Candidates for the 2014 PSF Board of Directors

The following people have been nominated as Directors of the Python Software Foundation for the term beginning in April 2014. Their self-written summaries follow.

There are currently 11 seats on the Board of Directors (last changed in the 2012 PSF Members vote).

Please note that the new bylaws require disclosing the affiliation of each candidate.

Lynn Root

2013 Board Member.

Lynn has been a PSF board member since 2013, a member of the PSF Outreach and Education committee since 2012, and continues to lead the PyLadies of San Francisco since 2012. She currently leads the development and growth of the global organization of PyLadies, including helping other locations starting a local PyLadies, maintaining and Lynn is also helping organizing PyCon 2014 by leading the lightning talks segment and PyLadies presence at the conference.

Lynn wishes to be a board member for the next year to accomplish the following things:

  • PyLadies trademark on name & logo,
  • Broadening the PSF's reach in diversity,
  • Finding more PSF/PyCon sponsors that align with the PSF's diversity mission.

Affiliation: Lynn Root works for Spotify.

Jessica McKellar

Current board member (2012, 2013)

It has been an honor and pleasure to serve on the PSF Board for the past two years. I love this community, and I hope to have the opportunity to continue to serve it as a Board member as it grows into new challenges and opportunities next year.

I bring several perspectives to the Board, as:

This past year, as part of my Foundation work I:

  • served on the PSF Outreach and Education Committee, and in particular worked to promote the committee and help groups write and submit grant requests.
  • regularly spoke and wrote about the PSF and encouraged community participation (e.g. Kiwi PyCon 2013 keynote, All Things Open, PyTennessee keynote, upcoming PyCon North America 2014 keynote, upcoming PyCon APAC 2014 keynote, PSF blog posts).
  • regularly reached out to individuals and initiatives about partnering with the PSF or applying for grants / getting community support to run Python events.
  • after informally playing this role in 2013, became the first ever Diversity Outreach Chair for PyCon North America 2014. The conference has a record-setting percentage of proposals submitted by women, and will have a record 33% women speakers. There are of course many more axes to diversity and more to do next year!

The language and community continue to grow, which is great, but with this growth have come some growing pains for the Foundation. I think the most important goal for the PSF for 2014 is to finish several important but lagging initiatives, and to do so in a way that is transparent and with sustainable volunteer obligations. In particular, 2014 will be the year we finish:

Additionally, I'd like to lead:

  • more global community development, including support for user groups, conferences, and outreach initiatives, in particular outside the United States.
  • proactively seeking out/creating and supporting opportunities for Python in education.

Affiliation: Jessica McKellar is a co-founder of Zulip.

Brian Curtin

Current board member (2012, 2013)

My involvement with the Python community:

  • PSF Communications Officer: I've been running the blog and social media communications for the PSF, and keep the membership and community aware of PSF activities through website updates of minutes and resolutions. This recently extended to include summaries sent to PSF members. I was involved in communications starting in 2011, and became an officer in 2012.
  • PyCon: I'm the conference's publicity coordinator and run the blog, email, and social media communications, as well as assist the chair in any way possible. I've been involved with this since PyCon 2010.
  • Sprints committee: I lead the PSF's sprints committee, providing funding to user groups and events that want to get together and contribute to Python-related open source projects or other group coding activities. I've been involved with this committee since its inception in June 2010.
  • New Website: I was involved in pre-selection reviewing, and then during the implementation I was involved with updating and creating site content.
  • CPython and open source development: While CPython has gotten less of my attention that I've wanted to give it over the last year, I'm still involved in open source development with Python.

My plans for 2014:

  • Continue the increase in communications coming out of the board, increasing visibility of decisions and news, and keeping the membership apprised of what their foundation is doing. This was one of my goals for 2013 and I've somewhat improved it, but with the new membership model coming on board and an upward trend in information being available, I'd like to continue to grow this area for the foundation and the board. A refresh of the PSF content on the new website will also be done as a part of this.
  • Increase global outreach. The PSF is still heavily a US-centric organization, while Python is a global community. We need to continue to find allies in underrepresented communities and find what the PSF can do for them and their community, their event, their conference, etc. Promoting the new membership model and increasing our communications in general can help us progress in this area.

Affiliation: Rackspace

Alex Gaynor

Current board member (2013)

It's been a privilege to serve the community on the board in this past year. I additionally serve on the Sprints and Outreach and Education committees. I've also served as the co-chair of the PyCon US Program Committee, and I've worked with the Infrastructure committee on various projects.

