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.
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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.