Bridge Partners Finds Chief Talent & Culture Officer for Wikimedia Foundation

September 19, 2019 – Executive recruitment firm Bridge Partners has placed Robyn Arville as the new chief talent and culture officer of Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization that hosts and operates Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia free knowledge projects. Partner and co-founder Tory Clarke is leading the search along with partner Janet Albert.

“Robyn brings to Wikimedia a passion for building organizational culture that embraces inclusion and connectedness,” said Katherine Maher, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation. “Our people are our greatest strength and resource. Robyn’s vision for our talent and culture places people at the center of our efforts as we endeavor to our aspirational vision.”

Bridge Partners was seeking a candidate with a minimum of 10 years of talent management experience at a senior level, preferably in a growing, virtual global non-profit, technology or advocacy organization. Ms. Arville proved to be the right fit. She brings 20 years of experience in human resources to the foundation, most recently as the head of people and culture at the Public Library of Science (PLOS). Prior to joining PLOS, she spent six years at Humanity United, a human rights philanthropic foundation. She has also worked at various healthcare and biotechnology organizations, from small start-ups to large global organizations.

In her role with Wikimedia Foundation, Ms. Arville will lead the talent and culture department, recruiting and supporting skilled individuals to advance the Wikimedia mission. She will work with other foundation leaders to develop strategies for best supporting and cultivating staff.

“Not only does the chief of talent and culture role and responsibility align closely with Bridge Partners’ mission to drive diversity-inclusion-equity initiatives on a global basis, but the Wikimedia Foundation’s vision for a world in which every single human can freely share in knowledge, is itself a promoter of inclusion and equity,” Ms. Clarke said. “Robyn will have an incredible opportunity for impact.”


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Wikimedia is the non-profit organization that supports Wikipedia and other free knowledge projects. Together, Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects are visited by over 1.5 billion unique devices every month.

Veteran Recruiters

Bridge Partners is a certified minority supplier and a minority business enterprise. Based in New York, with offices in Washington, D.C., and Boston, the firm has completed higher education/academia senior leadership searches for roles such as head of human resources, head of finance, head of audit and deans. Its clients include GE, TIAA-CREF, Colgate, YMCA, Novartis, Starbucks, Habitat for Humanity and the Federal Reserve System.

Ms. Clarke supports senior global search assignments for private sector, public sector and international non-profit/social venture clients, across all functions. A 20-year veteran of the executive search industry, she has recruited diverse executives, including CEO/presidents and their leadership teams, at both head office and regional locations around the globe.

Before starting Bridge Partners in 2003, Ms. Clarke was a consultant in Whitehead Mann’s U.S. retail and diversity practices, joining the New York office in 2000. Prior to her move to the U.S., she spent several years with Whitehead Mann’s European consumer practice, headquartered in London. Earlier in her career, Ms. Clarke was with STCP, a boutique London-based search firm, working across a variety of sectors including consumer, pharmaceutical and industrial.

Ms. Albert leads Bridge Partners’ U.S. non-profit practice and works on senior-level search assignments for foundations, government and non-profit organizations, across all functions, including executive directors/CEOs and their leadership teams. Her clients range from private, community and family foundations, to economic development organizations, to both large national and local non-profits. Ms. Albert has been in executive search for over 20 years. Before joining Bridge Partners in 2010, she was a senior director in the executive search practice of the Bridgespan Group.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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