at Wikimedia Foundation
San Francisco, CA
The Wikimedia Foundation is looking for a passionate and collaborative General Counsel to join our executive team in San Francisco. As a member of the team General Counsel will help us all think and act in service of the legal future of our projects and the Foundation. We’re looking for a candidate who is mission driven, transparent by default, and has a global focus. A candidate who can deepen our legal department’s tradition of finding innovative and collaborative approaches to its work that upholds and advances the Wikimedia movement’s values.
•Work with the executive team to think and act in service of the future of our projects (e.g. How will we sustain free knowledge over the next decade? What is the role of an innovative legal department in that future? Which partnerships will we need to pull it off? How will we engage a community of nearly a hundred thousand strong to make it a reality?).
•Advise the Board of Trustees and Executive Director and legal matters and help develop practices and policies.
◦Keep Foundation leadership current on legal and policy developments throughout the world that may affect Wikimedia and recommend a path forward.
◦Advise on legal risks and recommend mitigation strategies.
•Serve as Secretary to the Foundation’s Board of Trustees.
◦Provide legal advice and support the Board of Trustees.
◦Support board governance and compliance with applicable laws, Wikimedia bylaws, and Wikimedia policies.
◦Maintain Board of Trustee records and review meeting minutes.
•Develop a strong, diverse legal team guided by a clear vision.
◦Set the vision / direction for a team of over a dozen lawyers, paralegals, and fellows.
◦Clarify or delegate the planning to make it happen: the roles, the responsibilities, the budget.
◦Build a pipeline of successors.
•Counsel and mentor the legal team across a broad range of subject areas and jurisdictions.
◦Direct the Foundation’s defensive litigation around the world and pursue claims against others when appropriate.
◦Set the direction for the Foundation’s public policy activities, which may include supporting or opposing legal change, partnering with other stakeholders, filing amicus briefs and interventions, and initiating proactive litigation.
◦Ensure Foundation-created software and publications embody movement values by using and complying with free copyright licenses.
◦Ensure the Foundation’s compliance with applicable laws and regulations, including employment law, intellectual property law, and privacy law.
◦Support other departments in negotiating and drafting the Foundation’s contracts, grant agreements, and other commercial transactions.
◦Continue the Foundation’s stewardship and global protection of the Wikimedia trademarks.
•Engage the international Wikimedia communities every step of the way
◦Consult the Wikimedia communities on strategy and decisions.
◦Act as the public face of the Foundation’s legal department, to the Wikimedia community as well as the general public.
◦Support and meet with Wikimedia movement organizations and individual users to resolve issues, maintain Foundation relationships, and promote Wikimedia movement values.
•Candidate has mastered the role of GC or senior in-house legal leader (10+ years experience practicing law), has a fluid understanding across multiple areas of domestic and international law, including litigation, intellectual property, privacy, and free expression.
•Candidate must already understand or quickly grasp free culture / free software / open source principles and values.
•Candidate must, at the time of hire and throughout their employment as General Counsel, be authorized to practice law in California, either as a member in good standing of the State Bar of California or as a registered in-house counsel with the State Bar of California.
•Candidate demonstrates knowledge and understanding of cultures beyond the United States, and the ability to work with an international, multicultural focus.
•Strong history of community service, and experience with volunteer, mission-driven or open culture organizations.
•Candidate must be fluent in English and have excellent written and oral communication skills.
•Experience working with online communities, particularly as part of the free culture movement.
•Experience managing legal departments at global technology or Internet companies.
•Experience leading successful advocacy or public policy functions.
•Experience with nonprofit governance, nonprofit law, and supporting boards of directors.
•Fluency in languages other than English.
•Experience with FLOSS.
•Passion for or experience contributing to Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects.
About the Wikimedia Foundation
The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization that supports and hosts Wikipedia and its sister free knowledge sites. Wikipedia consists of nearly 40 million articles across hundreds of languages. Every month, more than 80,000 volunteer editors contribute to Wikipedia. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is an audited, 501(c)(3) non-profit that is funded primarily through donations and grants. It currently employs over 240 staff members.
At the Foundation, we build technology to help people everywhere access Wikipedia, across devices and in nearly 300 languages. We engineer privacy for our readers and editors so they can safely and securely explore Wikipedia. We create programs and initiatives to make Wikipedia freely available to more people in more parts of the world. We build new tools for the community of editors so they can continue to improve and grow Wikipedia. Roughly a quarter of our budget goes to supporting the community that make the site possible, including through grantmaking programs that enable volunteers and enrich the information on the sites.
The Wikimedia Foundation is an equal opportunity employer, and we encourage people with a diverse range of backgrounds to apply.
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, massages, cooking classes 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
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