By Phillip Djwa
July 18, 2016
Letter to the Community: Introducing OpenMedia’s new Executive Director
Hi everyone - today brings news that I have been so excited to share with you! As you know, we have been looking for a new Executive Director to fill the large shoes of our founder, Steve Anderson. After a long and fruitful search, where we had over 50 candidates apply, we were very excited to find the perfect fit already part of our family.
As Board Chair, I’m delighted to announce that our very own Laura Tribe has been named OpenMedia’s new Executive Director. We’ve been deeply impressed by Laura’s passion for the work we do, her commitment to a free and open Internet, and her profound belief in the participatory values that make this organization, and this community, so unique and so impactful.
With Laura at the helm, I believe OpenMedia will be well positioned to meet the challenges we’ll face over the years to come and, most importantly of all, to meet the needs of you, our community, without whom nothing that we do would be possible.
Close followers of our work will already be familiar with Laura’s name — she’s been our Digital Rights Specialist for over a year, responsible for leading our privacy campaigns, including our ongoing efforts to repeal Canada’s reckless and irresponsible Bill C-51, and our global campaign to put a stop to invasive Stingray surveillance.
Laura also has a great deal of experience advocating for freedom of expression, having joined OpenMedia from our valued partners at Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE). There are too many highlights from her time at CJFE for me to list here, but if I had to pick one it has to be her pivotal role organizing a live video Q&A with Edward Snowden, to mark the launch of the Snowden Archive, the first fully searchable database of leaked Snowden documents.
These years of experience advocating for our digital freedoms are impressive in their own right, but that’s not all. Having worked with Laura over her time with OpenMedia, I know that she has played a vital role in the growth and evolution of our entire organization, often stepping up to take on the hard tasks and get them done. That’s why I’m so confident in Laura’s ability to lead our team and maximize our huge potential as a community.
Laura is taking over the role from interim ED Alexa Pitoulis, who has done an excellent job over the past 6 months. I also want to pay an enormous tribute to Alexa for everything she has done for us as our interim ED and previously as our Managing Director over the past 2 years. Alexa’s wisdom, passion, expertise — and above all her human-centred approach — have made an invaluable contribution to the team. We simply wouldn’t be where we are today without her. Because the Interim ED role was just for 6 months, Alexa is now moving on from OpenMedia, and she’ll be sharing with you her reflections on her time with us later today.
Finally, I want to thank Alexa, my colleagues on the board, the team, and our founder Steve Anderson, for the role they’ve played over the past 6 months in finding the right ED candidate to lead us forward. Last but far from least, I want to thank the dozens of excellent candidates who put their name forward for the position — it was a highly competitive field.
On behalf of the board and your OpenMedia team, I want to wish Laura all the best in her new role. As a team, we know you have high expectations of us, and we’re conscious each and every day of the importance of the work that we’re doing to ensure an open, affordable, and surveillance-free Internet for all of us.
You’ll be hearing from Laura directly later this week as to the road ahead. But one thing is clear — you, our community, will always be at the heart of everything we do at OpenMedia.
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