Candidates for the 2017 PSF Board of Directors

The following people have been nominated as Directors of the Python Software Foundation for the term beginning in June 2017. Their self-written summaries follow. The specific dates of relevance to the election are:

  • Open call for Board Director Nominations: May 1, 2017
  • Board Director Nomination & Voter Eligibility cut-off: May 25, 2017 AoE - nominations & voting eligibility closes at 2017-05-25 23:59:59 UTC-12
  • Voting start date: June 1, 2017 AoE - ballots will be sent out
  • Voting end date: June 10, 2017 AoE - election closes at 2017-06-10 23:59:59 UTC-12

The above closing times are given in the "Anywhere on Earth" (AOE) timezone.

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

Registering as a PSF Board candidate

To register as a candidate for the Board elections, add your nomination to this page using the format listed at the end of the page. We'd like as many groups within the PSF membership as possible to have the option of electing candidates that can directly represent their interests in Board discussions, so if there's someone you'd particularly like to have represent you, you may want to consider getting in touch with them and (politely!) asking if they'd be interested in nominating themselves.

Read through the Letter from PSF Director of Operations - Expectations of Board Directors & Duties and Responsibilities of Directors. Please note that the PSF bylaws require that Board candidates disclose significant organizational affiliations (for example, their employer).


Please follow the instructions on the FrontPage to gain wiki edit access.

Registering to vote on PSF ballots

While PSF Membership is open to anyone that chooses to join, Basic Members are not entitled to vote on PSF ballots, including Board elections. In accordance with the bylaws, the following PSF Members are entitled to vote on PSF ballots:

To register as a Managing or Contributing member, refer to this post on the PSF blog.

To register as a Supporting Member, please use the PSF Associate Membership site.

PSF Fellows must themselves be approved through a PSF ballot, and thus only existing Fellows will be entitled to vote on the upcoming ballot. This ballot will include bylaw updates for the newly established process for nominating Fellows.

Outgoing Directors

The following members of the 2016/17 Board are stepping down and will not be registering as candidates for the 2017/18 Board:

Please use the following format:

Candidate Name

*2016 Board Member.* or *New Board Member.*


Affiliation: ...

Lorena Mesa

2016 Board Member


It is with great pleasure that I outline my personal contributions to the Python community. Additionally I will provide an overview of the merits that I believe I could bring to the PSF as 2017 member of the Board of Directors.

I began using Python as a staffer at Obama for America and continued to use Python as a political analyst. With over 9 years experience using Python, namely in the space of supporting a data science team and historically in civic tech, Python has been a constant tool in my professional tool belt.

As a Python organizer my career began when I founded the PyLadies Chicago chapter over two years ago. Since then I’ve acted as the lead organizer helping:

  • grow the PyLadies Chicago community to over 700 MeetUp members on MeetUp
  • organize over 50 events since our start
  • average 3 events every 2 months

PyLadies Chicago has been a rich and rewarding experience as the continued recruitment for women in technical communities, such as Python, is one of my top priorities. As a Latina and a woman I believe it is instrumental we continue to advance this cause but more importantly to continue to advance it on a global scale.

2016/2017 PSF Community Contributions

  • Attended 16 of 17 meetings (3 by proxy)
  • Represented PSF and Spoke at Python Jamaica (November 2016)
  • Co-delivered PSF Update at EuroPython 2016 with Naomi Ceder
  • PSF Communications Co-Chair, Overseeing Blog
  • Assisted in the hiring of 2 new PSF Bloggers
  • Authored 2 PSF Blog Articles
  • Interviewed about the PSF in several capacities, for example: ZimboPy April 2017 Interview, Podcast Interviews (e.g. Python.__init__)
  • Spearheaded the start of the PyCon Organizers Manual
  • Participate in the creation of the PSF Code of Conduct Working Group Charter (ongoing)

One major way I've attempted to support the PSF has been through active outreach explaining who the PSF is and what the PSF does. When possible I attempt to be present in person, if not, then remotely. For example when I represented the PSF at Python Jamaica many of the conversations with attendees I had led to the start of the PyCon Organizers Manual. I continue to dedicate myself to on-site support with Python Day Mexico in June 2017, where I will be speaking as well as offering an update on the PSF in Spanish. Other regional communities I have been working with remotely include Zimbabwe with ZimboPy and Cuba with their upcoming Latin America Scientific Python Conference in September 2017.

