Wikimedia Deutschland gets dual leadership

From August 2022, Franziska Heine and Christian Humborg will lead the non-profit association as joint Executive Directors, with a woman on the association’s Executive Board for the very first time. No other movement combines expertise in free digital software with the expertise needed for an open digital civil society.

  • Lukas Mezger
  • 28. April 2022

The path to an open digital society can only lead via open digital software solutions and open digital infrastructures. Which is why the Supervisory Board of Wikimedia Deutschland e. V. has appointed Franziska Heine to the Executive Board with effect from 1 August 2022. As a result, Wikimedia will introduce dual leadership and a woman as an Executive Director for the first time. Currently, Franziska Heine is Deputy Executive Director and Head of Software Development at Wikimedia Deutschland. The new dual leadership will consolidate the already close connection between open digital technologies and community-based expertise for a digital civil society even further.

“No other civil society organization, and no other social movement unites such a large digital
community with technological innovations in the same way as Wikimedia. With the
voluntary community and the rapidly growing tech expertise, we are unique and also have an
unparalleled opportunity that we understand as our brief from digital civil society,” states
Franziska Heine, designated Executive Director.

“We must understand technology and social practice as a unit – always to be considered and practised together. Only then can we effectively accompany social and political processes in the long term to ensure that they lead to a more open digital civil society,” states Christian Humborg, Executive Director.

“In my view, the decision to introduce dual leadership is very much in line with the wishes of
the communities in the Wikimedia projects. An accessible and attractive software is and will
always be essential for all current and future Wikimedia projects. Introducing dual leadership
lends equal weight to requirements of the community and the resulting software solutions. I
would like to thank Christian Humborg for devising our new governance model and for his
persuasive work to realize it,” states Lukas Mezger, Chair of the Supervisory Board.

New Heads of Department in Software Development

Taking the step towards dual leadership there will also be two new Heads of Department in
Software Development at Wikimedia Deutschland. Starting on 1 May 2022, Raja Gumienny
will assume the new role as Head of Product Development, and Jonathan Fraine will be the
new Head of Engineering from 1 August 2022. These new departmental leadership roles
strengthen the rapidly growing projects Wikibase and Wikidata.