The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is managed by a member-elected Board of Directors and is the ultimate authority responsible for the organization as a California public benefit corporation, with 501(c)3 tax-exempt status. The Board's responsibilities include oversight of the organization, including its operations, staff and budget; setting strategic direction and defining goals in line with the mission, and; serving the community through committees and working groups. The ten person Board is composed of Directors elected by OSI Individual Members (4) and Affiliate Members (5). The General Manager of the OSI also serves on the Board as a Director (ex officio). The results of elections for both Individual and Affiliate Member Board seats are advisory with the OSI Board making the formal appointments to open seats based on the community's votes.
As a true corporate board, Board members must agree to, and comply with, the OSI Conflict of Interest Policy, and all Directors are expected to participate regularly in monthly Board meetings, any special meetings that may arise and the ongoing discussions related to the OSI specifically and open source generally.
No Board Director who has served for six consecutive years is eligible for re-election until a year has elapsed. As an example, someone elected to an Individual Member seat five consecutive times, and thus serving 5 consecutive years, could be elected to an Affiliate Member Director for a further 3 years. However after serving that term they would then be term-limited and unable to be elected for a further consecutive term.
The representation of the board is as follows:
Only current OSI Individual Members may run for an Individual Member seat on the Board (learn more about joining the OSI as an Individual Member), however those running for an Affiliate seat on the Board need not be an Individual Member. Those interested in running for an Individual Member seat do not need to be nominated and may run by simply completing the candidate information. Those interested in running for an Affiliate Member Board seat must be nominated by a current OSI Affiliate organization.
Standing for election is extremely easy. Current Individual Members who would like to run for an Individual Member seat can simply send a contact request, with the category “Candidate Nomination” via the OSI contact form (http//opensource.org/contact).
Current Affiliate Members may send their nominations for Affiliate Member seats to the OSI via the OSI contact form (http://opensource.org/contact). Please select the “Candidate Nomination” category on the form.
Once we receive your request, we will promptly send you back information to create your election profile. Current election eligibility policy can be found here in the OSI Bylaws, Article IV, Sections 3 - 5.
Voting in OSI elections is open to all Individual and Affiliate Members. Only Individual Members may vote in the election of Individual Member seats. Only Affiliate Member representatives may vote in the election of Affiliate Member seats. Only one vote per Affiliate Member, as submitted by the Affiliate Rep. will be counted in the election of an Affiliate seat. Elections for OSI Directors are held according to the Ranked Choice voting method (also known as “Instant Runoff”, “Transferable Vote”, “Preferential Vote”, or “Alternative Vote”).
Voting for all elections is done through email using an online voting system. When elections occur, OSI current and lifelong Individual Members and the Affiliate Members' representatives receive email notifications with instructions on how to access the online voting systems, instructions on how to complete their vote, vote, and a list of the candidates with further information about them and their interests/qualifications.
Becoming a member
If you are not an Individual Member and would like to vote in the election for an Individual Member seat, and/or run, for an OSI Individual Member Board Director seat, please consider registering for Individual Membership. Your participation is fundamental to make the OSI more community oriented and to better represent your interests. You can join in as a member now and still vote or become a candidate on this election as long as you join before nominations close.
Can I run for an Individual or Affiliate Member seat?
Yes, you can run for either seat. However, to run for an Individual Member seat, you must be a current Individual Member, but you do not need to be an Individual Member to run for an Affiliate seat on the Board.
Do I need to be an OSI Individual Member to be a candidate for an Individual Member or Affiliate Board of Director seat?
You must be a current OSI Individual Member to run for an Individual Member Board seat, but you do not need to be an Individual Member to run for an Affiliate Member Board seat.
What if I'm not an OSI Member and want to run?
Individual Membership is easy, and you can become a member right now, and still run for election. You may also contact an OSI Affiliate to ask about a nominated from them. OSI has transitioned from an organization governed by a self-selected Board to a members-driven community. If you support this effort to make the OSI more community oriented and to better represent your interests, please join the OSI and participate in our greatest member benefits, to vote--or run!
Can I nominate someone else for an Individual Member Board seat?
No. The OSI Board needs to have the commitment of the candidate that he/she is really willing to serve on the Board. But, you can contact your desired candidate and suggest that he/she self-nominates. All that is required is that he/she sends an email!
Can I nominate someone else for an Affiliate Member Board seat?
No. Only OSI Affiliate Member organizations may nominate candidates for Affiliate Board seats.
As an Individual Member, can I vote for Individual and Affiliate Member candidates?
No, as an Individual Member you may vote only for candidates running for Individual Member seats on the Board. Affiliate Member representatives vote for candidates running for Affiliate seats on the Board. If you are both an Individual Member and an Affiliate Member representative you may vote for both Individual and Affiliate Member seats.