Python Community Contributions

  • Speak about Python in several capacities, see my website under Speaking and Press contributions. Examples include: Language Track - Python GOTO Conference Chicago May 2017 and Open SourceCraft Podcast .
  • Organize PyLadies speakers at ChiPy (Chicago Python User Group) April 2017 meeting.
  • PyLadies PyCon Booth Volunteer (2016, 2017)
  • PyLadies Auctioneer at PyCon (2017)
  • Young Coders: IO PyCon Teaching Assistant (2017)
  • Python Day Mexico City Speaker June 2017 including a lightning talk on PSF in Spanish
  • O'Reilly's published adaptation of 'Hitchhiker's Guide to Python', Technical Editor
  • Django Girls Chicago, Lead Organizer (2015, 2016)
  • Django Girls Mentor at Django Girls Budapest at DjangoCon Europe (March 2015), Django Girls Bilbao at EuroPython (July 2016), Django Girls Chicago (December 2016)
  • Participated in PyCon USA Sprints 2017 for PyVideo

2017/2018 Goals as a Board Member

My goals for 2017/2018 as a board member can be largely defined through the lens of organizational building, continued and better informed outreach, and promoting diversity:

  • Promote diversity: Reviving PyLadies Conference & Growing PSF Blog: Something that hasn’t come to fruition has been the inaugural PyLadies Conference. Regrettably organizing hiccups prevented the PyLadies Conference from happening in 2016, it is my intent to help spearhead this conference (I'll be proposing my name as a chair) and see that it becomes a reality in late 2017/early 2018. Additionally I want to include new voices on the blogging team, notably targeting Pythonistas from outside the United States, more than the number we added in 2016. I want to work with the PyLadies blog ensuring new content is added to it frequently and investigate the opportunities of highlighting PyLadies content in the PSF blog.
  • Establish Python Organizers GitHub group and develop organizing documentation for Python organizers: This will primarily mean the continued work on the PyCon Organizers Manual, adding this as one project for a proposed Python Organizer GitHub working group. Developing a standalone Python Organizers GitHub group will help the PSF consider what sub-projects the organizing community may want, providing initial support to get those off the ground. In regards the PyCon Organizer Manual, my goal is to have flushed out content with names represented in each regional chapter of organizers that are willing to work on the document and speak with others about their work. It may be beneficial to consider translation opportunities for this document as well so targeting individuals who can support that initiative will be important as well.
  • Oversee and contribute to onboarding/transition strategies for the PSF Board: Former PSF Director Carol Willing began centralizing this documentation with additional support from other PSF members. As the 2016/2017 board had a large number of novices to the board, I recognize a need for continued work on these documents. Onboarding is important and I want to act as a lead in helping onboard new members and create more documentation and resources as needed.
  • Support the Code of Conduct Working Group: The PSF has started to investigate the idea of a Code of Conduct working group. At this time there hasn’t been a well defined policy put into place. I am passionate about investigating what a Code of Conduct Working Group may mean for the PSF, both in defining what the role of the PSF should be in such issues, as well as building a working group that includes the relevant voices to make this working group successful.

In summary, I would like to thank you for your time and consideration for my 2017 PSF Board of Director nomination. Serving as a board member for 2016/2017 has been an honor and I hope to continue to serve on in this capacity for the next coming term. There is much work to be done, considerably in the areas of continued geographic outreach and building better transition policies for the PSF in the future. However it is my hope to prioritize these areas as a 2017 PSF Director.


In solidarity,

Lorena Mesa

Naomi Ceder

2016, 2015 Board Member

After two years as a member of the board, I would be honored to be able to continue to serve on the board. Having been a member the Python community for over 15 years, it's a commitment I take very seriously, and my absolute priority is the success of the PSF mission and the well being of the global Python community.

My Contributions to the PSF board in 2016:

  • Co-created PSF Grants Working Group, which now plays the main role in awarding event grants.(2015) Worked to expand representation and participation esp from Africa and South America.
  • Started work on a PSF translations Working Group, aimed at getting PSF and community documents translated. Pilot project is translation to Portuguese.
  • Original member of the PSF Fellows workgroup, which will be restarting the process of selecting PSF Fellows.
  • Assisted with creating PyCon Organizers Handbook project.
  • Supported the creation of Python initiatives in Nigeria by helping get access to a mailing list, and advice on organization and grant requests; and Cameroon by coordinating with projects applying for PSF support.
  • Gave keynotes at Europython, Python Brasil, upcoming talks at PythonDay MX and PyCon CZ; coordinated and co-presented PSF members' meetings at Europython (with Lorena Mesa) and Python Brasil.
  • Moderator of several PSF mailing lists - edu-sig, pythonedu-wg, pynigeria.
  • Attended all PSF board meetings (1 by proxy), and as vice chair, I chaired several meetings when the chair was unavailable.

