Today we announce the stepping down of Mitchell Baker, John Ferlito, and Sulamita Garcia from the Ada Initiative board of advisors. We’d like to thank our outgoing advisory board members for their service. First, though, we’d like to talk about the Ada Initiative’s theory of volunteer service.
One of the goals of the Ada Initiative is to prevent volunteer burn-out, both in our own volunteers and in the wider community. The open tech/culture community has lost too many valuable people to burn-out over the years, especially people who advocate for women. One way we do this is by encouraging people to take “volunteer vacations.” Another way is supporting people when they want to change volunteer roles or organizations.
We also believe it is important to have new blood in leadership, bringing in new people with different ideas and rotating out veterans. By bringing in new people from different fields and backgrounds, we have a better chance of staying relevant and effective. We’ve continued to add new people to the Ada Initiative advisory board and always on the look-out for people with new and unique experience to join us.
As part of this strategy, we periodically poll our board of advisors and ask who is ready to step down for a while. This time it is Mitchell Baker, John Ferlito, and Sulamita Garcia. Here’s a little more about them and their work for us.
Mitchell Baker was one of our earliest advisors, bringing her experience as founding CEO of the Mozilla Foundation and a lawyer to the table. Mitchell got us off on the right foot both legally and organizationally. Her advice and support were crucial to our launch and in forming the Ada Initiative organization. Mitchell wrote about her time at the Ada Initiative in a post on her own blog.
John Ferlito is president of Linux Australia, the peak body for open source software in Australia, and founder or CTO of several businesses. Since our co-founder Mary Gardiner and our first conference, AdaCamp Melbourne, were in Australia, John’s advice on doing business and working with sponsors, the press, and the open source community in Australia was especially useful. John also championed Linux Australia becoming the Ada Initiative’s first corporate sponsor.
Sulamita Garcia has been an outspoken and enthusiast advocate for women in open source for many years, beginning with LinuxChix Brazil. In addition to working as an open source community and strategy manager for Latin America, Sulamita has lived and worked in countries around the world, so her advice helped us with our goal of being an international organization. Her perspective as a RHCE-certified Linux expert and one of the most experienced advocates for women in open source was also valuable.
Please join us in thanking Mitchell, John, and Sulamita for their service! We look forward to continuing to work with them in the future.