment was established as an independent 501(c)(3) organization in 2022.
Endowment Board members are selected based on active involvement in philanthropic endeavors, prior nonprofit board experience, fundraising and investment expertise, and a strong commitment to the Wikimedia Foundation’s mission. They serve as volunteers.
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