My goals for 2017/2018 as a board member are similar to those of 2016-2017 (they're not done yet). In addition to supporting the PSF mission in any way that I can, I want to:

  • Foster Diversity across a wide range of axes - race, nationality, ethnicity, disability, neurodiversity, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, economic background, etc. One area I would like to improve is the accessibility of PSF and Python community materials with their translation into more languages.
  • Increase Voting Membership - As the global Python community continues to grow, we need to involve communities from around the world in the workings of the PSF. I am also working to bring back the process of selecting PSF Fellows.
  • Develop New Leaders - I believe that for an organization to be inclusive thought and effort must be put into opening all aspects to new people. I'm very interested in getting more people involved in working groups and committees as way for them gain leadership experience.
  • Support Education - Support for education is more than funding workshops - I'd like to encourage initiatives to improve pedagogy, tools, and resources for the various groups teaching Python, and support our working group aimed at curricula and teaching resources.
  • Evolve PSF management - As the community grows, the role of the PSF board needs to adapt. I will continue to support changes to give the PSF staff more ability to handle managerial and operational issues and for the board have more of an oversight role. We also need to continue to learn and apply non-profit organizational best practices.


  • Keynotes and talks on Python, Diversity, and Community at Python Brasil, PythonDay MX, PyCon CZ, PyCon UK, PyCon PL, PyCon Ireland, ACE!Conf (Krakow, Poland), Write/Speak/Code 2016, EuroPython, PyCon US, PyLadies, and others.
  • Organizer - PyCon: Sprints, Intro to Sprinting workshop, education summits at PyCon, poster session; PyCon UK: Education Track Presenter, organising committe, poster session, Code of Conduct response team, Trans*Code at PyCon UK coordinator.
  • Author of The Quick Python Book, 2nd ed. (3rd ed in preparation).


  • Blick Art Holdings, Inc - Development Manager
  • Trans*Code - Co-Founder
  • Chi Tech Diversity ( - Founding Member
  • Bloomberg, LLC - Distinguished Lecturer & Distinguished Visiting Engineer

Eric Holscher

New Board Member

My goals for the PSF

Hi, I'm Eric, and I'm a co-founder of Read the Docs and Write the Docs. The Python community has grown over the past few years, and I believe the PSF should grow with it. My goal is to increase PSF's impact on the world and the Python community, mainly through my focus on these goals:

  • Increase Sustainability: The fact that we don't have full-time paid staff working on PyPI is a travesty. I believe there is a way to make this happen, but it will be a battle, and will require making some compromises along the way. If people wear a pager, they should be paid. There are some perverse incentives with paying people to develop software, but paying people for operations and support should be obvious.
  • Increase Inclusion: I'm in awe of the work that the Pyladies, Django Girls, and others do every day. We should do as much as possible to support them, along with telling their stories, and inspiring others to create similar efforts for other under represented groups. I think that we've done a reasonably good job bringing people into the community, but we still need to work on Inclusion to get them integrated once they're here. What does the month after a Django Girls workshop look like for the attendees?
  • Improve Documentation: This one is probably obvious given my background, but I believe that documentation is a fundamental part of inclusion, which is a fundamental part of diversity. It's also the primary way that a majority of our users interact with the Python language. We should improve our documentation theme so that it works on mobile, we should improve the structure of our docs to include more guides and tutorials, not just examples. We should also translate our documentation (PEP 545), so that people all around the world can learn Python without having to learn English. There's a lot of work to do here, but I hope to provide vision in this space.
  • Improve Communication: What on earth does the PSF do? How much money does it spend each year? What outcomes does it have? I think that I can help people understand what the PSF does, and how it operates, in a more transparent fashion. I think that this is the first step towards raising awareness for it in the community, and allowing it to become more sustainable and support more community projects.
  • Increase Python 3 Adoption: The time is now. Python 3 is ready -- let's make it happen. The latest projects that I've created are on Python 3, but much to my shame Read the Docs is still Python 2, and defaults projects to Python 2. I will personally move forward in this regard, and think the rest of the community should as well. It's time.


