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Mark Surman appointed as Executive Director of Mozilla Foundation

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marksurman_mozilla.JPGThe Shuttleworth Foundation’s open philanthropy fellow, Mark Surman will be moving to the Mozilla Foundation where he has been appointed executive director and will continue his work in open sourcing philanthropy.

An international community and open source software project, the Mozilla Foundation believes that the Internet is a public resource that must remain open and accessible to all, as it is the most significant social and technological development of our time. The organisation runs many projects, including development of the Firefox web browser.

“Mark’s move to Mozilla shows that our fellowship programme is working,” says Helen King, Principal Advisor to the Shuttleworth Foundation. “The programme aims to let people explore new ideas like open philanthropy, and then to move on to using these ideas in places that matter, such as at the Mozilla Foundation.”

King explains that through fellowships, the Shuttleworth Foundation aims to work with people on the front edge of issues like open education, knowledge and telecommunications in a way that is agile and high impact. There are currently four fellows working with the Foundation. They are Andrew Rens in the field of intellectual property, Steve Song who’s focus is on telecommunications, Steve Vosloo on communications and analytical skills and Mark Surman with open philanthropy and open education.

“The fellowships emerged about 18 months ago as a way for us to make bets not only on projects, but on people too,” says King. “So far it has been successful and we have begun to see traction on key issues in terms of progressing an open knowledge society.”

“The Shuttleworth Foundation looks forward to staying connected with Mark as a collaborator,” she continues. “And we will continue to work with him as an informal advisor to our board of trustees.”

Mark says that he looks forward to working with the Mozilla Foundation and addressing the challenges it currently faces, progressing the work he began at the Shuttleworth Foundation.

“I’m thrilled to report that we’ve identified the person we believe should lead the Mozilla Foundation into a new stage of activity,” says Mitchell Baker, chairperson of the Mozilla Foundation. “Mark joins us after a long period of getting to know — and being known by — Mozilla contributors. It’s a rare candidate who can transit such a prolonged and open process. Mark is wrapping up his work with the Shuttleworth Foundation and will join us officially on September 22.”

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