A time of transition

Dear Global Voices community,

It’s not easy to leave a job that you love, and it’s hard to say goodbye. But today I am announcing that, as we reach our 20th anniversary, I will be stepping aside as executive director.

It’s been an incredible honor to serve this community, and the values that Global Voices represents.

There never seems to be a good time for a change in leadership, but I believe that it is important to make space for new people and new ideas. And 15 years is a long time to have the same executive. I am excited to see what fresh eyes and hearts can bring to this role.

Global Voices today is a healthy organization, with a strong bottom line, an unimpeachable reputation, and ambitious new ideas about our direction. The past few years of Community Council sessions have helped us to define new goals: we have lots of energy to work on training and education, fellowship programs, research, collaborative journalism, a more deeply multilingual newsroom, online human rights, and digital inclusion, while sustaining and growing our community.

The problems we face are more challenging than ever. There is, and will be, a need for what Global Voices does for a long time. Too many of our contributors work under conditions of adversity and threat. The spaces for creative exchange and expression that we aim to build are under huge pressure from increasingly oppressive political and technological systems.

Our collective aspiration for equitable freedoms and peace for all, of a diversity of representation of voice and perspective, of a world with fewer borders and of more acceptance of human complexity, will remain an anchor for me. Even as I recognize that those hopes may feel futile for many, I will seek new ways to work towards them, in other roles.

We will announce a search for a new executive director next week. I plan to remain in the ED role until we have established new leadership. This will take at least a few months, and in that time I will continue to work to support our teams, raise funds, participate in projects, and plan the 2024 Summit. We are in the midst of designing initiatives on journalism, media training, research, digital safety, and digital and online rights advocacy, and I’ll be busy supporting these efforts throughout this transition.

Beyond that, I will remain in the space, and continue to support the mission and goals of this community however I can.

I want to thank everyone who has contributed their time, thoughts, and ideas to Global Voices, as writers, as translators, and as activists. I also want to thank the regional editors and translation managers, who work selflessly to find and support contributors, and build and sustain this community. I also have a huge appreciation for my colleagues on the core team; their care, dedication and creativity have made the daily work of running Global Voices a pleasure. I especially want to thank my co-leader Georgia Popplewell; I couldn’t ask for a better partner. And finally, I want to thank all the board members of both our Dutch and US legal entities, who have volunteered their time, expertise and guidance in the support of our collective endeavor.

Of the many things I have loved about working with Global Voices over the past 15+ years, perhaps the most enduring is the unpretentious, heartfelt, and can-do attitude of so many in this community. I hold this mindset, and the humility and perseverance of so many of you, in my heart and head throughout my days.


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