Hello OSM-US community. By way of introductions, I’m Allen Gunn, aka Gunner, and I’m excited to be supporting the OpenStreetMap US Executive Director Search. This is part of the work I do running a US nonprofit called Aspiration, where a big part of our mission is supporting free and open source projects and communities.

I’m writing on behalf of the Hiring Committee to share our thinking on the process for identifying the new Executive Director.

We have taken some initial steps, including seating a hiring committee and identifying a group of community members who expressed interest in serving as observers in the process.

That said, we want to make sure to “think out loud” on the full process and invite community feedback before moving much farther ahead. Here’s what we are thinking in terms of the steps we will take in order to identify the new Executive Director:

  • Draft the job description: The job description will describe both the responsibilities of the role we are filling as well as the type of person we are looking for. We’ll share the draft with the OSM US community and encourage feedback before posting more broadly.
  • Define the application procedure: We’ll try to keep things clear and simple in terms of how and what applicants should submit in order to apply, the anticipated timeline, and the interview process. We’ll invite members of our observers group to weigh in on all these points, and if anyone else is interested in providing input, please let us know.
  • Draft the outreach plan: Our goal will be to publicize the opening as broadly as possible, and the plan will enumerate the channels and the content we’ll use, as well as partners and allies we’ll engage for support.
  • Announce and publicize the job announcement: We’ll spread the word as widely as possible in order to recruit a rich and diverse set of applicants. We will ask all community members to both amplify the announcement and to let us know other communities and online spaces where we should be engaging. We hope to announce the position later in April.
  • Filter applications and engage promising candidates: This will include identifying strongest applications, scheduling hiring committee interviews with the most promising candidates, checking references for any who are still in contention after the interviews, and identifying 2-3 finalists for the position.
  • Identify and confirm new Executive Director: With our final candidates, we’ll host OSM US community interviews with finalists, along with final interviews with the hiring committee. Once we have all the information and input we need, we’ll decide on a new ED, make a formal job offer and hopefully close the deal, agreeing on a start date and making arrangements to welcome them into the role.

We don’t have a specific date by which we home to complete the hire, but our aim is to do it as fast as possible and ideally have a confirmed hire by September 2018.

Throughout the process, we’ll be reachable on the #ed-hire channel on OpenStreetMap US Slack. All are welcome! Visit https://osmus-slack.herokuapp.com/ to sign up.

So our questions to you:

  • Does this process make sense?
  • Are there other ways in which you would like visibility or input into the process?
  • Does anything seem to be missing, or alternately does anything feel less necessary?

Overall, we want to make sure the path we follow to hire the first-ever OpenStreetMap US Executive Director is as inclusive, transparent and collaborative as possible.

We welcome your comments, suggestions, questions and concerns, and look forward to working with the whole community to find our first Executive Director.

Header photo by Maximilian Schiffer (CC BY-ND 2.0).

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