Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. That’s what we’re doing. The Wikimedia Foundation is excited to announce the search for a Chief of Community Engagement. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Chief of Community Engagement will lead the organization’s efforts to empower and expand the global Wikimedia movement.

What is Wikimedia?

Wikimedia is the world’s fifth most popular digital platform, used in everything from secondary education to advanced computational research. Each month, around a billion people visit the Wikimedia sites, to learn about topics ranging from classical music to Bollywood stars to quantum mechanics. While Wikipedia is the largest and best-known of the Wikimedia projects, it is only one part of our work. Other widely-used projects include Wikimedia Commons, which contains more than 40 million free media files, and Wikidata, an open structured and linked data repository with nearly 50 million items. We are also the primary developer of MediaWiki, a free and open source collaborative software platform. Wikimedia is: 

  • Nearly 300 languages;
  • Written by 200,000 monthly contributors;
  • Visited around 6,000 times each second;
  • By more than one billion devices every month.

Who is the Wikimedia community?

The Wikimedia community are volunteers who advance the Wikimedia vision of a world in which every single human can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. Their efforts include:

  • Contributing and curating content on Wikipedia or other Wikimedia projects.
  • Contributing to building and maintaining free and open source software.
  • Organizing public and community-facing outreach and learning events.
  • Raising awareness for free knowledge and Wikimedia to institutions and governments.

Every month, more than 200,000 people contribute to Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects, joining the millions of people who have contributed over our 17-year history. In 2017, Wikimedia volunteers organized more than 1,000 outreach events, volunteer activities, and conferences, in more than 50 countries, and worked with partners from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City to the National Chengchi University in Taiwan. They do this work in nearly 300 languages, from every corner of the globe.

What does community engagement do?

Wikimedia is a global movement of people who passionately care for the creation and dissemination of knowledge. The Wikimedia Foundation supports these creators, curators, and communities in a variety of ways:

  • We provide tools, training, leadership development, and peer connection to those individuals in our community who drive projects and innovative ideas.
  • We foster and encourage programs that grow contributors and content, particularly in underserved regions, languages, and topic areas.
  • We support individuals and groups through direct collaboration and grants.
  • We work with like-minded institutional partners in the areas of education, culture, STEM, and digital policy.
  • We work with individuals and groups to identify and resolve challenges and to promote healthy and diverse community development.

About the role

The Chief of Community Engagement is a high-profile strategic role: a diplomat, ambassador, and servant leader who understands the global, multicultural nature of Wikimedia. They are responsible for mobilizing communities and partners, evangelizing participation in the Wikimedia vision, and growing the numbers and types of participants and institutions within the Wikimedia movement.

They will utilize the Wikimedia 2030 strategic direction to build a strategy for Wikimedia community engagement, with clear metrics for community growth, health, diversity, values, and program outcomes.

This will include:

  • Growing the size and diversity of our contributor communities.
  • Driving transformational culture change to overcome legacy limitations.
  • Evolving existing governance, leadership, and resource programs and structures.
  • Extending our presence in new regions in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.
  • Expanding our work with cultural, government, academic, and other institutions.
  • Integrating with our product and technology research and development priorities.
  • Seeking and seizing new opportunities for partnership and growth.
  • Building a high-performing department with equitable systems and culture.

Key responsibilities

Strategic leadership

  • Work with the Foundation’s executive team and leadership to think and act in service of the future of the Wikimedia vision, projects, contributors, and readers.
  • Support community partners to develop a movement-wide theory of change based on the Wikimedia 2030 strategic direction; develop and effect a complementary strategy for the Foundation’s community engagement efforts, leveraging the Foundation’s unique position and strengths.
  • Develop and effect a global community growth strategy: increase and diversify community participation, improve contributor health and retention, expand geographic reach, and deepen relevant sectoral and institutional partnerships.
  • Reimagine and evolve existing governance, leadership, and resource programs and structures as drivers of transformative community outcomes.
  • Act as a critical partner to the technology and product departments to build integrated and comprehensive roadmaps to support Wikimedia contributors and users.
  • Serve as a compelling advocate for the Wikimedia movement, Foundation, and values to users, contributors, donors, and partners.

Operational management and team leadership

  • Share a clear vision to lead and support a strong, diverse 45+ person department.
  • Deliver measurable value to communities and movement organizations at global scale by managing competing priorities, complex stakeholder relationships, and finite resources
  • Build strong and effective teams, a sustainable system and culture for team members’ continued professional growth and advancement across a broad range of disciplines (e.g., community management, grantmaking, program development and evaluation).
  • Recruit, mentor, and manage exceptional and diverse talent.