In the coming year I'm looking forward to working on implementing the new working group-centric organization for the PSF, and empowering more people to promote Python within their communities (whether geographic or shared-interest).

Affiliations: I'm employed by Rackspace.

Marc-Andre Lemburg

2013 Board Member

I've been board member in the years 2002-2004 and then again since 2010.

PSF things I've been working on in 2013/2014:

in addition to the usual PSF board and trademark committee work.

Things I'd like to focus on for 2014/2015:

  • help promote the PSF at European Python events and get more people involved in the PSF
  • create a marketing work group to (a) develop a more diverse marketing strategy for Python which doesn't only focus on developers, (b) create more marketing material and tools to enable Python user groups and evangelists to better promote Python in their local and professional settings, and (c) create more Python merchandise
  • try to get local and regional Python user groups more directly connected to the PSF, so that they can more easily benefit from PSF resources
  • build closer relationships with the Raspberry Pi Foundation, so that we can offer RasPi kits at better prices, have integrated Python course material readily available for schools and teachers to use

I'd like to continue my work as director and look forward to another year serving on the board.

Other Python community projects I'm involved in:

Affiliation: GmbH, Germany

Van Lindberg

Current board member (2012, 2013)

I love being part of the Python community. I am glad to have a chance to help out where I can. There are a lot of things that I've started over the past couple years that I want to help continue. Specifically:

  • Grow the membership. In 2013 we reworked the new membership model into new bylaws, got community feedback on those bylaws, and got them passed by the board. In 2014 I want to use the flexibility given to us by the new membership model to grow the PSF and Python community internationally. My goal is to 10x the size of the Python membership over 2014.
  • Support great things happening in the community. One of the new tools we have is the working group structure, which allows us to identify, recognize, and support the great things that are already happening in the community. I think that we currently have three working groups (PyCon US, trademark, infrastructure). I want to grow this by 100x, supporting and highlighting the great things that are already happening in the Python community.
  • Create opportunities for new sponsorship. We just put in place a deal that will provide $300K of free services to the PSF over the next five years. There are opportunities to do this multiple times, making it so that we can provide more services and better support to the community while keeping costs low. In particular, I would like to...
  • Get some corporate-supported paid Python devs. It is amazing that Python still doesn't have any full-time paid Python ecosystem core developers. This is something that is done regularly in other communities - certain levels of corporate support carry with them a requirement to provide one or more full-time heads working on the project. This is something that we can do to accelerate our community and make us more responsive overall.
  • Provide new support for local conferences. We have the opportunity to bring higher levels of sponsorship to local conferences all around the globe. We will keep investing in PyCon US, but we also want to grow the network of PyCon conferences worldwide. Initial discussions have already taken place; we have the opportunity to put this support in place over 2014.
  • Continue to provide legal and operational infrastructure. We were taken somewhat by surprise by the trademark flap last year. We were able to bring that to a successful conclusion, but there is ongoing work to help us continue to level up and protect "PyCon," the two-snakes logo, and other parts of the Python brand that we want to make sure are not misused.

I was recently interviewed by a consultant for the Wikimedia foundation, who remarked that we were way beyond them in the friendliness and the diversity of our community. They - and others - are looking to us to show the way toward a more community-focused approach to growth.

Affiliation: I work at Rackspace.

David Mertz

Current Board member (5 years)

(nomination by Kushal Das, accepted by David)

He has served on the PSF board for five years, would like to continue to do so.

He chaired the PSF Trademarks Committee, and have served on the committee for 6 years. We resolve legal matters in the committee, enter into relationships of fiscal sponsorship with relevant projects to further protect our IP, and generally improve the relationships with broader Python communities through friendly and productive conversations about trademark rights.

He chaired the Outreach and Education Committee, which was formed in 2011. The committee has funded numerous outreach efforts to user groups and educational efforts, and will continue to fund more in the future; acting as Board liaison is useful.

He created the voting procedure used by the PSF for the prior several years (and the small software tools needed to make it work), assisted the PSF Secretary in its operation, and administered the last election. In response to some requests by members, he worked wtih PSF member (and Web2Py lead) Massimo Di Pierro to get his E-vote software to provide all the same wonderful cryptographic and security guarantees as the prior email-based system (and some more).

