The board of trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation is now whole, as its final open seat was filled by Indian journalist, filmmaker, and nonprofit leader Bishakha Datta.
The nonprofit organization behind Wikipedia will benefit from Datta’s two decades of experience as a nonprofit practitioner, journalist, and filmmaker, mainly in India, as well as from her work with organizations around the world including in Kenya, Uganda, the United States, Denmark, and the United Kingdom.
Datta runs Mumbai-based nonprofit Point of View, which promotes women’s perspectives through media, art, and culture, and she is one of the seeders of the Public Access Digital Media Archive, which was founded in 2008 by Indian and German nonprofits and collectives.
The other nine members of the Wikimedia Foundation board of trustees are Michael Snow, Jan-Bart de Vreede, Stuart West, Kat Walsh, Ting Chen, Matt Halprin, Samuel Klein, Arne Klempert, and Wikipedia and Wikimedia Foundation founder Jimmy Wales.
Snow, chair of the board, said:
India is projected to have 192 million Internet users by 2015, and we believe there is enormous potential for Wikipedia to serve all of those people, whether in English or their native languages. Bishakha has tremendous experience supporting nonprofit organizations around the world, particularly in India. As a documentary-maker and writer, Bishakha also has a strong commitment to the values Wikipedia shares with quality journalism: the importance of neutrality, freedom from censorship, and editorial independence. I think she’ll be a terrific addition to our board, and I’m delighted to have her join us.
Wikipedia is groundbreaking in so many ways. It’s an encyclopedia collaboratively created by hundreds of thousands of volunteers around the world, and it has become a primary point of reference. It’s a free knowledge resource not just in English, but in so many of the languages we speak every day, and it’s a hybrid editing model where we both produce and consume reliable, authoritative, and credible information. By reversing many known wisdoms, Wikipedia has given us a new paradigm for the creation of knowledge. I am truly excited to be a part of it.