External engagement and advocacy

  • Actively build and strengthen relationships with the Wikimedia community and affiliated organizations to understand their needs and motivations, and advance the Wikimedia vision.
  • Act as ambassador and diplomat by attending and engaging with stakeholders at global Wikimedia and other relevant events, conferences, and gatherings.
  • Recognize, follow and promote movement values in all areas of work, especially around openness, transparency and respect for community.
  • Identify and grow partnerships that support our movement’s aspirations.
  • Oversee the work of department leaders including annual planning, budgeting, recruiting, definition of roles and responsibilities.
  • Build effective partnerships with other C-levels and departments.


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent education and experience.
  • 12+ years’ work experience in progressively responsible and strategic-level roles, including experience in community organizing/community management.
  • Experience living or working in more than one country, or extensive experience working with international communities.
  • Willingandabletravelinternationallyaswellas to San Francisco (if not based there) at a regular cadence, including weekends from time to time.

Required competencies and experience

  • Advanced strategic planning skills, specifically experience developing a vision and tactical strategy at departmental and organizational levels.
  • Professional leadership of mobilizing an extensive network of volunteers or campaigns, or advocacy in the nonprofit sectors.
  • Proven capacity to plan, resource, and execute on volunteer acquisition and global market expansion campaigns.
  • Experience in building and sustaining relationships with partner organizations that involve volunteer communities.
  • Experience leading complex, multi-disciplinary teams, developing diverse talent pipelines, managing large budgets, and creating systems for creative and sustainable workflows.
  • Significant experience navigating complex international organizations, movements, or networks.
  • Comfort with social and collaborative technologies.
  • Experience and comfort in a highly collaborative, transparent environment.
  • A track record of building consensus among large, dispersed stakeholder groups.
  • Exceptional and effective communication skills for diverse settings and audiences.
  • Informed cultural sensitivities, intellectual curiosity, and a deep passion for the Wikimedia mission.
  • Ability to work flexible hours, weekends, and travel internationally as needed.

Preferred attributes

  • Globally minded: Multicultural (language, culture, values and lifestyle); fluency in additional languages to English highly preferred.
  • Personal style: Brave, non-conflict averse, comfortable with ambiguity, willing to give and receive constructive feedback.
  • High emotional intelligence: evidenced by humility, tact, compassion, high levels of integrity, conflict resolution, negotiation, good listening and mediation skills.
  • Alignment: Passion for, and experience contributing to, Wikipedia or other Wikimedia projects.Tech savvy: Experience working in the tech sector or with a technology-focused nonprofit. Understanding of and commitment to free culture, free software, open source principles and commitment to using open/free solutions where appropriate.
  • External engagement: Experience with communication to large internal and external groups; including regular online and written communications as well as public speaking. Active social networks use and presence.
  • Team leadership: Effective departmental team leadership and facilitation with strong collaboration skills. Ability to represent the needs and concerns of the department and the larger community, in a number of settings, both with internal and external stakeholders.

The Wikimedia Foundation is…

…the nonprofit organization that owns and operates Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia free knowledge projects. Our vision is a world in which every single human can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. We believe that everyone has the potential to contribute something to our shared knowledge, and that everyone should be able to access that knowledge, free of interference. We host the Wikimedia projects, build software experiences for reading, contributing, and sharing Wikimedia content, support the volunteer communities and partners who make Wikimedia possible, and advocate for policies that enable Wikimedia and free knowledge to thrive. The Wikimedia Foundation is a charitable, not-for-profit organization that relies on donations. We receive financial support from millions of individuals around the world, with an average donation of about $15. We also receive donations through institutional grants and gifts. The Wikimedia Foundation is a United States 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with offices in San Francisco, California, USA.

Benefits & Perks *

  • Fully paid medical, dental and vision coverage for employees and their eligible families (yes, fully paid premiums!)
  • The Wellness Program provides reimbursement for mind, body and soul activities such as fitness memberships, baby sitting, continuing education and much more
  • The 401(k) retirement plan offers matched contributions at 4% of annual salary
  • Flexible and generous time off – vacation, sick and volunteer days, plus 19 paid holidays – including the last week of the year.
  • Family friendly! 100% paid new parent leave for seven weeks plus an additional five weeks for pregnancy, flexible options to phase back in after leave, fully equipped lactation room.
  • For those emergency moments – long and short term disability, life insurance (2x salary) and an employee assistance program
  • Pre-tax savings plans for health care, child care, elder care, public transportation and parking expenses
  • Telecommuting and flexible work schedules available
  • Appropriate fuel for thinking and coding (aka, a pantry full of treats) and monthly massages to help staff relax
  • Great colleagues – diverse staff and contractors speaking dozens of languages from around the world, fantastic intellectual discourse, mission-driven and intensely passionate people

* for benefits eligible staff, benefits may vary by location

The Wikimedia Foundation is an equal opportunity employer, and we encourage people with a diverse range of backgrounds to apply.

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