The Ada Initiative is proud to have a diverse, committed, and experienced group of advisors. We frequently ask our advisory board for input on our ideas and plans to get feedback from people with a variety of backgrounds and experiences.
Camille Acey works in sales and operations at Boundless (formerly OpenGeo), an industry leader in enterprise open source geospatial software solutions. She has also worked with FLOSS Manuals Foundation, an international organization devoted to providing documentation for free software projects, and the free culture non-profit QuestionCopyright.org. She holds a BA in Political Science and Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley. and she has spoken about race and social justice at conferences in the US and Canada. She writes about race, motherhood, and tech on her blog and tweets about much the same on Twitter as @kavbojka.
Rachel Chalmers joined Ignition Venture Partners as a principal in 2013. She specializes in studying software companies — particularly startups — solving complicated and urgent business problems. Prior to Ignition, Rachel worked for 13 years at the 451 Group, an independent technology industry analyst firm. She has been published in or quoted by Salon, New Scientist, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Boston Globe and the Sydney Morning Herald. You can find her on twitter at @rachelchalmers.
Mel Chua is a contagiously enthusiastic hacker, writer, and educator with over a decade of teaching and curriculum development experience and a solid track record in leadership positions at Red Hat, One Laptop Per Child, Sugar Labs, Fedora, and other Free, Libre, and Open Source Software (FLOSS) communities. Currently based at Purdue University's School of Engineering Education, she bridges academic research on successful communities with deep personal experience getting her hands dirty building them. Her work centers on helping college faculty who are Teaching Open Source participation in their classes, bringing radical transparency practices from open communities and the open data / open science movement into qualitative research, and (as a deaf Chinese-Filipino-American woman) incorporating feminist, disability-activism, and developing-world perspectives into post-secondary engineering education. Mel holds a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Olin College, maintains an active blog, and occasionally tweets @mchua and writes for opensource.com and Geek Feminism.
Dr. Sky Croeser is currently a honorary research fellow and lecturer at Curtin University. Her research and activism focuses on the ways in which activists are working to shape, as well as use, the technologies of everyday life. Recent research has looked at digital liberties activism in Bangalore, India; the ways in which Occupy Oakland activists are using Twitter to organise and communicate; emerging Internet governance structures in Tunisia; and the role of independent media in antifascist organising in Greece. Her book, Global Justice and the Politics of Information: The struggle over knowledge, will be coming out in 2014. Sky is also a reviewer for several open access journals, including First Monday. Sky has attended two World Social Forums and several conferences (and unconferences) looking at the intersection of activism and technology, is a co-founder of the Bluestocking Institute, has served on the board of Electronic Frontiers Australia, and speaks about her work at international events. You can find her on Twitter as @scroeser.
Selena Deckelmann is a major contributor to PostgreSQL and a data architect at Mozilla. She’s been involved with free and open source software since 1995 and began running conferences for PostgreSQL in 2007. In 2012, she founded PyLadiesPDX, a portland chapter of PyLadies. She founded Open Source Bridge, Postgres Open and speaks internationally about open source, databases and community. She also keeps chickens and gives a lot of technical talks. You can find her on twitter as @selenamarie, and on her blog.
Constanza Heath is an HTML5 Evangelist at Intel. From a family of creative makers and doers, Constanza started her career as a software engineer working with satellites, reconnaissance missiles, and infrared goggles at Raytheon Company. She then moved up the stack to write printer APIs and photo kiosk algorithms for Hewlett Packard. After moving to Portland, OR, she dove into the open source community to write middleware and user interfaces for Intel working on Moblin, MeeGo, and Tizen operating systems. She loves writing games and user interfaces for phones, tablets, IVI, and desktops. Returning to her first passion as a web developer, Constanza is currently working on the Intel XDK. She is an avid supporter of local community groups, including the Sexual & Gender Minority Youth Resource Center, Oregon Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement, and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. As a member of the Society of Women Engineers and AAUW, she chairs local events around Equal Pay and STEM programs. Known as 'mnementh' to fellow hackers on IRC, you can also find her on Twitter at @hackermnementh.
Annalee Flower Horne
Annalee Flower Horne is a science fiction writer, Django developer, and open government advocate. She's passionate about diversity in tech, the science fiction and fantasy community, and geek culture as a whole. A former congressional staffer, she takes a particular interest in transparent, accountable, and effective access to elected officials. She works for an open government startup in Washington, DC, blogs irregularly at Geek Feminism, and tweets as @leeflower.
Sue Gardner was the Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization behind Wikipedia – the world's largest and most popular encyclopedia, and the number five most-popular website in the world — from 2007–2014. Gardner, a seasoned journalist, was formerly head of CBC.ca, the website for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, one of Canada's most prominent and best-loved cultural institutions. Gardner started her career in 1990 as a producer with CBC's "As It Happens," an internationally-recognized groundbreaking news and current events radio program. She has worked in radio, television, newspapers, magazines and online. In 2012, Forbes Magazine named her one of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women. You can find her on twitter at @SuePGardner.
