Reports to: CEO
Location: Remote within the United States (willing to relocate to US as needed)

About the Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation is a nonprofit organization that provides the essential infrastructure for free knowledge globally. We operate the world's most collaborative projects (including Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons & various other projects that are part of our multilingual, free-content Wikimedia family). We welcome anyone who shares our vision to join us in collecting and sharing knowledge that fully represents human diversity.

The Wikimedia Foundation has more than doubled in size in the last few years and has an operating budget of over $150 million. Currently, a talented and passionate team of 550+ (60% building technology and products) is based in 57 countries across the globe.

Today more than 500,000 volunteer editors contribute to Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects every month. They have written, edited, and patrolled 55 million Wikipedia articles in over 300 languages. The Wikimedia Foundation works in tandem with a vast affiliate network of (140+) chapters, thematic organizations, and user groups. In a given month more than 1.5 billion unique devices seek free educational resources from across the globe.

Wikipedia, the worldʼs largest free online encyclopedia, celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2021, and in an ever-evolving web, has remained a beacon of stability and knowledge. It has been called “the Last Best Place on the Internet”. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Wikipedia saw record-breaking increases in daily traffic with a growing community of medical professionals contributing knowledge about COVID-19 to the platform. Over 1 million edits in 188 languages in the open are keeping humanity informed with vital, verifiable information about the pandemic.

The opportunity

The Wikimedia Foundation is hiring a creative, collaborative, forward-thinking Chief Technology Officer (CTO), strongly committed to the principles of free knowledge, open source, open data, independence, transparency and privacy. As the CTO, you will lead a remote-first, globally distributed department of 140+ individuals, responsible for the development and execution of the technical platform strategy, in close collaboration and partnership with the Foundation’s Product department and our global communities of volunteer editors, developers, researchers, users and Wikimedia affiliates.  You will support the technology leadership team across diverse areas of specialization, including software engineering, site reliability engineering, engineering productivity, technical engagement, research, security, machine learning, and data science and engineering.

We operate one of the world’s top trafficked websites with global reach and impact, which is there for people when they need it. We do this by developing open source wiki software that is uniquely scalable and tailored to a global audience, and by maintaining an infrastructure serving hundreds of thousands of requests per second without compromising on principles that are important to our movement. We publicly share data under free licenses that enables humans and machines to develop technologies and insights in the form of search engines, automatic translation systems, election forecasting and beyond. We build platforms and provide real-time access to data that enable our technical communities to thrive, contribute and maintain code for critical workflows in our projects. We design and test new technologies, produce empirical insights to support new programs and publish our learnings in the open.

You will be responsible for:

  • Building a high-performant, effective team and organizational structure. Recruiting, mentoring and coaching current and future leaders. Cultivate a strongly collaborative and inclusive culture of trust, excellence and empowerment. 
  • Working closely with the Foundation’s executive team as well as with the Product department to deliver software together acting and thinking in service of the future of the Wikimedia vision, projects, contributors, and readers.
  • Developing a long-term vision and roadmap for the Technology department that supports the overall organizational and Product Platform  strategy and the 2030 strategic direction. In collaboration with key stakeholders, produce integrated and forward-looking approaches to internet presence and technical community growth, site reliability, innovation and technological advancement, and software and systems development.
  • Growing a diverse, global community of volunteer open source technical contributors across all aspects of the Wikimedia technical ecosystem.
  • Advancing a first-class platform developer experience for all technical contributors and downstream consumers, volunteers and staff.
  • Acting as a spokesperson for the Wikimedia movement’s unique, collaborative technology model and the work of the technology team within the press, and at conferences and other events. 

Skills and experiences

  • 7+ years in strategic- and executive-level technical and operational leadership.
  • Strong leadership and management track record with both a significant operating budget ($30M+) as well as globally dispersed staff (150+) and programs.
  • Proven track record in recruiting, building, inspiring and mentoring high-performing, diverse, global technology leadership teams.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills in English, including the ability to communicate complex technical issues to cross-team and cross-functional audiences.
  • A track record of leading in a multicultural, globally distributed environment and outside of just the North American context.
  • Deep understanding of technology's vital role in enabling both mission and execution, especially as it relates to scale, products and emerging technologies.

Qualities that are important to us:

  • Commitment to the movement’s mission, our values and guiding principles.
  • Good at asynchronous communication and decision making in a highly consensus-based environment.
  • Ability to lead and influence with empathy and humility.
  • Ability to navigate and lead through complexity.
  • Ability to collaborate cross-functionally to make decisions and communicate them effectively in a highly complex environment with numerous stakeholders and tradeoffs to be considered.
  • Empathy towards and commitment to work with the Wikimedia affiliates and volunteer communities.
  • Curiosity, critical thinking skills; a lifelong learner who sees situations through multiple lenses.

Additionally we would love it if you have:

  • Knowledge of the Wikimedia ecosystem and the working of the projects and/or experience with volunteer communities.
  • Experience directly contributing to, founding or shepherding a global open source project.
  • Experience working in a mission-driven organization.
  • Experience as a spokesperson and thought leader on topics related to technology and the open Internet.

About the Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation is the nonprofit organization that 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 freely. We host Wikipedia and 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 donations 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.

As an equal opportunity employer, the Wikimedia Foundation values having a diverse workforce and continuously strives to maintain an inclusive and equitable workplace. We encourage people with a diverse range of backgrounds to apply. We do not discriminate against any person based upon their race, traits historically associated with race, religion, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy or related medical conditions, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, genetic information, or any other legally protected characteristics.

If you are a qualified applicant requiring assistance or an accommodation to complete any step of the application process due to a disability, you may contact us at recruiting@wikimedia.org or (415) 839-6885.

U.S. Benefits & Perks*

  • Health Care Benefits Covered at 100%: We cover 100% of premiums for medical, dental and vision plans for all full time employees and eligible dependents
  • Wellness Reimbursement Program: Up to 1,800.00 USD per year for reimbursement for staff wellness expenses, such as gym fees, educational expenses, and more
  • Technology and Equipment Stipend: In addition to receiving a brand new laptop, monitor, & docking station, all new hires receive 600.00 USD stipend to set up their space for working virtually 
  • Professional Development Program: Up to 750.00 USD reimbursement per year to encourage continuous learning through attending conferences, courses, workshops and the purchase of educational materials 
  • 401(k) Retirement Plan: Employer match of up to 4% of employee contributions dollar for dollar with no vesting period
  • Paid Time Off: Generous paid time off policy of over 45 days, which includes: vacation days, at least one observed holiday a month, sick leave, and volunteer days
  • Flexible Schedules: Options available to balance your personal and remote-work life
  • Silent Fridays: No scheduled meetings so you can get caught up at the end of each week
  • New Parent Leave: Fully paid new parent leave for seven weeks plus an additional five weeks for pregnancy, and flexible options as you embark on your return to work
  • Fertility and Adoption Reimbursement Plan: Reimburses staff up to 5,000.00 USD in expenses per year, with a lifetime maximum of 10,000.00 USD
  • Assistance for those unexpected life events: Long and short term disability, life insurance, and an employee assistance program
  • Pre-tax Savings Plans: Generously funded health savings accounts (HSAs), pre-tax contribution options for health care, child care & elder care, public transportation and parking expenses

*Please note that for remote roles located outside of the U.S., we defer to our PEO to ensure alignment with local labor laws.

More information

Wikimedia Foundation
Applicant Privacy Policy
News from across the Wikimedia movement
Wikimedia 2030
Our Commitment to Equity
This is Wikimedia Foundation 
Facts Matter
Our Projects
Our Tech Stack

 

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