Wikipedia group appoints CEO of South African non-profit as new boss

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
 Maryana Iskander. Photo: Wikipedia
Maryana Iskander. Photo: Wikipedia

Planned Parenthood veteran Maryana Iskander will become the new chief executive officer of the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit behind the free online encyclopedia Wikipedia, part of a bid to reach a wider audience. 

In charge of funding one of the world’s most visited websites, Wikimedia has 500 employees around the world and an annual budget of more than $100 million. However, its push into non-English languages has been mixed, and in 2017 it began an effort to increase the diversity of contributors. 

The Cairo-born Iskander was previously as the operating chief of Planned Parenthood, a nonprofit reproductive health-care provider.

She most recently served as the CEO of the South African Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator. The nonprofit works to find regional solutions to unemployment and now provides learning and earning opportunities to 1.5 million young people. 

The majority of Wikipedia’s language editions have only a handful of editors, while fewer than 20% of editors identify as women and its readers are overwhelming male. And a report from Wikimedia into its Croatian arm concluded it was “dominated by ideologically driven users.” 

Iskander replaces former CEO Katherine Maher, who stepped down from the position in April. She will formally begin on 5 January.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
14.76
+0.6%
Rand - Pound
20.18
+0.5%
Rand - Euro
17.30
+0.6%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.70
+0.3%
Rand - Yen
0.13
+1.0%
Gold
1,776.10
+0.1%
Silver
22.83
+1.5%
Palladium
2,033.39
+6.5%
Platinum
1,004.50
+5.0%
Brent Crude
74.36
+0.6%
Top 40
56,938
+1.5%
All Share
63,353
+1.6%
Resource 10
56,962
+2.0%
Industrial 25
81,495
+0.9%
Financial 15
14,175
+2.1%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
What potential restrictions on unvaccinated South Africans may make the biggest difference to public health, the economy?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Limited access to restaurants and bars
11% - 116 votes
Limited access to shopping centres
15% - 149 votes
Limited access to live events, including sport matches and festivals
27% - 271 votes
Workplace vaccine mandates
47% - 481 votes
Vote