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.
Lukas Blakk is a Release Manager at Mozilla. Lukas is one of the founders of PyStar programming workshops for women and organizes PyStar workshops for the Bay Area. Lukas has been working to help increase the participation of women in Open Source through WoMoz, Mozilla Reps, and sitting on the advisory and planning committee for the Dare 2B Digital conference. Lukas brings a strong background in feminist and social justice activism from her years of involvement in artist and queer politic communities. You can find her on Twitter at @lsblakk.
As Donor Relations Coordinator, Kellie strives to keep donors engaged in the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)’s effort to enhance the rights and freedoms of technology users. Before defending digital rights, she studied public versus private funding of the performing arts at Stanford University’s Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society. She has worked as a fundraiser for orchestras, operas, and theaters in the US, Canada, and Germany. She believes strongly in the open source and nonprofit ethos: if something fails to meet your expectations, be it a software feature or social problem, take responsibility for improving it. You can find her on Twitter at @kabrownell.
Rachel Chalmers is Vice President, Research – Infrastructure Management, with The 451 Group, an industry analyst firm. She speaks internationally about virtualization, big data and cloud computing. She has been writing about technology and culture since the early 1990s, and 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 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. Her PhD, ‘The global justice movement and struggles to control knowledge’, was undertaken at the University of Western Australia in the Department of Political Science and International Relations, and her subsequent research has looked at digital liberties activism in Bangalore, India, and at the ways in which Occupy Oakland activists are using Twitter to organise and communicate. This year, she will be carrying out research in Tunisia and Greece. 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 is currently working with unnamed collective in Perth. You can find her on Twitter as @scroeser.
Selena Deckelmann is a major contributor to PostgreSQL. She was Consulting Director of Development for the Ada Initiative from July to September 2012, and is presently employed by Mozilla. She speaks internationally about free software, developer communities and trolling. She founded Postgres Open, a conference focused on the business benefits of PostgreSQL. She founded and co-chaired Open Source Bridge, a developer conference for open source citizens. She’s helped run other conferences like WhereCampPDX, BarCampPDX and PG Days. You can find her on twitter at @selenamarie.
Sue Gardner is the Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization behind Wikipedia – the world’s largest and most popular encyclopedia, which is free to use and free of advertising. Wikipedia contains more than 24 million volunteer-authored articles in over 280 languages, and is visited by more than 470 million people every month, making it the number five most-popular website in the world.
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. Under her leadership, CBC.ca won many international awards for excellence, and grew to become Canada’s most popular news site. 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 Engineering Community Manager 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 in addition to presentations at Open Source Bridge in 2010 and 2011, and at Foo Camp in 2010, and is the Google Summer of Code 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.
Danielle Madeley is a professional software engineer living in Melbourne and working for the Australian Government. Previously she was a senior software engineer at open source consultancy firm Collabora. Danielle holds bachelors degrees in electronic engineering and computer science from the University of Western Australia. She has been professionally involved in open source for over a decade, is a contributor to the Telepathy communications framework and the GNOME Desktop. She literally wrote the book (well… chapter) on Telepathy. Danielle is involved in the GNOME Outreach Programme for Women, which mentors women to become free software developers within the GNOME project.
Denise Paolucci is the co-owner of Dreamwidth Studios, an open-source blogging/journaling platform that is one of only two large open source projects where women are the majority. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland, with her long-suffering wife, who fortunately enjoys the frequent “C’mere, look, isn’t this cool?” invocations, and two cats, who don’t care about the Internet as long as they get fed on time.
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
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 GNOME Foundation. She is known for her advocacy for free culture and free software, particularly for software transparency on medical devices. Prior to joining GNOME, she was General Counsel of the Software Freedom Law Center. Karen continues to do pro bono legal work with SFLC and serves as an officer of the Software Freedom Conservancy. 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.
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 Associate Director of Diversity and Leadership at the Stanford School of Medicine and a STEM diversity consultant. Prior to joining Stanford, Caroline 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. Prior to ABI, Simard was a Researcher at the Center for Social Innovation of the Stanford Graduate School of Business. 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.
Sarah Stierch is a museumist, open culture advocate and Wikipedian. She is a prominent voice in Wikipedia, which she has edited since 2004. Since 2011, she has been serving as a leading voice in regarding the prominent gender gap in Wikipedia and related projects. Stierch currently serves as OpenGLAM Coordinator for the United States, working with cultural institutions to free materials and collections content under open and free licenses. She also has her own consulting firm, focusing around open culture, open data, and open curatorial practice. Her work has been featured in Jezebel, Gawker, the Independent, Smithsonian, TechCrunch, and The Huffington Post. You can follow her on Twitter at @sarah_stierch.
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.