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Staff and Board

by Free Software Foundation Contributions Published on Aug 10, 2016 10:43 AM
Meet the staff, board of directors, and voting members of the Free Software Foundation.


  • Zoë Kooyman

    Zoë Kooyman, Executive Director

    Kooyman joined the Free Software Foundation (FSF) as program manager in 2019, in charge of public activities and communications, and became the executive director in February 2022. As program manager, she led the FSF to new records for attendance and submissions at the annual LibrePlanet conference, organizing and leading the conference for three years (2020-2022). The 2020 event was converted into a successful virtual conference in just five days at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and continues virtually for the time being. Kooyman directed the development of a series of animated videos highlighting and increasing awareness of important free software issues. She also drove successful efforts in associate member recruitment and fundraising.

    Prior to coming to the FSF, she was already a highly experienced international project manager and event producer. She has demonstrated skills in leading technology and social justice initiatives.

    Kooyman holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media and Culture and a Master of Arts in the Preservation and Presentation of the Moving Image, both from the University of Amsterdam. Born in the Netherlands, she has lived in seven countries and worked in twenty-two countries on four continents, soaking up life lessons along the way. She has a deep interest in the visual and digital nature of modern society, is always up for an adventure outdoors and, in true Dutch style, prefers to travel by bicycle.

  • Andrew Engelbrecht

    Andrew Engelbrecht, Senior Systems Administrator

    Andrew was a long time volunteer at the FSF, where he gained experience in system administration and developed his passion for software freedom. He was hired as a web developer at the FSF in 2016, and promoted to Senior Systems Administrator in 2018. He is interested in machine learning and the question of how its emergence will shape our society in the near and distant future. He enjoys cycling, programming, house music, and tasty vegan food.

  • Craig Topham

    Craig Topham, Copyright & Licensing Associate

    For general licensing questions:

    Craig has been an Associate Member since 2007, and he came to work for the Free Software Foundation as a Copyright and Licensing Associate at the end of 2018. Prior to the FSF, Craig worked as a PC/Network Technician for the City of Eugene, Oregon for twelve years. Some of Craig's FSF duties include: handling copyright assignments, GPL compliance for FSF-copyrighted works, and helping with the Respect Your Freedom program. Besides the desire to see free software thrive, Craig also envisions a world where everyone's inner light shines bright. You can find him every Friday hosting the Free Software Directory meeting on #fsf from 12:00-15:00 Eastern time.

  • Dawn B. Peterson

    Dawn Bryanton Peterson, Business Operations Manager

    Dawn joined the Free Software Foundation in 2019, bringing a diverse set of skills to the Foundation. With a degree in accounting, she worked in investment banking as project manger, for accounting, data, and payroll systems, before moving to work in the nonprofit sector. At the FSF, she handles incoming and outgoing accounting activities for all its member projects as well as finance, budgeting, human resources, and risk management for the Foundation.

    In her free time, Dawn can be found in a yoga studio, swimming, or spending time with her family.

  • Devin Ulibarri

    Devin Ulibarri, Outreach & Communications Coordinator

    Devin's inception into free software began with a simple question: "Why is my computer telling me what to do?" From there, he spent his lunch breaks reading GNU philosophy and the FSF Web site. Soon thereafter, he installed GNU/Linux onto his laptop and the rest is history.

    Trained as a musician and educator, who has taught hundreds of people over the years, Devin has contributed to educational free software projects that are used, studied, remixed, and redistributed throughout the world. For pleasure, Devin enjoys studying Japanese, biking, and playing his Kite guitar.

  • Greg Farough

    Greg Farough, Campaigns Manager

    Greg's introduction to free software came by way of the Punkcast video blog in 2006, when intending to see a concert bootleg, they saw an RMS speech instead. From that moment forward, they resolved to use an exclusively free system. Greg has previously worked as a goat herder, labor organizer, and tutor of Attic Greek. Greg is a straight edge vegan, and is an emeritus of many loud and talentless bands in the American Midwest. They have a special fondness for glitchy guitar pedals, horror movies, and GNU Emacs (which gives some people just as many nightmares).

  • Ian Kelling

    Ian Kelling, Senior Systems Administrator

    Ian was an FSF volunteer before joining the FSF in May 2017 as a senior systems administrator. He's also a free software developer and has contributed to various projects including GNU Emacs.

