The Arabic Wikipedia Initiative Director will lead an ambitious effort in the Arabic-speaking countries to dramatically expand Arabic Wikipedia to achieve a vision where every single Arabic speaker can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. The initiative is a partnership between the Qatar Computing Research Institute, a nonprofit research organization that is part of the Qatar Foundation and the Wikimedia Foundation, the USA-based organization that runs Wikipedia and other free knowledge projects around the world. The Director will design and lead programs to catalyze growth in contributions to Arabic Wikipedia from the 22 Arabic speaking countries in Arabic speaking countries and help ensure that all Arabic speakers can freely access Wikipedia. The Directors goal: A large and diverse community of contributors to Arabic Wikipedia resulting in a large and high quality Arabic Wikipedia that is widely used across the region and is on par with the best Wikipedia projects around the world.
Wikipedia is the fifth most popular website in the world and the only major site that is operated as a not-for-profit and is build and run by volunteers. The Wikimedia Foundation employs a small staff to operate the technology behind the projects and pursue strategic programs that achieve the Wikimedia vision. Arabic-speaking countries were identified as a priority area for growth in Wikimedia’s strategic plan because of its large and growing population and the existence of a small, but dedicated, community of volunteers who are committed to building Wikipedia in Arabic.
The Director will play a leading role in designing and leading programs to achieve Wikimedia’s goals. This will include building a regional organization capable of launching programs to bring Wikipedia into university classrooms, to inform Arabic speakers with knowledge to share on why they should contribute to Wikipedia, to market Wikipedia as a source of valuable knowledge, and to help distribute Wikipedia in offline versions. The Director will be an innovator who designs innovative programs and communications strategies to achieve Wikimedia’s goals.
The ideal candidate will be a mission-driven person who believes deeply in the potential of free knowledge to improve and enrich the lives of people around the world. She/He needs to be a leader with high personal standards of excellence and the ability to both inspire people and make sure the details of programs are implemented flawlessly. This role requires someone who can manage their own time and that of their team without day-to-day supervision and be a part of a global team. It will be vital that the Director have a strong track record of success in prior
1. Lead the launch and growth of Wikimedia’s Global Education Program in Arabic speaking countries in partnership with university faculty and Wikimedia community volunteers
2. Support the Arabic Wikipedia community to make the project welcoming to new contributors and implement programs that help convert readers of Wikipedia in Arabic-speaking countries into contributors.
3. Develop local partnerships that help to broaden the Wikimedia community and attract new groups as contributors:
- ● Academia: Work with innovators within the academic community to introduce the power of contributing to Wikipedia to the discipline (e.g., sciences, social sciences, arts), both for knowledge sharing within the group and in sharing knowledge with society at large.
- Professional associations/networks: Work with innovators in major professional fields (e.g. attorneys, engineers, doctors) to improve the information available on Arabic Wikipedia both as a vital resource for professionals and for sharing knowledge withsociety at large
- Free/Libre and open source software community: There is a close bond between Wikimedia and the F/LOSS community and this needs to be cultivated.
- Schools: Develop partnerships with education ministries and NGO’s in education at the national and state level to ensure schools have access to Wikipedia, either online or offline
- Mobile: Support the creation of partnerships with mobile service providers and mobile application developers within Arabic-speaking countries to strengthen Wikipedia’s mobile reach
- Individuals: Establish connections to a group of advisors and friends of Wikimedia who can advise and support the team and community
4. Outreach in partnership with the Wikimedia volunteer community focused on expanding the Wikimedia community of contributors. This might include:
- Communications campaigned focused on national and major local media to build awareness
- Use social media marketing techniques to connect to new communities and encourage
- contributions to Wikipedia
- Article writing competitions
5. Work with the community and QCRI along with other partners to explore the potential of using translation as a means of growing Arabic Wikipedia learning from the successes and failures of past efforts.
6. Work with QCRI’s research team and other research partners to encourage research work that provides insights and tools that help the Arabic Wikipedia community grow and makes the work of contributing to and maintaining Arabic Wikipedia easier.
7. Build an organization and opening an office to house the programs of the initiative. This would involve setting up a not-for-profit entity (likely in Egypt) and hiring/managing a program team to implement activities in Arabic speaking countries.
8. Measure the impact of programs, document the implementation of programs and capture lessons for future activities as a core process of the team. Regularly share progress and learning publicly.
9. Support the Global Development leadership team of the Foundation working with peers in other Countries and Directors of Mobile, Global Development Research and Communications
Characteristics of the Director:
● High energy for, drive and commitment to the Wikimedia mission: Deeply believes in the value of Wikimedia in the Arabic context, exudes enthusiasm for the mission and can powerfully embody and communicate the mission
● Intellectual curiosity and flexibility: Enjoy tackling difficult, ambiguous problems and able to incorporate new knowledge into how one approaches situations and generates solutions; loves learning from others and expanding intellectual horizons
● Open and transparent: High level of integrity and comfortable working in a highly
transparent fashion, open to input and feedback, proactive candid communicator who wants people to know what she/he is doing and isn't afraid to bring others in when things are off-track or when you need help. Can handle criticism in a mature
● Community builder: Essential that the leader see her/himself as a partner to and
supporter of the Wikipedians who have and will continue to be the leaders in building Arabic Wikipedia. Must be willing and able to work with a diverse array of people, many of whom come from non-traditional backgrounds and have a fervent commitment to Wikipedia’s community-led nature.
● Strong cultural competency: Able to navigate in a global movement and on a global team in addition to navigating the complexity of the Arabic-speaking region
Proficient manager: Able to design and execute on a range of initiatives; build, organize and manage a team of people on a regional basis; responsible use of resources (financial and human)
● Data-driven: Is on top of the data about the Arabic projects; subjects her/his own
approaches and activities as well as those of the team to rigorous analysis; willing to stop doing things that prove to be ineffective based on the data
● Partnership developer: Able to initiate, negotiate and operate partnerships that advance the Wikimedia mission in Arabic-speaking with a wide range of institutions across the public, NGO, philanthropic and private sector
● Willing to travel: Regular travel within the region to engage Wikimedia communities and conduct outreach activities; Periodic global travel (2-4 trips per year)
Willing to flex schedule to operate within a global team: Be available for limited number of conference calls or email exchange some evenings weekly
● At least ten years of professional experience with a strong track record of success in high performance organizations
● Experience as a manager in a collaborative community or organizational setting
● Strong academic results from highly-regarded university
● Strong understanding of the Internet and the forces that underpin the success of
● Active participation as a Wikimedia volunteer would be an asset, though not a
prerequisite (must be prepared to demonstrate knowledge of how Wikipedia works in interviews)
● Demonstrated experience working in a global, multi-cultural team environment
● Strong writer in Arabic and English; must be fluent in both Arabic and English
The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free, multilingual content, and to providing the full content of these wiki-based projects to the public free of charge. The Wikimedia Foundation operates some of the largest collaboratively edited reference projects in the world, including Wikipedia, a top-ten internet property.
firstname.lastname@example.org - Moushira Elamrawy