He was very pleased to serve as PSF/Board representative to give one of the two keynotes at PyCon-India in 2012. As well as enjoying representing the PSF broadly, this tied in with the mission of the Outreach & Education to regionally/nationally diversify interest in and commitment to Python and to the PSF. He also gave the keynote in PyCon-UK 2013.

By background, he is a recovering humanities academic, tempted away from post-structuralist political philosophy by the intrigue and wiles of algorithms and data structures (always best expressed in this language Guido gave us).

He is the author of Addison Wesley's Text Processing in Python, of the IBM developerWorks' column Charming Python (since 2001), and of various other articles advancing and explaining the use of Python and its tools and libraries. He has created some moderately well-used FOSS Python tools (most collected in Gnosis Utilities); these have been poorly maintained in recent years.

Often a speaker at PyCon and OSCON. he had been an advocate for use of Python by several public-interest software projects, including in the voting software developed by the Open Voting Consortium (he was CTO and board member of that organization). He has also been a consultant with a number of notable Python-using organizations, at the margins helping to expand that use.

Affiliation: David Mertz is a consultant for D. E. Shaw Research and owner of Gnosis Software.

Rachel Sanders

New Board Member.

I helped found PyLadies San Francisco in 2012, and have run the South Bay chapter ever since. Internally at LinkedIn, I work on Python advocacy and standards in addition to my regular engineering work.

I've greatly benefitted from the outreach and work of the PSF board and general Python community, and I want to help contribute and advocate for it.

I would like to work on:

  • Outreach to underrepresented groups
  • Outreach to groups outside the United States and working on global diversity
  • Understanding the real needs of the Python and PSF community and contribute to what needs doing

Affiliation: Rachel Sanders works for LinkedIn.

Selena Deckelmann

New Board Member.

(nominated by Jessica McKellar)

I've been involved with free and open source software since 1995 and began running conferences for PostgreSQL in 2007. In 2012, I founded PyLadiesPDX, a Portland chapter of PyLadies. I founded Open Source Bridge, Postgres Open and I speak internationally about open source, databases and community. I am a major contributor to PostgreSQL.

A few conferences I've keynoted include DjangoCon, OSDC Taiwan, Computer Science Teachers Association annual conference, PgCon (Postgres conference), SCaLE and FrOSCon. I've given talks at PyCon, JSConf, Linux.Conf.AU, RICON, OSCON, LISA, MySQL Users Conference, Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, and FOSDEM. I've participated as a mentor for Google's Summer of Code (PostgreSQL) and GNOME Outreach Program for Women (Socorro, a BI tool for Firefox Crashes written mostly in Python). I list these because the connections I've made and experience with relating to many open source communities are relevant to the goals I have for joining the board and extending Python's community engagement with K-12 teachers.

I've experienced tremendous support from both the Django and Python software communities and would love to give back more. I'm currently serving on the Django conduct working group, in addition to being an active PyLadies organizer. I've been working as a Python developer for 2 years, and have been a professional developer since 1999 using a variety of languages including Perl, Java and C. I've contributed code to PostgreSQL core, Bucardo (a trigger-based replication system), Socorro and many other small projects. The bulk of my open source contributions have come in the form of community organizing, outreach, speaking engagements and conference creation.

In 2011/2012 my volunteer work focused on expanding my volunteer network to include K-12 teachers. I learned about the dire state of computer science curriculum and the specific problems open source poses for those teachers. I've worked over the last year and a half on developing a strategy for lesson plans that consistently work for in-person, beginner events. With the help and advice of teachers, I am putting together units, learning objectives and sample lessons that demonstrate how to use Python and related open source technology in a classroom setting.

My goal is to share what I've learned with the teachers I know and collaborate with them on developing "missing manual" lesson plans that will help students and teachers participate in open source communities. My test audience for these lessons are the women in PyLadiesPDX.

My accomplishments in the Python community are primarily that I established PyLadiesPDX in 2012 and have increased its membership to 230 women (as of March 2014). We have 1-2 meetings a week, a Saturday hackathon and a bi-weekly workshop. In the fall, we take a Coursera class together for 8-10 weeks, having a workshop weekly in addition to the Saturday meetups. I've collaborated primarily with three community members in Portland on the scheduling and organization.

