Handing On The Baton

I joined in with the Open Source Initiative in 2008, was elected to its Board in 2010 and became its President in 2012. Along with the Board, I've pursued a vision of OSI transforming into a membership organisation, serving open source not only as steward of the Open Source Definition and arbiter of which licenses satisfy its requirements and thus deliver software freedom, but also as an enabler for people and organisations that want to make open source better and more popular.

Since we made this change, we've made great progress. We have many Affiliates, multiple Corporate Sponsors and a substantial number of individual members. We have been able to hire a full-time General Manager, which has resulted in a steady stream of improvements, most visibly regular newsletters but also to infrastructure, Board facilitation and organisational effectiveness. That's led to new work, including being able to act as the fiscal sponsor for OpenHatch, backing the development of a higher-education curriculum and hosting a cross-community group to help open source entities gain US non-profit status.

As part of these changes, OSI introduced term limits for Board membership so that vacancies for new Directors would open that could be filled by representatives of the new membership. The people who made this wise and bold decision have mostly left the Board now, and I will leave the Board next April as well. In the light of that and with the support of the Board, I decided not to offer myself for re-election as President this year, so there would be space for a new leader to be appointed while I am still a Director.

As a result, the Board unanimously elected Allison Randal as its new President yesterday. She is a fantastic choice, with long experience at the heart of the free and open source movement as well as in the business use of open source at all scales. She's been chairing the ongoing in-person Board meeting and continuing the move towards an OSI that enables people to make things better in open source as well as stewarding licenses.

With Allison at the helm, OSI will continue to get better and better and I encourage you to join now as an individual, to affiliate your community and to persuade your company to become a sponsor. The things we have been discussing today at the Board meeting are very exciting and you will want to be part of them!