I've been working on Read the Docs, an open source project, and now almost sustainable open source business for the last 6 years. Along the way, we've also built a global community around documentation with Write the Docs. Both of these projects have had global impact on the software industry:

I believe I'm uniquely suited to this job:

  • I have a background in building (and sometimes failing to build) open source communities with Read the Docs
  • I have helped build a unique world-wide community around Software Documentation with Write the Docs
  • I have helped run conferences in 4 difference countries, and attended Python conferences on 4 continents

I've also been fighting day in and day out to turn both of these organizations into sustainable businesses, without compromising their missions. I believe this experience is valuable for the PSF:

  • The PSF is tasked with building and supporting the Python community. I have experience with this both in Open Source, as well as the software industry in general.
  • The PSF primarily makes money from conferences (PyCon) and tries to support the community with these funds. Write the Docs is fundamentally the same concept, and I have experience with the benefits and downsides of this "business model".

My Commitment to the Python Community

I've attended every Pycon US since Chicago in 2009, and love the Python community. My goal with serving on the board is to give back, and help move it forward on a number of issues.

I've spoken at a lot of conferences, mostly around Python. You can see more info about it on my website -- you may have even met me at one of these events :)


  • Co-founder of Read the Docs, also my primary source of income.
  • Co-founder of Write the Docs, a global community around software documentation.

Raphael Pierzina

New Board Member.

Carol: I nominate Raphael Pierzina. I'm very impressed with Raphael's community outreach. He actively encourages people that are new to Python by being responsive on the projects he maintains, by helping at sprints, and by being active at conferences and user groups. As a maintainer, Raphael brings experience to the PSF Board about the importance of supporting maintainers of the PSF infrastructure and Python language. I am confident that Raphael would carry out the PSF mission and make an excellent director. Thank you.

Hi, I'm Raphael!

I write software for my job and for fun - mostly in Python and Go. I specialize in Python development, automated testing, and RESTful web APIs. I have been a part of the Python community for a couple of years now and use Python on a daily basis for work and in my open source projects. I made friends with many fellow Pythonistas online and at community conferences like EuroPython, WriteTheDocs and local user groups in Scotland. I am very inspired by the Python community.

Who am I? I am a person who gives back. I contribute time to the following open source projects:

I also attended and spoke at several conferences and local user groups: EuroPython 2015, EuroPython 2016, Python Glasgow, and Python Edinburgh. This year, I'm going to speak at PyData Berlin and hopefully also EuroPython.

I talked about pytest on the Test & Code Podcast and on the Weekly Python Chat, volunteered my expertise in Python testing during Adopt pytest month, helped raise funds for the pytest development sprint, and worked in my free time as technical reviewer for a book about Kivy–a Python framework for NUI development.

Goals as a PSF Board Member

Increase inclusion

I would be honored to represent the PSF as a Board Director and promote diversity and openness in the Python community. I want to work with the board on initiatives to help newcomers around the globe to begin their creative journey with code. Most importantly, I want to make sure everyone feels welcome in our community.

Often the barrier from writing a Python script to publishing a fully-fledged PyPI package can be intimidating–but it doesn't need to be. I would like to kick off or support existing efforts that address this problem. I hope to encourage new developers to publish their first package on PyPI and share their creations with the Python community.

I also want to support the important work of the brilliant minds behind Django Girls, PyLadies and other great projects that focus on integrating people from underrepresented groups.

Support maintainers

I believe that we as an industry and community need to do better at supporting maintainers of open source projects. These projects provide critical infrastructure and tools used by organizations and individuals globally.

Despite being volunteer run, they are expected to fulfill unfair demands by well-funded companies, which can lead to mental health issues and ultimately put the projects at risk. This is not OK! It is important to make our ecosystem sustainable so we can grow a larger community of new and more diverse members without burnout.

I don't have a definite solution to the problem of sustainability in open source, but I want to work with the other board directors on initiatives to combat this issue. I believe it needs to be a PSF effort to explore more possibilities around raising funding for critical projects in the Python ecosystem.

Improve Documentation

The Python language documentation at has a few problems. Although the majority of prominent speakers at Python conferences actively advocate for the adoption of Python 3, it is not very well reflected in the official docs.

The fact that beginners on the Python subreddit regularly ask if they should be learning Python 2 or Python 3 is alarming. It could be an indicator for that the official documentation is not very explicit about this.

As a director on the board, I would like to work with the other members to better understand what is causing the confusion within our community. By updating the documentation we can better communicate to aspiring Pythonistas that Python 3 is now widely supported and the recommended language version for newcomers to learn.

Represent the PSF

The Python community continues to grow, but I feel there is a lack of awareness about the PSF and its mission. The PSF meeting with Naomi Ceder and Lorena Mesa at EuroPython last year was a great way to give updates directly from the PSF board. Also the stickers for PSF members were awesome!

