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FSF now accepting board nominations from associate members

by Free Software Foundation Contributions Published on Jan 19, 2023 12:08 PM
BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA -- Thursday, January 19, 2023 -- Associate members of the Free Software Foundation (FSF) now have the chance to nominate and evaluate candidates to serve on the board of directors for the first time since the nonprofit was founded thirty-seven years ago.

The FSF opened its new community-engaged nomination process today, seeking new directors to help drive its worldwide mission to promote computer user freedom. Nominations will be sought until Friday, March 3, 2023, 10:00 EST (15:00 UTC).

Nominate someone using the board nomination form

"We're excited to give associate members this opportunity to attract new talent, energy, and perspectives to the Foundation's leadership," said FSF president Geoffrey Knauth. "As a pioneer in the free software movement, FSF has consistently advocated, celebrated and defended user freedom and autonomy. Community engagement in the nomination and evaluation process will be critical to seating the leaders who can meet the challenges and seize the opportunities that lie ahead."

Information about the process for election to the FSF board of directors is on the FSF Web site. A graphical depiction of the decision-making process is also available.

To assist the nomination process, a board matrix is available detailing the fundamental requirements and thirteen other desirable attributes of directors. It is not designed as an exhaustive description of what is sought in a candidate, but it should help associate members in nominating and evaluating board candidates.

"We want a range of different skills, experience, and qualities among directors because the board has a large set of responsibilities and goals. We also hope to find some board members who have specific expertise -- in legal issues, such as copyleft; accounting and finance; and hiring and management," Knauth said.

In addition to putting forward others as potential board members, current associate members may also nominate themselves for a seat. Discussions on the nominated board candidates will be held in a forum open to eligible participants and moderated by FSF staff and volunteers.

The board and staff have worked for a year to design, develop, and prepare for the new community engagement process and the discussion structure to support it. The board decided the basic design on January 18, 2022 following a consultant-advised effort. The aim is a transparent and participatory process that ensures a consistent, long-term alignment with the FSF's values and principles.

After new directors are selected and seated, the FSF will run a similar review process for all currently sitting directors. For more information on the board's governance work, and the new engagement process for board nomination and review, the FSF has a Web page dedicated to this work at:

"Free software is a matter of liberty, not price. It is about having control over the technology we use in our homes, schools and businesses, where computers work for our individual and communal benefit, not for proprietary software companies or governments who might seek to restrict and monitor us. We hope our associate members take advantage of this opportunity to help shape the trajectory of user freedom," Knauth added.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at and, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at

Media Contacts

Greg Farough
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Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942

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