Expanding Mozilla’s boards in 2023
As Mozilla reaches its 25th anniversary this year, we’re working hard to set up our “next chapter” — thinking bigger and being bolder about how we can shape the coming era of the internet. We’re working to expand our product offerings, creating multiple options for consumers, audiences and business models. We’re growing our philanthropic and advocacy work that promotes trustworthy AI. And, we’re creating two new Mozilla companies, Mozilla.ai: to develop a trustworthy open source AI stack and Mozilla Ventures: to invest in responsible tech companies. Across all of this, we’ve been actively recruiting new leaders who can help us build Mozilla for this next era.
With all of this in mind, we are seeking three new members for the Mozilla Foundation Board of Directors. These Board members will help grow the scope and impact of the Mozilla Project overall, working closely with the Boards of the Mozilla Corporation, Mozilla.ai and Mozilla Ventures. At least one of the new Board members will play a central role in guiding the work of the Foundation’s charitable programs, which focuses on movement building and trustworthy AI.
What is the role of a Mozilla board member?
I’ve written in the past about the role of the Board of Directors at Mozilla.
At Mozilla, our board members join more than just a board, they join the greater team and the whole movement for internet health. We invite our board members to build relationships with management, employees and volunteers. The conventional thinking is that these types of relationships make it hard for executives to do their jobs. We feel differently. We work openly and transparently, and want Board members to be part of the team and part of the community.
It’s worth noting that Mozilla is an unusual organization. As I wrote in our most recent annual report:
Mozilla is a rare organization. We’re activists for a better internet, one where individuals and societies benefit more from the effects of technology, and where competition brings consumers choices beyond a small handful of integrated technology giants.
We’re activists who champion change by building alternatives. We build products and compete in the consumer marketplace. We combine this with advocacy, policy, and philanthropic programs connecting to others to create change. This combination is rare.
It’s important that our Board members understand all this, including why we build consumer products and why we have a portfolio of organizations playing different roles. It is equally important that the Boards of our commercial subsidiaries understand why we run charitable programs within Mozilla Foundation that complement the work we do to develop products and invest in responsible tech companies.
What are we looking for?
At the highest level, we are seeking people who can help our global organization grow and succeed — and who ensure that we advance the work of the Mozilla Manifesto over the long run. Here is the full job description: https://mzl.la/MofoBoardJD2023
There are a variety of qualities that we seek in all Board members, including a cultural sense of Mozilla and a commitment to an open, transparent, community driven approach. We are also focused on ensuring the diversity of the Board, and fostering global perspectives.
As we recruit, we typically look to add specific skills or domain expertise to the Board. Current examples of areas where we’d like to add expertise include:
- Mission-based business — experience creating, running or overseeing organizations that combine public benefit and commercial activities towards a mission.
- Global, public interest advocacy – experience leading successful, large-scale public interest advocacy organizations with online mobilization and shaping public discourse on key issues at the core.
- Effective ‘portfolio’ organizations – experience running or overseeing organizations that include a number of divisions, companies or non-profits under one umbrella, with an eye to helping the portfolio add up to more than the sum of its parts.
Finding the right people who match these criteria and who have the skills we need takes time. Board candidates will meet the existing board members, members of the management team, individual contributors and volunteers. We see this as a good way to get to know how someone thinks and works within the framework of the Mozilla mission. It also helps us feel comfortable including someone at this senior level of stewardship.
We want your suggestions
We are hoping to add three new members to the Mozilla Foundation Board of Directors over the next 18 months. If you have candidates that you believe would be good board members, send them to email@example.com. We will use real discretion with the names you send us.