  • Jeanne Rasata

    Jeanne Rasata, Membership Coordinator

    Jeanne Rasata started at the FSF in 2006 as the program assistant. She is now the membership coordinator.

  • Michael McMahon

    Michael McMahon, Web Developer

    Michael joined the FSF tech team as Web Developer in January 2019 after working with GNU/Linux in manufacturing, gaming, and education. He enjoys tinkering, board games, DJing, public speaking, parenting, and cats.

  • Miriam Bastian

    Miriam Bastian, Program Manager

    Miriam fell in love with GNU/Linux when her old, slow computer could no longer process the bloated and inefficient operating system that came preinstalled. She was not going to accept that throwing away the otherwise good computer was the only option. Free software gave the old computer new life!

    Prior to coming to the FSF, Miriam completed her PhD in ancient history at the University of Zurich and worked as a freelance journalist and teacher.

    Miriam loves being in nature, playing Dungeons & Dragons, riding her bike to work, mountains, vegan food, and a (not so vegan) latte with espresso from the portafilter.

  • GPG keyring of the FSF staff and board and GPG signature.

    Board of directors

    More about the role of the FSF's board of directors

  • Geoffrey Knauth

    Geoffrey Knauth, President and Treasurer

    Geoffrey is an independent software contractor, has worked as a programmer, senior associate, systems engineer, and systems analyst at various companies and has contributed to the GNU Objective-C project. He is fluent in Russian and French and has a working knowledge of German, which helps him maintain relationships with computer scientists, mathematicians, and physicists of the Russian Academy of Sciences and with United States economists, scientists, and agencies. He holds a BA in Economics from Harvard University and is the treasurer of the FSF.

    Gerald J. Sussman, Professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT

    Gerald has been involved in artificial intelligence research at MIT since 1964. He co-authored Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs and Structure and Interpretation of Classical Mechanics and is the recipient of numerous awards, including ACM's Karl Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award and the Amar G. Bose award for teaching. He is a fellow of numerous institutions including the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, the ACM, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the New York Academy of Arts, and Sciences.

    Henry Poole, founder of CivicActions

    Henry Poole is an Internet strategist with three decades' experience in information technology and more than a decade's with online communities and commerce. He was the first technologist to set up a blog for a member of the US House of Representatives. He has presented at conferences in Europe and in the US, and was the technical editor of Demystifying Multimedia. He co-founded CivicActions, a grassroots campaign technology consulting firm in 2004, helping provide network-centric free software technology solutions focusing on transforming the world.

    Ian Kelling

    Ian holds a bachelor's degree in computer science and is a continuous user, developer, and advocate for free software. His past experience working as a software developer for proprietary software companies, while using, learning, and contributing to GNU/Linux on his own time, solidified his personal belief in complete software freedom. He now works exclusively on GNU/Linux. He has contributed to pieces of free software like GNU Emacs, community efforts like the Free Software Directory and others, and has been a speaker at the Seattle GNU/Linux conference (SeaGL). Ian joined the Free Software Foundation in 2017, where he is a senior systems administrator and the FSF union steward.

    Odile Bénassy

    Odile uses only free software since the nineties and works as a free software developer. She has been active in French volunteer groups like association APRIL and Aful, Parinux, Ofset and the Rencontres Mondiales du Logiciel Libre.

    Richard M. Stallman

    GPG key: 6781 9B34 3B2A B70D ED93 2087 2C64 64AF 2A8E 4C02

    Richard Stallman founded the free software movement in 1983 when he announced he would develop the GNU operating system, a Unix-like operating system meant to consist entirely of free software. He has been the GNU project's leader ever since. In October 1985 he started the Free Software Foundation.

    Since the mid-1990s, Stallman has spent most of his time in political advocacy for free software. Before that, Richard developed a number of widely used programs that are components of GNU.

    Stallman pioneered the concept of copyleft, and is the main author of the GNU General Public License, the most widely used free software license.

    Stallman graduated from Harvard in 1974 with a BA in physics. During his college years and after, he worked as a staff hacker at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab, learning operating system development by doing it. He wrote the first extensible Emacs text editor there in 1975.

  • Voting members

    About the distinction between voting and board members

    • Geoffrey Knauth
    • Gerald J. Sussman
    • Henry Poole
    • Ian Kelling
    • Odile Bénassy
    • Richard M. Stallman
    • Alexandre Oliva

    Board governance information:

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