June 24, 2021


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Free Software Foundation’s Executive Director Resigns

Free Software Foundation’s Executive Director Resigns

John Sullivan became the Free Software Foundation’s Executive Director back in 2003 (at the age of 26). But now after 18 years, “I’ve decided to resign my position…” he tweeted Friday, “effective at the end of a transition period.”

“We’ll be sharing further details, including information about that transition, and a few more words, in the coming days.”

Meanwhile, the Free Software Foundation announced Thursday that it’s seeking “a principled, compassionate, and capable leader” to be its new executive director, working remotely out of their Boston office with the Foundation’s current staff and board of directors. “The executive director, working with the president, is the public face of the Foundation.”

The FSF faces many challenges as software becomes increasingly central in the exercise of all fundamental human freedoms, including speech, association, privacy, and movement, and as software owners seek to exploit their control over us to profit at the expense of those freedoms. The executive director has a vital role in enabling the FSF to continue meeting these challenges, starting from the strong base that has been built in the last thirty-five years. The Foundation has recently reached record-high membership numbers and was awarded a perfect score from Charity Navigator, as well as its eighth consecutive four-star rating. Efforts to improve the Foundation’s governance are underway.

The executive director is the FSF’s chief employed officer. The position reports to the president/CEO and the board of directors, and is responsible for management of all other staff, all day-to-day operations, and oversight of the Boston physical office. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to hire for additional key positions in the management team.

One interesting item on their list of job responsibilities:

Mentor, inspire, coordinate, and manage all FSF staff, building a culture that upholds the FSF’s ideological principles and includes accountability, empathy, efficiency, and excellence

A blog post on the FSF site also notes that the last month saw 11 new GNU releases. “A number of GNU packages, as well as the GNU operating system as a whole, are looking for maintainers and other assistance: please see https://www.gnu.org/server/takeaction.html#unmaint if you’d like to help.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.