I would like to draw on this and represent the PSF in Europe. My hope is to get people at conferences in Europe and local user groups in Berlin interested in the workings of the PSF. It would be great to have more people register as PSF members and involve them in votes like this one.


  • Software Engineer at moovel Group
  • Core Contributor to cookiecutter and pytest

Philip James

New Board Member.

Trey: I nominate Philip James. Philip actively encourages new Python programmers and new open source contributors at sprints and conferences. Philip will bring years of community experience and enthusiasm for positive change to the PSF. I am confident that Philip would be a kind and considerate director and that he would uphold the PSF mission.

Who am I?

Hi there! You may have seen me at PyCon this past year, or in years previously, or at DjangoCon US or DjangoCon EU, or at PyBay or PyDX. This year at PyCon, I was the guy helping stuff swag bags, or with the BeeWare booth, or taking your tickets at the PyLadies auction, or helping at the front desk for sprints, or giving a talk with my friend Asheesh Laroia about uWSGI.

You also might know me from the PSF Sponsorship Working Group, where I've worked for the past year to help guide our sponsorship decisions.

I’ve spoken at two DjangoCons, and am on the organizing team for DjangoCon US. If you’ve received an email about your visa for DjangoCon, it probably came from me! It’s through my work at DjangoCon and PyCon that I’ve become involved in the BeeWare community; I have the pleasure of serving there as a Core Contributor.

Additionally, I've served on the board of a number of non-tech volunteer organizations, mostly in executive and communications capacities. I have roughly seven years of experience serving on various non-profit and volunteer boards.

But the measure of who we should want to see on the board is only partially about what they have done, and more about what they want to do.

I want to continue to grow the Python community, especially with a focus on growing the number of jobs available for Python developers and growing the number of companies sponsoring Python events. I’d like us to be pushing for a world where every Python programmer has a job they love, no matter their skill level, and where the events we run continue to be well-funded and welcoming. When we keep hearing through backchannels about people feeling harassed at PyCon, or when our friends in this community can't find jobs, that should make us want to get up and do something.

I also care intensely about the strength of the Python ecosystem. We need to have the best tools available, and that means a focus on our packaging and package distribution. PyPI, pip, wheels; I’d like to see all of these become first-class tools, and for Python to become more of a model of involvement and tooling excellence. When every PyCon features at least one talk about working around our packaging tools rather than with them, this should be a wake-up call to all of us.

Mostly, I want to be a board member to give back to the community that has given me so much, and do my part to help push us all forward. No matter the result of the election, I’d love to have a conversation with any and all of you, and I’m always available at

I've written a bit more of my thoughts here.

Things I Plan To Do on the Board:
  • Regularly talk at hackathons and universities about why they should use Python
  • Continue volunteering at events, especially with a focus on outreach and diversity
  • Investigate putting stronger financial backing around our ecosystem tools
  • Make sure more groups are aware of the funding available through PSF, especially for meetup fees
  • Hold sprints and workshops on improving the tools and processes of the PSF, especially the wiki
  • Continue pushing for companies and universities to sponsor the Python community, and keep the caliber of sponsorships high
Conferences I've Participated In:
  • PyCon 2013 - Attendee, Program Committee
  • PyCon 2014 - Program Committee
  • PyCon 2015 - Attendee, Speaker
  • PyDX 2015 - Attendee, Speaker
  • PyTennessee 2016 - Attendee, Speaker
  • DjangoCon EU 2016 - Attendee, Speaker
  • PyCon 2016 - Attendee
  • DjangoCon US 2016 - Attendee, Speaker
  • PyDX 2016 - Attendee, Speaker
  • PyCon 2017 - Attendee, Speaker, Volunteer
  • Stripe, Inc.
  • DjangoCon US
  • BeeWare
  • Django

Organizations Volunteered with: PyCon, DjangoCon, PyLadies

Van Lindberg

2016 Board Member


I have served the PSF in one way or another for a little over ten years now. My goals have always been to give back to the community that has helped me so much by using my professional abilities on behalf of the PSF. Most concretely, I have been a driver - or sometimes the driver - for most of the changes associated with professionalizing the PSF, expanding its scope and capabilities, and making it more effective.

My goal if elected would be to help finish the transformation to a standard executive director-led organization with an advisory board, as opposed to the executive board that we have had. I think that this will help us provide greater service to the community, greater continuity, and to take on greater challenges in the future while still not burning out our volunteers.

