Josh Berkus has been involved with open source for 25 years, including participating in Linux, PostgreSQL, Perl, OpenOffice, Django, MySQL, CouchDB, Docker, Kubernetes, and multiple other communities. Within OSI, Josh has been a contributing member of License Review since 2003, regularly contributing a developer perspective to reviews of submitted licenses. He works for the Red Hat Open Source Program Office, where he supports and administers multiple open source projects and interfaces with many OSS-supporting companies and foundations, including guiding teams and partners in launching open source efforts.
Additionally, Josh has accumulated a significant amount of nonprofit experience. He has been a fundraiser for the San Francisco Opera, during which time he was a member of Development Executives Rountable and other professional fundraising organizations. He is the co-chair of the Contributor Strategy TAG in the Cloud Native Computing foundation, and has a history of collaboration with the Linux Foundation and the Open Infra Foundation. Josh is also a former board member and treasurer of Software In The Public Interest, where he helped with the final transfer of ownership of the Opensource.org domain to the OSI.
Josh sits on the proposal review committee for several software conferences, is a well-known public speaker at many tech events, and spoke at the State of the Source Summit about database licensing.
How will you contribute to the board:
I am running for the board in order to do two things: modernize License Review, and support our new Executive director in expanding the organization.
License Review has discussed adopting more current tooling that allows for line-item markup and preservation of license change history for years. As a member of the board, I’ll be in a position to make adoption of new tooling actually happen. It is past time for this to change.
OSI’s new ED needs to expand the mission of OSI and raise funds and build awareness to sustain that expanded scope. I will be able to use my experience with nonprofit organizations, marketing, and fundraising to support the ED in this, both through direct help and advice, and through helping other board members understand needs and practices of nonprofits, both inside and outside tech.
Why you should be elected:
The main reason to vote for me is that you want the OSI to accomplish what I want to accomplish. If you feel that the OSI should continue its trajectory towards becoming a more professional and well-respected nonprofit organization, elect me to help with that. If you want to modernize License Review, that will be my remit as a board member.
I’m also a candidate who is good at understanding multiple perspectives. I’ve worked both in tech and outside it, both for big companies and as an independent developer. I’m not an attorney, but I “speak lawyer”. I’ve visited open source contributors around the world, and still collaborate with folks from many countries and dozens of open source communities. As a board member, I will have the duty to “represent the worldwide Open Source communities” and plan to fulfill that.