Alicia Gibb is an advocate for open hardware, an academic researcher, and a hardware hacker. Alicia has worked within the open source hardware community for the past 3 years. Currently she is founding the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA), an organization to educate and promote building and using open source hardware. She also teaches at UC San Diego. Previous to serving OSHWA, Alicia was a researcher and prototyper at Bug Labs where she ran the academic research program and the Test Kitchen, an open R&D Lab. She was awarded a National Science Foundation SBIR grant for her sensor-based data collection module while at Bug Labs. She is a member of NYCResistor, where she has curated two international art shows, founded and co-chaired two Open Hardware Summits, and is an advisory board member for Linux Journal. Her electronics work has appeared in Wired magazine, IEEE Spectrum, Hackaday and the New York Times. When Alicia is not researching at the crossroads of open technology and innovation she is prototyping artwork that twitches, blinks, and might even be tasty to eat. She holds a degree in art education, a M.S. in Art History and a M.L.I.S. in Information Science from Pratt Institute.
Sumana Harihareswara works as the Senior Technical Writer at the Wikimedia Foundation. She has worked at Collabora, GNOME, QuestionCopyright.org, Fog Creek Software, Behavior, and Salon.com, and contributed to the MediaWiki, AltLaw, Empathy, Miro, and Zeitgeist open source projects. She has been editor and release organizer for GNOME Journal and is a blogger at Geek Feminism. Sumana has keynoted Open Source Bridge in 2012 and code4lib 2014 in addition to presentations at Open Source Bridge in 2010 and 2011, and at Foo Camp in 2010, and has been the Google Summer of Code and Outreach Program for Women administrator for MediaWiki. She holds an MS in technology management from Columbia University and a BA in political science from the University of California at Berkeley. She is on identi.ca and Twitter as @brainwane.
Liz Henry is a writer, editor, and public speaker, concentrating on the intersection between hacker culture, popular culture, feminism and social justice. She is presently the Mozilla bugmaster. Previously, she worked as a developer at BlogHer, a women's online media company. Liz contributes as a writer and developer to Geekfeminism.org, the FeministSF blog and wiki, the Organization for Transformative Works, and Noisebridge, a hackerspace in San Francisco. At conferences like BlogHer, WisCon, and SXSWi she works to create infrastructure and an environment to improve access for women, people of color, and people with disabilities. She recently edited The WisCon Chronicles: Carnival of Feminist Science Fiction, and her latest book is Unruly Islands, a collection of technoutopian anarchafeminist poems. You can find her online writing at Bookmaniac.org, and on Twitter as @lizhenry.
Leigh Honeywell loves Open Stuff and geek community-building. She is a member of the board of advisors for the SECtor security conference, a former Google Summer of Code mentor, and a speaker at many conferences, including past keynotes at SCALE and Open Source Bridge. Leigh co-founded the HackLabTO hackerspace in Toronto and served as co-leader of the Ubuntu Women project. Leigh blogs irregularly at Geek Feminism and hypatia.ca, tweets at @hypatiadotca, and speaks at lots of conferences. She works as a Security Program Manager at Microsoft.
Andrea Horbinski is a Ph.D. student in modern Japanese history with a designated emphasis in New Media at the University of California, Berkeley. She currently serves on the Board of the Organization for Transformative Works (OTW), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection, support, and preservation of fan works and culture that runs the Archive of Our Own, one of only two majority-female open source software projects on the Web. She was previously a Fulbright Fellow to Japan, studying hypernationalist manga in Kyoto, and was a founding member of the OTW's Internationalization & Outreach committee, which she now co-chairs. In addition to discussing fandom, anime, manga, and Japanese history and folklore at conventions and conferences including Otakon, Sirens, WisCon, AnimeExpo, and the Popular Culture Association, she has recently been working on a dual-pronged research project for Prof. Abigail de Kosnik, seeking to analyze fan history on the internet from both oral history and data-driven perspectives. She currently writes for the Symposium blog of the Transformative Works and Cultures journal, and her articles and reviews have appeared in The WisCon Chronicles vol. 6, Mechademia, and Transformative Works and Cultures. You can find her on twitter at @horbinski.
Jacob is the co-Benevolent Dictator For Life of Django and Director of Security at Heroku. Jacob helped create Django while working at the Lawrence Journal-World, a family owned newspaper in Lawrence, KS. He lives outside of Lawrence and spends his weekends playing at being a farmer. You can find him on twitter at @jacobian.