Note: If elected, I expect that I will be appointed to an "Officer Director" position.


  • I am one of the most consistently active directors - not just attending, but actively contributing to the board
  • I typically donate 100-200 hours a year of time to the PSF, a which a substantial amount is in a legal capacity
  • I now the representative of the "institutional memory" party, keeping the knowledge of what decisions were made (and why they were made) over the past 10+ years (although I will never be as good a representative of the institutional memory party as Tim).
  • I also bring to bear knowledge about corporate processes and law that help keep the PSF functioning correctly

Goals for 2017+

  • Continue with the professionalization of the PSF; finish transition to a professionally managed organization
  • Continue trademark prosecution
  • Update PSF policies and procedures
  • Generate new "onboarding" tasks and documentation to make it easier for new members of the community to get started contributing


  • Dykema (Law Firm)

Chukwudi Nwachukwu

New Board Member.

Naomi: I nominate Chukwudi. I've been struck by his tireless devotion to the Python Community in Nigeria and his consideration of the Python community in general.


  • An active member of the PSF Grants Working Group.
  • A byproduct of Python initiatives in Nigeria that Naomi Ceder helped to build. We are officially registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission in Nigeria and now known as Python Software Community
  • The Chairperson of Python Software Community in Nigeria.
  • One of the moderators of the Nigerian mailing lists, python-nigeria and pynigeria.
  • One of the admin of PythonNigeria Slack channel.
  • One of the Supervisors for the upcoming Pycon Nigeria.

With over a decade Python coding experience, I have been able to serve the local community in Nigeria, and once for DjangoGirls event in Ghana and in Kenya (still being worked upon). I am always open to help, using whatever means at my disposal. Often times, the love for the thriving community drives me to take on more responsibilities when no one is forthcoming.

Things I have done:

  • Spoke at 2 conferences about Python, its uses and why anyone should be using it.
  • Got an interview from a Nigerian newspaper where I have also talked about Python.
  • Helped the PSF Grants Working Group to save some monies by helping people reason as to why events should be priced appropriately.
  • Helping PyCon Nigeria get local sponsors by leveraging on the contacts that I know.
  • Been to many DjangoGirls in Nigeria (either as a coach or a mentor) and PyLadies too.
  • Mediated in issues that could have resulted in crises: twice for DjangoGirls.
  • Helped DjangoGirls Lagos for IDP get local funding for buying laptops that were given out to the participants for free.

On the humanitarian aspect, I have been able to help 4 people secure fulltime employment. In the places where they work, Python is being pushed more and more.

2017/2018 Goals as a Board Member

  • Offer My Support: In any role or capacity that I might be assigned, I intend to work to make it a success. I intend to give an accounting at the end of the day.
  • Onboard More Volunteers: I intend to reach out to other people in this part of the world to come on board and help spread the wonderful things that Python has been achieving.
  • Attend Events, Conferences, etc: If there be need to go and spread the Python message, I intend to be at the forefront of such.
  • Grants Financials: As for the PSF Grants Working Group, helping them make the best decisions before grants are given out will be a major role that I intend to take up.

Marlene Mhangami

New Board Member (Nominated by Lorena Mesa, 2016-2017 PSF Board Member)

Lorena: Over the past year on the PSF Board of Directors, there were some projects that I was able to interact with more directly as the Communications Chair overseeing the PSF blog. I learned of Marlene and her work with ZimboPy, through Mike Place - a mentor in the program that has worked closely with Marlene and ZimboPy. A unique project given it's potential for geographic impact, Marlene has been working tirelessly to promote not only Python in Zimbabwe but also the representation of women within that community. Having spoken with other organizers in her area, those that have worked one-on-one with her, and her students I am confident that Marlene would be an asset to helping promote Python in Africa, but also promote underrepresented voices such as women within the African Python community too. Her drive and position within the Zimbabwe Python community would be vital in helping promote Python's continued growth in Africa and globally.

Marlene in her own words:

Hi, my name is Marlene and I’m a member of the budding Python community in Zimbabwe. I’m also the co-founder of ZimboPy, an organization in Zimbabwe teaching young women Python programming. It would be an honor to serve on the PSF Board. Below is an outline of how I would like to contribute as a PSF Director if given the opportunity.

2017/2018 Goals as a Board Member

  • Encourage and Support Diversity by growing the number of PyCons in Africa- the global Python community is growing rapidly and I have been excited to see groups that are underrepresented playing an active role in making this happen. I’m particularly passionate about the progress that we are seeing in Africa. To date only four African countries, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia and