Katherine Maher

Chair, Atlantic Council

Katherine Maher is an internationally experienced CEO and executive director and an expert in leading global institutions through transformational change, often in good governance and democracy, civil and human rights, information and media, and international development and foreign policy. She is culturally fluent and always curious.

She was most recently the CEO of the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit organization that owns and operates Wikipedia, one of the world's most popular websites. As CEO she was responsible for more than 1 billion monthly users and a global volunteer force of nearly 300,000 people in more than 75 countries. She managed an annual budget of $140 million, more than 500 staff in 40 countries, and 100+ global chapter organizastions. Under her leadership, Wikipedia attained the highest public trust in the institution’s history, defined an expansive strategic direction for the future, and generated user new growth for the first time in a decade, with a particular emphasis on demographic diversity and new markets. During this time, both Katherine and Wikimedia were vocal and prominent public champions of the rights to freedom of expression, inquiry, and privacy.

Today Katherine is a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council and serves in various advisory and board director roles. She is an appointed member of the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board, where she advises the Secretary of State on the intersection of technology, democracy, and human rights. She also serves as a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, and a security fellow at the Truman National Security Project. She is on the board of directors for System.com, a trustee of the American University of Beirut, and a director of Consumer Reports and the Digital Public Library of America.

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