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You are here: Home About staff and board Board Mapping the process of the new board nomination and review process

Mapping the process of the new board nomination and review process

by Free Software Foundation Contributions Published on Jan 19, 2023 12:22 PM

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) board of directors has drawn up a detailed diagram showing the procedure that the FSF is using to solicit advice from the community about possible new board members. The diagram details the roles of all parties directly involved in the process, as announced on January 18, 2022.

The board has settled on a rigorous and thoroughly considered process designed to be transparent and engage members, while still also ensuring the FSF's core principles are protected. The FSF published the board matrix, which lists the three fundamental requisites for board members. It also lists other qualities considered valuable for board members to have when it comes to expertise, capacity, relationships, and diversity, as well as skills and experiences. The board matrix highlights some desirable attributes in new potential board members to help guide nominations. With this in mind, the board member nomination process has started by following the steps outlined in the diagram.

All associate members can nominate potential board members, along with FSF staff and voting members. Once nominations are received, the selected nominees are moved to a discussion process. Eligible associate members will be invited to join a discussion forum to then evaluate and comment on those nominees, with the goal of providing a community recommendation to the board. Eligible associate members are the current associate members who were associate members or donated a comparable amount at some point between 5 years ago and 3 months ago, plus other individuals explicitly invited by the FSF board.

The board nomination process started officially by opening nominations on January 19, 2023, with a closing date of Friday, March 3, 2023, 10:00 EST (15:00 UTC). The FSF will continue to publicly announce each stage in the process. Work to put the necessary infrastructure for supporting the discussions in place is underway. For more information, please also review the January 18 announcement of the process and visit the FSF's Web page dedicated to the organization's governance work from the last fifteen months at https://www.fsf.org/about/staff-and-board/board. If you would rather read about the process steps in full, you can find them described in full as well.

If you have any questions or comments about the flow chart, or the steps in the process, please don't hesitate to contact campaigns@fsf.org.

FSF Board Nomination and Review Process The graph is series of nodes (rectangle-like shapes) with short text labels inside, arrows connecting them, and text labels on the arrows. It starts with a label grouping first 4 nodes: Nomination Process. FSF announces nomination dates. (Nominations are currently open until March 3rd, 2023.) The first node is labeled "FSF associate members", an arrow links it to a node labeled "potential nominees". The arrow label says "FSF associate members, FSF staff, and FSF voting members nominate potential board members. Note: Self-nomination is allowed." The potential nominees node has an arrow pointing to a node labeled "nominees". The arrow label says "Nominees accept nomination and fill out a questionnaire." The nominees node has an arrow pointing to a node labeled "announced nominees". The arrow label says "The FSF voting members review and select nominees to move forward. The list of selected nominees is announced publicly. After this step, nominees will advance part or all the way through the following steps, but not all at the same time. For example, the first discussion may be of a single nominee so that the FSF can learn how to improve the discussion process. After each discussion step and each voting step, if there is at least one nominee ready for a voting step and at least one nominee ready for a discussion step, the FSF voting members decide on which step to carry out next. The voting members can also vote to end the process while some nominees have not finished going through it. For example, if they decide the board has become too large to benefit from an additional member. In that case, the remaining nominees retain their place in the process the next time a nomination process is run." The announced nominees has an arrow pointing to a node labeled "nominee(s) under discussion". It is grouped with two nodes: "eligible associate members", and "FSF voting members" and the group is labeled "Discussion Process." The arrow label says "The FSF voting members select one or more nominee for a discussion step. Through a discussion process the associate members inform and advise the voting members about the nominees. Voting members pose questions." The nominee(s) under discussion node has an arrow pointing to a node labeled "discussed nominee(s)". The arrow label says "The discussion period ends." The discussed nominee(s) node has an arrow pointing to a node labeled "interviewed nominee(s)". The arrow label says "The FSF voting members select one or more nominees for a voting step. First they interview each of the selected nominees." The interviewed nominee(s) note has an arrow pointing to a node labeled "trial board member(s)" The arrow label says "The FSF voting members vote on each interviewed nominee to join the board as a trial member or leave the process. Joining requires a majority of votes. This ends the voting step." The trial board member(s) node has an arrow pointing to a node labeled "board member(s)." The arrow label says "The trial is intended to last for three months but may be extended or shortened. During the trial period, trial members are invited to all meetings but do not vote. After the trial period of a board member ends, the FSF voting members vote for the trial board member to become a board member and a voting member or leave the board. Joining requires a majority of votes." FSF Board Nomination and Review Process Nomination Process FSF announces nomination dates. (Nominations   are currently open until March 3rd, 2023.) Discussion Process FSF associate members, staff, and voting members potential nominees  FSF associate members,   FSF staff, and FSF voting   members nominate   potential board members.   Note: Self-nomination is allowed. nominees  Nominees accept nomination and fill out a  questionnaire. announced nominees  The FSF voting members review and select   nominees to move forward. The list of   selected nominees is announced publicly.     After this step, nominees will advance part   or all the way through the following steps,   but not all at the same time. For example,   the first discussion may be of a single   nominee so that the FSF can learn how to   improve the discussion process. After each   discussion step and each voting step, if   there is at least one nominee ready for a   voting step and at least one nominee ready   for a discussion step, the FSF voting members   decide on which step to carry out next.     The voting members can also vote to end the   process while some nominees have not finished   going through it. For example, if they decide   the board has become too large to benefit   from an additional member. In that case, the   remaining nominees retain their place in the   process the next time a nomination process is   run. nominee(s) under discussion     The FSF voting members select one or more   nominee for a discussion step. Through a   discussion process the associate members   inform and advise the voting members about   the nominees. Voting members pose questions. eligible associate members discussed nominee(s)  The discussion period ends. FSF voting members interviewed nominee(s)  The FSF voting members select one or more   nominees for a voting step. First they   interview each of the selected nominees. trial board member(s) board member(s)  The trial is intended to last for three months but   may be extended or shortened. During the trial   period, trial members are invited to all   meetings but do not vote.     After the trial period of a board member ends,   the FSF voting members vote for the trial board   member to become a board member and a voting   member or leave the board. Joining requires a   majority of votes.  The FSF voting members vote on each interviewed   nominee to join the board as a trial member or   leave the process. Joining requires a majority   of votes. This ends the voting step.


This nomination process has been newly developed by the FSF in the interest of including our associate members more directly in the nomination and selection of candidates appointed to the FSF's board and voting members. As such, it may be necessary to revise the process at times. This graphic reflects the latest version of the process dated January 19, 2023.

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