In November 2010, after I informed the GNOME Foundation that I'd like to submit some names of potential Executive Director candidates, Germán Póo-Caamaño invited me to serve on the GNOME Foundation's Executive Director Hiring Committee. We agreed that the Committee's work would remain confidential (as any hiring process is wrought with complicated and frank discussions). I usually prefer open processes to confidentiality, but with things like hiring, confidentiality is somewhat of a necessity.
As it turned out, though, I did find myself needing to resign from the committee. Once a particular candidate seriously submitted herself for consideration, I felt that I just had too much of a conflict of interest to continue as part of the Hiring Committee. Specifically, this candidate has been my personal friend for six years (we met after she was hired to work at SFLC), and even co-hosts an oggcast with me.
By now, the world knows why it is that I had to resign from the Hiring Committee: Karen Sandler was today appointed the Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation.
The GNOME project faces a lot of challenges in the next few years. While I am obviously biased, I firmly believe that Karen is an excellent choice to lead the GNOME Foundation and help the GNOME project through these challenges.
Karen will fortunately continue co-hosting the Free as in Freedom oggcast with me, and will still spend some time as pro bono legal counsel to Conservancy. But, her primary role now is leader of the GNOME Foundation, and I welcome her into the job of Executive Director. I did warn her how hard of a job Executive Director can be, but she's the type to take on a challenge. :)
Update: You can hear Karen discuss her new position on Free as in Freedom Episode 0x12, or her interview on LWN with Joe ‘Zonker‘ Brockmeier about the new position.