Luis Felipe R. Murillo
Luis Felipe R. Murillo is an anthropologist whose research work is dedicated to the study of information technology, politics, and culture. Since 2008, he has been working on a multi-sited research project on Free Software, Open Hardware, and Open Data, and conducting life-history interviews with developers, engineers, and activists from different parts of the globe. He is a member of the organizing committee of the International Free Software Forum (FISL) and one of the organizers of the FOSS research workshop at FISL. He is also working on an interdisciplinary research on career trajectories of women, ethnic minorities, and foreign-born researchers in astronomy at University of California, Los Angeles.
Nele Noppe is a Belgian fanfic writer, fan artist, and soon-to-graduate Japanese Studies PhD student. Her main interest is how fanworks fit into open culture, and she's currently doing research on that by comparing how the production and distribution of Japanese fanworks resembles that of open source software. She's an advocate for open access, collaborative knowledge creation, and using tech to make and spread research in new and exciting ways. Since 2012, she's been working as a staff member of the Organization for Transformative Works (OTW), where she's mainly involved with the Fanhackers project that aims to make sure important research and info on fan culture reaches the people who need to know about it – fans, academics, open culture activists, companies and so on. You can find her on twitter at @unjapanologist, and in many other spaces listed on her website.
Nóirín Plunkett is a geek to English translator, community facilitator, and professional communicatrix. Executive Vice President at the Apache Software Foundation and board member of the Open Cloud Initiative, Nóirín embodies the saying "if you want something done, ask a busy person". By day, shes a technical writer at Eucalyptus Systems, but speaking engagements and general mischief often bring her further afield. You can find her on Twitter at @noirinp.
Noopur Raval crawls the interwebs to produce accounts of techno-cultures. She is currently pursuing her M.Phil in Cinema Studies at JNU, New Delhi. Her thesis revolves around understanding new religious publics in India through their interactions with media technologies. She has previously worked with the Wikimedia Foundation and the Center for Internet & Society, Bangalore to promote Wikipedia contribution in Indian languages. She is passionate about Open Source technology, free knowledge, education and travel.
Joseph Reagle is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Northeastern, a faculty associate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard, and author of Good Faith Collaboration: The Culture of Wikipedia (The MIT Press, 2010). He received his Ph.D., and was an adjunct faculty member, at NYU’s Department of Media, Culture, and Communication. As a Research Engineer at MIT’s Lab for Computer Science and Working Group Chair and Author within IETF and W3C, he contributed to several specifications on digital security and privacy. He also helped develop and maintain W3C’s privacy and intellectual rights policies (i.e., copyright/trademark licenses and patent analysis). Dr. Reagle has degrees in Computer Science (UMBC), Technology Policy (MIT), and Media, Culture, and Communication (NYU). He served as a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, has been consulted on new-media related projects, and has been profiled, interviewed, and quoted in national media including Technology Review, The Economist, The New York Times and American and New Zealand Public Radio. His current interests include infocide, geek feminism, and comment culture.
Karen M. Sandler is the Executive Director of the Software Freedom Conservancy. She is known for her advocacy for free culture and free software, particularly for software transparency on medical devices. Past positions include the Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation and General Counsel of the Software Freedom Law Center. Karen continues to do pro bono legal work with SFLC. She is also pro bono General Counsel of QuestionCopyright.org. Before joining SFLC, Karen worked as an associate in the corporate departments of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in New York and Clifford Chance in New York and London. Karen received her law degree from Columbia Law School in 2000, where she was a James Kent Scholar and co-founder of the Columbia Science and Technology Law Review. Karen received her bachelors degree in engineering from The Cooper Union. She is also a recipient of the O'Reilly Open Source Award. You can find Karen on Identi.ca as @kaz.
Sarah Sharp is a Linux software developer in Intel's Open Source Technology Center, where she works on improving graphics for Intel Chromebooks. Sarah is best known for creating the Linux kernel xHCI driver, which was the first released software stack for USB 3.0. Sarah serves on the Linux Foundation Technical Advisory Board and is involved with the FOSS Outreach Program for Women (OPW). OPW pairs mentors in open source projects with women (cis and trans), genderqueer, genderfluid, and genderfree people to provide a paid three month internship. Sarah is the coordinator for the Linux kernel OPW internships. She created a comprehensive introduction to writing a Linux kernel patch. Sarah graduated with a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Portland State University. She lives in the bicycle-friendly city of Portland, Oregon, with her geeky husband, two cats, and her giant garden. You can find her on twitter as @sarahsharp, or read her blog.
Caroline Simard is passionate about building better workplaces for women and underrepresented minority talent in science and technology fields through evidence-based solutions. She is currently Research Director at the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University and a STEM diversity consultant. Caroline was previously Associate Director of Diversity and Leadership at the Stanford School of Medicine and prior to joining Stanford, she was Vice President of Research and Executive Programs at the Anita Borg Institute, where she led the creation and dissemination of solutions to further diversity in scientific and technical careers in industry and academia, working with executives and faculty of leading technology companies and academic institutions. Caroline holds a PhD from Stanford University. Her publications have focused on technical human and social capital, solutions to recruit, retain, and advance technical women, underrepresented minorities in STEM, the diffusion of best practices, open innovation, regional clusters of innovation, and social networks. You can find her on twitter at @csimard.
