Wikimedia Foundation Retains Bridge Partners to Find Talent and Culture Chief

October 16, 2018 – Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization that hosts and operates Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia free knowledge projects, has tapped Bridge Partners to find a chief of talent and culture. Partner and co-founder Tory Clarke is leading the search along with partner Janet Albert.

“This is one of the highlights of 2018 both for me and my colleague Janet Albert,” said Ms. Clarke. “Not only does the chief of talent & 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,” she said. “This leader, who will be a change agent and HR strategist, will have an incredible opportunity for impact.”

The new chief of talent and culture will be responsible for talent management and all aspects of culture, diversity, and organizational development to meet the people and organizational needs of the Wikimedia Foundation, both internally and externally, said Bridge Partners. The individual will be expected to lead strategic talent and culture planning, and will model and shepherd inclusive communications, staff engagement and recognition in an increasingly decentralized and virtual organization.

Located in San Francisco, the chief of talent and culture will be in charge of building and cultivating a global pipeline of the best talent available, said the search firm. He or she will also be responsible for positioning the foundation as an employer of choice through awareness of practices and trends within the global non-profit, technology and advocacy fields. In addition, the executive with “play a lead role, partnering with legal and others as necessary, in structuring and supporting a global workforce, as necessary, responsive to our needs, strategy, risk management and budget,” said Bridge Partners.

The leader will be charged with fostering an intentional culture that is mission-aligned, creative, performance driven, generative and well-regarded externally and internally. The person will also oversee recruiting.

With the recruiting team the incoming leader will:

  • Build a pipeline of global talent and forecast future talent needs at the individual level and with respect to collective requirements for sustainable organizational operation.
  • Champion programs that allow the foundation to embrace applicants and staff of all backgrounds and encourage the full development and performance of all staff.
  • Collaboratively recruit high-level roles for the future including board of trustees, endowment board, senior executives and special projects.

Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate will have 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. Prospects must have “deep experience directing talent management and leading all aspects of culture, diversity, change management and organizational development,” said Bridge Partners. In addition, the ideal candidate will have demonstrated success leading change with employees at all levels in a high-growth environment.

The Wikimedia Foundation is seeking an “authentic leader with a collaborative and inclusive approach in assessing individual/ organizational challenges, problem-solving, developing partnerships and program development,” said the search firm. The winning candidate will also have a deep commitment and passion for the foundation’s mission and purpose, and an ability to translate this passion into action through creating an inclusive environment.

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“All the above is incredibly important to us as people and as an organization, but we also are looking for someone who is great to work with as a person – someone with a sense of humor, who cares and is curious,” Wikimedia Foundation said. “Talent and culture loves what we do, and we want you too as well.”

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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