With the PSF, I'd like to work to:

  • Increase connections and outreach to computer science teachers through the CSTA, and related organizations
  • Create a central place to curate and reference any and all Creative Commons and freely-licensed lesson plans for intro to Python courses given by PyLadies and similar education-focused user groups
  • Create a "For Teachers" section of the site that puts useful teaching resources in a single place, vetted and used by licensed teachers
  • Cultivate a teachers community around the resource to maintain it over time

Affiliation: Selena Deckelmann works for Mozilla.

Kushal Das

New Board Member.

I am working with the Python community in India for the last 8 years. I spend most of time in building new developer base and teaching programming using Python. I gave regular talks on Python in many conferences all across India and outside.

I am organizing an online summer training for the last 6 years where people from all over the world participate and learn about FOSS in general and then programming using Python. The idea behing that training is to get more global developers, diversity is a key factor in that training. We get average 50% or more women participation in that program.

I wrote an open book to introduce Python to the new programmers called "Python for you and me". The source is available in github and you can read it at

I was nominated into PSF last year and started working more on the global community. I maintain the core-mentorship list and now helping out with the PSF blog posts.

I do help to organize PyCon in every way possible. This year I am also participating as sprint corordinator other than being a regular volunteer and speaker.

This year being part of PSF board I would like to work on:

  • Outreach and education programs: I want to help out the smaller groups to connect easily with PSF and putting an effort to increase contribution from South East Asia.
  • Diversity program: Through the different educational events and online summer trainings I am working to increase the participation of women in developer communities. I want to spread and help others to replicate the same kind of effort in other parts of the world.
  • Helping the other members to do regular PSF work.

Affiliation: I work in Eucalyptus Systems.

Nick Coghlan

New Board Member.

(nominated by Van Lindberg)

I have been a part of the Python community for more than a decade, and a CPython core developer since 2005. Since joining Red Hat I have been working to gain more formal recognition of Python's strategic significance for the company and that effort, in combination with ongoing efforts from other Red Hatters in the Python community, has already resulted in Red Hat joining the PSF as a sponsor member.

As a PSF board member, I would seek to continue to improve the interaction environment on the core development lists by:

  • seeking to reduce the resource constraints that currently require the core development team to be extremely cautious in what we commit to. One of the reasons we say "No" so much is that we have a lot of collective experience with how much time various things cost to maintain properly, and we don't believe many of the things requested of us can be maintained solely with volunteer and part time developers. We vastly prefer to say "No" up front, rather than agree to doing something we consider unsustainable. I personally believe the only way that is ever going to change is if heavy corporate users commit directly to properly supporting the upstream collaborative community that is a cornerstone of their business success.
  • seeking to improve the experience of being a core developer by improving the tools the PSF offers to the community, and gaining the commitments needed to properly maintain those tools (see PEP 462)
  • seeking to expand the core development community to encompass a wider range of specialists, especially technical writers, educators and community management. Facilitating more effective engagement with the network security community is also key.
  • advocating for increased PSF support of the Mailman3 and HyperKitty projects, with a view to migrating the existing Mailman 2 mailing list infrastructure to a system that provides a good user experience for both existing email users and users that would prefer a web based interface.

I'm aware there's some risk here of blurring the line between my personal technical involvement in CPython core development and the Python packaging community, and the deliberately non-technical role of the PSF board. I can only offer my assurance that I will do my best to keep that distinction clear, and that my board involvement will be about advocating for the resources we need to provide a more pleasant collaboration environment for our volunteers, as well as expanding that volunteer pool to a much broader group of people by continuing to lower barriers to contribution.

Affiliation: Nick Coghlan works for Red Hat.

Travis Oliphant

New Board Member.

(nominated by Van Lindberg)

Travis has a long history with Python, having been a primary maintainer/documenter/user of the various numeric stacks for... perhaps fifteen years now. Travis is well-known in the scientific Python community and has single-handedly done an incredible amount of work to move Python forward.

Travis also has experience on the board of NumFOCUS, a complimentary organization to the PSF. He brings business experience and an array of industry contacts that will help us make sure that we are thinking of and responsive to some this important part of our community.

Finally, Travis cares deeply about Python and the people in the community. When I have seen organized efforts to help someone, I have many times found Travis behind the effort.

Affiliation: Travis Oliphant is the CEO of Continuum Research

...More candidate entries go here...

Please use the following format:

Candidate Name

*2012 Board Member.* or *New Board Member.*


Affiliation: ...


PythonSoftwareFoundation/BoardCandidates2014 (last edited 2014-05-16 17:36:37 by JesseNoller)

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