Maryana Iskander was appointed by the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation on September 14, 2021, and takes over from Katherine Maher who served from April 2019 to April 2021.
Maryana Iskander is a globally recognized social entrepreneur and an expert in building cross-sector partnerships that combine innovative technology with community-led solutions to close opportunity gaps.
Citi News‘ Daniel Abugre Anyorigya sets into the Ghanaian Wikimedia Community to elicit their views on the announcement of the new CEO of the foundation.
1. Sandista Tei – Wikimedia Ghana User Group
“What I have to say about the new CEO’s appointment is that she has joined the foundation at a very important time. Wikipedia is 20 years old, and the movement is in the middle of implementing our 2030 movement strategy. The foundation’s relationship with the Wiki Communities is evolving, and it is at a very important place right now.”
“Wikimedia itself within the digital technology ecosystem, its role, influence, contribution and being is still being defined but emphasized. So there’s a lot of good things happening right now and she joining at this time, I will just say that she has a lot of work to do, and she has come at a good time but then also at an important time. All I can say is that she is welcome.”
2. Sadik Shahadu – Dagbani Wikimedia Group
“The appointment of Maryana Iskander as the new CEO is a great thing and wonderful news to hear. It is very important to have more voices in the Wikimedia movement, as we have always wanted to. Now, having women leaders taking leadership positions is a great thing. I feel it is a wonderful idea to have her, as our new CEO because we had a previous CEO who was also a woman.”
“To me, her appointment will mean there is going to be more talk around bridging the gender gap on Wikipedia and also helping more women to contribute to Wikipedia. In the next few years, I think the movement is going to grow from having less representation from women to like a fairly balanced representation. I think her leadership is going to empower young people because of her work in the social service sector and because of her background in working with other young people in creating job opportunities for young people in Africa. I want to see more representation from Africa working directly or indirectly for the foundation. I think her leadership will connect our work with more social enterprise entities. Also, I hope her leadership is going to help the foundation to be able to support more contributors or communities from Africa.”
“For the local language Wikimedia communities, I anticipate that her leadership is going to empower us more. I believe her leadership will help solve some of the basic challenges we face as smaller communities, like platform support. Some of the tools and software on Wikimedia projects do not directly include local language Wikipedians, we believe that her leadership is going to help us grow in that regard. I also think that her leadership is going to help empower our community members; there’s going to be a lot of opportunities for indigenous or marginalized communities to contribute to Wikipedia projects.”
3. Joy Agyepong – Wiki Hour Initiative
“Stepping in as the new CEO plays a vital role, looking at how the Wikimedia Foundation sets its goal of ensuring participation, expanding access, and also eliminating threats in relation to misinformation. When I talk about access, it means that making the sum of all knowledge free and accessible to everyone. It plays a very pivotal role for the foundation, and she coming in means a lot in that direction.”
“For the part of her skill, I see her as someone who fits perfectly in this role because looking at where she started from and where she ended, there are some expectations that were set out in terms of the Wikimedia 2030.”