Sara Smollett is a Site Reliability Engineer at Google, where she has also worked on many diversity efforts. She has previously worked for the Wikimedia Foundation, is an occasional Wikipedia editor, and has led a Wikipedia editathon at Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. She is a lifelong learner and holds a BA in mathematics from Simon's Rock, an MA in philosophy from Tufts, and a certificate in computational linguistics from San Jose State. Her computer interests include Linux, security, privacy, and pseudonymity. She collects yellow pigs.
Ellen Spertus is a professor of computer science at Mills College and a senior research scientist at Google, where she was a primary contributor to the App Inventor and Blockly open source projects and is currently working with Code.org. Highlights in her career-long focus on gender equity in computer science include her widely distributed 1991 report Why Are There So Few Female Computer Scientists?; her joining the faculty of a women's college in 1998, where she helps lead reentry and interdisciplinary programs in computer science for students of all genders; and her years of work on gender-neutral software to teach computer programming, including her contributions to the Hour of Code, which introduced more girls to computer science than in the prior history of U.S. public education. In addition to numerous technical publications, an NSF Career grant, and two patents, Ellen is a co-author of App Inventor, published by O'Reilly, and contributed a chapter to She's Such a Geek, edited by Annalee Newitz and Charlie Anders. She has served on the boards of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility, Stop Prisoner Rape (now Just Detention International), and the Human Rights Defense Center. She earned her SB, SM, and PhD degrees in Computer Science from MIT and lives in San Francisco with her computer scientist husband and inquisitive daughter. You can find her on Twitter at @ellenspertus.
Andromeda Yelton is a self-employed librarian and software developer who's passionate about promoting coding, collaboration, and diversity in library technology. She has a BS in Mathematics from Harvey Mudd College, an MA in Classics from Tufts, and an MLS from Simmons. Before her MLS, she taught Latin to middle school boys; after, she did library outreach, software, and communications at the ebook startup Unglue.it. Her notable honors include winning the 2010 LITA/Ex Libris Student Writing Award; being selected as an ALA Emerging Leader, class of 2011; being a 2013 Library Journal Mover & Shaker; and having been a listener contestant on Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me. She is a member of the LITA Board of Directors. You can follow her on Twitter at @ThatAndromeda.
Ellie Young has overseen the operational and administrative functions of several San Francisco Bay Area not-for-profit organizations. She is presently the Conference Coordinator for the Wikimedia Foundation. Ellie was formerly the Executive Director of USENIX Association, which puts on conferences that are essential to the community of computing engineers, sysadmins, academics, and researchers. Prior to that, Ellie worked at the University of California Press and at the Boalt Hall School of Law at UC Berkeley. She has been active in many efforts and committees to encourage women to participate in computer science and computer engineering research and education at all levels.
Gayle Karen Young
Gayle Karen Young is a culture-builder and a catalyst for human development. Currently serving as Chief Culture and Talent Officer at the Wikimedia Foundation, Gayle comes from a rich organizational consulting background with corporate and nonprofit clients, where she could apply her education as an organizational psychologist with impunity. Her skills include leadership development, change management, training, strategic communications, team building, and personal and organizational transformation. Born in the Philippines to Chinese parents and raised in the United States, she has a multicultural perspective, an adventurous spirit, and a deep commitment to expanding human freedom. She is also the Board President of Spark, a non-profit dedicated to increasing the investment of young people in womens human rights both internationally and domestically. She has also worked as a facilitator for the Stanford Graduate School of Business Interpersonal Dynamics course and for their Women in Management program, and is a mentor for the Thiel Foundation's 20Under20 program. She is keenly interested in the intersection of technology and human rights, and supports futurist audacious ideas. She likes mythology, spirituality, science fiction, writing fanfic, and training for the zombie apocalypse with her bow. You can find her on Twitter as @MissGayle.
Marina Zhurakhinskaya works on community outreach and engagement at Red Hat. Since 2009, she has been organizing the GNOME Foundation’s Outreach Program for Women, which connects women with mentors who can help them get started as Free and Open Source Software contributors and offers paid internships twice a year. So far, about 100 women have participated in the program's internships with over a dozen Free and Open Source Software organizations. Marina uses her experience with outreach to women to improve outreach to all new contributors in GNOME and Free and Open Source Software. She currently serves on the board of the GNOME Foundation. Prior to her community engagement role, Marina developed software for the GNOME desktop. She is an MIT graduate with Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Computer Science. You can find her on Twitter as @marinaz.