Welcoming New Faces to AffCom: Embracing Change and Building Capacity

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The Committee Support Team is thrilled to announce the addition of new members and advisors to the Affiliations Committee (AffCom), marking a pivotal moment in our journey towards fostering a stronger and more dynamic Wikimedia community. This blog post provides insights into the exciting changes, increased advisor engagement, and strategic initiatives that will shape AffCom’s trajectory in the coming year.

New Members and Advisors

The arrival of new members and advisors brings fresh perspectives and increases the diverse expertise of AffCom. Their passion for the Wikimedia movement and commitment to its values align seamlessly with our mission to support and guide affiliates worldwide.

The addition of new members and advisors enriches AffCom’s diversity, bringing together individuals with unique experiences and shared dedication to Wikimedia’s mission.

We’re excited to welcome our new members:

  • Aaryaa Joshi (India), a researcher and Wikipedian focused on culture, tradition, folklore, education, and women’s studies. She has edited across various languages and participated in edit-a-thons and Wiki Indic Oral Culture Project.
  • Agus Damanik (Indonesia), an Indonesian NGO agricultural worker with a passion for history and natural sciences. Active on Indonesian Wikisource and Wikipedia, he aims to increase trust in Wikipedia and foster a welcoming environment.
  • Aleksey (Armenia) an IT and cyber security consultant, Free Software and Free Content enthusiast and amateur photographer. He started editing Wikipedia in 2006, building community and serving as sysop since 2009. He was one of the co-founders of Wikimedia Armenia in 2013 and served as its board member in its early years. He considered Wikosource to be his second home wiki. Occasionally he would apply his coding skills for developing local gadgets, bilinguality for localizing pieces of our software  and passion for photography for organizing photo contests like Wiki Loves Monuments. He is also a board member and  treasurer of Commons Photographers User Group.
  • Delphine (France), embarked on her Wikimedia journey in October 2004, through Firefox crew picks, discovering Wikipedia and later joining Commons. She is an admin on French Wikipedia and Commons, and contribute to Wikinews. As an organizer for Wikimania 2005, 2006, and 2008, I fostered community growth. Joining the Wikimedia Foundation as Chapters Coordinator in 2007, I aided in Chapter committee creation. Serving on AffCom and as Wikimedia France’s treasurer, I advanced organizational sustainability. My tenure with Wikimedia Deutschland and the Funds Dissemination Committee furthered my commitment. Now, having transitioned from the Wikimedia Foundation, I remain dedicated to fostering Wikimedia’s global growth and free knowledge advocacy.
  • Hakan (Turkey), serves as a Wikimedia Steward, an admin for Turkish Wikipedia and Wikidata, and a member of the Board Elections Committee. Hakan is also a founding member of both the Wikimedia User Group Turkey and the Wikimedians of Turkic Languages User Group. Hakan is looking forward to using his technical skills in AffCom as we work towards empowering Wikimedia affiliates worldwide.
  • Harriet Bayel (Ghana), a Wikimedian and photographer, serves as the Executive Director for the Global Open Initiative Foundation and Art and Feminism’s Regional Ambassador. Active on Wikipedia, Wikidata, and Wikimedia Commons, she’s passionate about dispelling misconceptions and building a sustainable movement.
  • Jeanette Nyinawumuntu (Rwanda), Environmentalist and leader of Open Street map Rwanda,  Joined the movement in 2019, participated in organizing wikindaba 2022 in Kigali , led the various projects including the movement strategy in the Africa Great lakes 2021 , currently actively contributing to movement governance conversation across  East and southern Africa. 
  • Jeffrey User:FULBERT (New York) started editing Wikipedia in 2017, after being dared to start editing while attending an academic conference in London. He is a New Page Reviewer and has previously served the Movement as a member of the Universal Code of Conduct Drafting Committee, an ASBS Election Facilitator, a Co-Coordinator of the Capacity Building Working Group, an Integrator and Writer of the final Movement Strategy, and a former member of the Project Grants committee. Jeffrey joined AffCom in 2020.
  • Juan Bautista H. Alegre (Philippines), a veteran Wikipedian with over 15 years of experience, served as President of Wikimedia Philippines and the Philippine Wikimedia Community User Group. He currently leads the Pilipinas Panorama Community and is a Wikimedian Movement Charter Ambassador.
  • Lucas Teles (Brazil), a doctor and Wikimedian since 2007, has held various administrative roles and co-founded the Brazilian user group. Currently a Steward, he’s passionate about supporting new users and joined AffCom to contribute differently to the movement.
  • Maciej Artur Nadzikiewicz (Poland), a Wikimedian since 2019, serves as a Polish Wikipedia sysop, global renamed user, and global rollbacker. He focuses on organizational governance, conflict of interest, and improving communication within the movement.
  • Maor Malul (Venezuela/Israel), a Wikimedian since 2005, has written over 2,000 articles, primarily on Judeo-Spanish Wikipedia. He champions endangered languages through projects like Wayuunaiki Wikipedia and co-founded Wikimedia Venezuela and Wiki Cemeteries User Group.
  • Mari (Armenia), a devoted Wikimedian since 2018, contributes across Armenian Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, and Wikidata. Active in both Wikimedia Armenia and the CEE Youth Group, she joins AffCom to support young Wikimedians and foster collaboration.
  • Mehman Ibragimov (Georgia), an international relations specialist. Wikipedian since 2016, and the home project is Georgian Wikipedia. Admin since 2022. Head of Wikimedia UG Georgia since 2019, member of AffCom since 2020.
  • Suyash Dwivedi (India), an Electronics Engineer and Wikimedian for over a decade. He contributes to Wikimedia Commons through photography and music, chairs the Commons Photographers User Group, and is fluent in over 10 languages.

Enhanced Advisor Engagement

In a significant shift, AffCom is evolving its approach to advisor engagement. Advisors will now play a more integral role in subcommittee workflows, contributing directly to decision-making processes and offering their insights on critical matters. This increased collaboration ensures that the wealth of knowledge within the committee is harnessed effectively.

Strategic Changes and Capacity Development

AffCom’s commitment to the affiliate strategy underscores its dedication to shaping a future where affiliates thrive, supported by strategic changes that align with the movement’s evolving needs. Aligned with the recently revised affiliate strategy, AffCom is set to implement strategic changes that will empower affiliates and enhance their impact. Capacity development initiatives will take center stage, equipping affiliates with the tools and resources needed for sustained growth and success.

As AffCom welcomes new members and advisors, the stage is set for a transformative year ahead. AffCom’s dedication to innovation, collaboration, and strategic vision will undoubtedly provide support and guidance for the affiliates in the Wikimedia movement to then empower their communities. Together, this means building a stronger, more connected community that embodies the spirit of knowledge-sharing and collaboration.

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