DPLA Welcomes Laura DeBonis and Katherine Maher to Board of Directors

By John Bracken, October 2, 2018.
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We are thrilled to announce that Katherine Maher, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, and independent consultant Laura DeBonis have joined the Digital Public Library of America’s Board of Directors. I am excited to add their experience, skills, and perspectives to our board.

We look forward to continuing to work closely with the board to shape the future of DPLA while remaining deeply rooted in our founding principles.

Laura DeBonis

Laura helped conceive of the initial plans of what became DPLA and was among our founding board members. Her experience and leadership in the fields of ebooks, nonprofits, and technology innovation, coupled with her grounding in our creation, will advance our work.

Laura DeBonis works as an independent consultant and advisor to tech startups and nonprofits. Recently she concluded her term on the Public Interest Declassification Board at the National Archives, to which she was appointed in 2015 by President Obama and where she served as Co-Chair of the Technology Working Group.  Laura has previously worked at EF Education First and at Google in a variety of positions including Director of Library Partnerships for Book Search, Google’s initiative to make all the world’s books discoverable and searchable online. Laura started her career in documentary film and multimedia and in strategy consulting for internet businesses.  She is a graduate of Harvard College and has a MBA from Harvard Business School. Laura is thrilled to be returning to the board of DPLA.

Katherine Maher

Katherine is a dynamic and inspiring nonprofit leader. In her role as executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, she heads one of the world’s most visible nonprofits dedicated to free and open access to information. She brings deep experience as a champion for civic technology and open access to information to the DPLA Board as well as a commitment to our shared mission of maximizing access to knowledge in order to inform and empower people. Her guidance will be invaluable as we explore ways to broaden DPLA’s reach and impact over the coming years.

Katherine Maher is the Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit organization that supports Wikipedia and its sister projects. She is a longtime advocate for free and open societies, and has lived and worked around the world leading the introduction of technology and innovation in human rights, good governance, and international development. Katherine has worked with UNICEF, the National Democratic Institute, the World Bank, and Access Now on programs supporting technologies for democratic participation, civic engagement, and open government. She is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Council on Human Rights and a fellow at the Truman National Security Project.

As we welcome Katherine and Laura to the Board, we thank outgoing board members Sarah Burnes, Jamie Hollier, Amy Ryan, and Siva Vaidhyanathan. Their leadership has enabled DPLA to grow beyond the initial vision, and personally they’ve been great supports to me and the organization over the last year. I want to single out Amy Ryan who, as board chair, was a vital partner and guide for me as I transitioned into DPLA. Our new chair, Brian Bannon, will help us  salute them at DPLAfest on April 17-18 in Chicago.