Katherine Maher is the Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation and oversees the operations of the organization and its professional staff.
Originally from Connecticut, USA, Katherine has spent her career at the intersection of technology, human rights, democracy and international development. Before joining the Foundation, she was Advocacy Director for the international digital rights organization Access in Washington, D.C., where she worked on global policy issues related to freedom of expression, access to information and privacy.
Prior to Access, Katherine was an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Innovations Specialist at the World Bank; ICT Program Officer at the National Democratic Institute; and Innovation and Communication Officer at UNICEF, where she was a founding member of the UNICEF Innovation team. She joined the Wikimedia Foundation in 2014 as the organization’s first Chief Communications Officer.
Katherine received her Bachelor’s degree in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies in 2005 from New York University’s College of Arts and Science, after studying at the Arabic Language Institute of the American University in Cairo, Egypt, and Institut français d’études arabes de Damas (L’IFEAD) in Damascus, Syria.
Katherine is a fellow at the Truman National Security Project, and her writings on human rights, technology and foreign policy have appeared in various publications, including the book “State Power 2.0” and periodicals Foreign Policy, the Atlantic and the Guardian. She is a member of the Advisory Council of the Open Technology Fund and the board of the Sunlight Foundation. Katherine is based in San Francisco, though it may be more accurate to say she lives in a metal tube in the sky.