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Mapping the process of the new board nomination and review process

by Free Software Foundation Contributions Published on Jul 20, 2022 12:58 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 and responsibilities that different stakeholders hold 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. Recently, 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. 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 process of adding new directors started by opening nominations on November 29th 2022, with a closing date of XXX, and 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 publication 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 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 FSF Board Nomination and Review Process Nomination Process FSF announces nomination dates. (Nominations are currently open until December 31st 2022.) Discussion Process FSF associate members potential nominees The FSF associate 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, each nominee will   advance 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. The voting members decide at each point   to carry out a discussion step, or carry out a   voting step. If a nominee receives less than a   majority of any vote, the process ends for   them.     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 process. eligible associate members discussed nominee(s)  The discussion period ends. a vote by FSF voting members  The FSF voting members select a nominee to  interview and then they vote for the nominee to  join the board as a trial member or leave the  process. trial board member board member  The trial ends. The FSF voting members vote for  the trial board member to become a board member or  leave the board.  A majority vote in favor.   The trial is intended to last for three months but   may be extended or shortened. During the trial   period, the trial member is invited to all   meetings but they do not vote.


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 XXXX

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