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New FSF Procedures Let Its 5,000 'Associate Members' Nominate New Board Members

Saturday January 22, 2022. 07:34 PM , from Slashdot
This week the Free Software Foundation's board announced that for the first time in the organization's 37-year-history, its 5,000-plus associate members will now be able to nominate and evaluate candidates for its board of directors.

Under new procedures adopted by the FSF board on January 17 and summarized here, the organization will proactively engage associate members with a sufficient history of association with the FSF in the recruiting process by inviting them to suggest board nominees and then research collectively those nominees' suitability for a position on the board, including most importantly their record of commitment to free software ideals.... Following the new procedures, voting members (which include all current directors and are listed here) can start a process to recruit new directors, or a modified process to reconsider existing directors...

The FSF intends to first add several new directors in 2022, utilizing these new procedures, and then begin a review of existing directors. The FSF staff and board have made this expanded engagement process a high priority and are working together to put in place the necessary infrastructure to support it, with a target to activate it within the first quarter of 2022... Voting members will review the community's nominations.

A nominee may be removed from consideration if at least two voting members vote to do so without opposition from other voting members. The voting members will discuss the candidates and decide which should move forward in the process next. The FSF's associate members will then review each nominee's application, then evaluate and comment on those nominees in a private, staff-moderated discussion forum. Voting members will review this input and privately interview the finalists to assess their candidacy, ideals, and commitment to free software, then vote on their appointment....

The process is designed such that new iterations for both recruiting new directors and reviewing existing directors can be run whenever the need arises in the future.
'Opening the director recruitment process to our associate members is a historic and welcome milestone for the FSF,' said FSF president Geoffrey Knauth. 'We are pleased to engage the free software community in attracting new talent to our leadership who will keep the freedoms.... We have worked hard to strengthen governance standards at the FSF and to create a transparent leadership recruitment process. We look forward to tackling new challenges and opportunities this year.'

The FSF's announcement calls the new 'community engagement process' a 'key result of a six-month consultant-led review designed to help make FSF governance and recruitment practices more transparent and participatory, while more systematically ensuring their commitment to the FSF's values and principles.'

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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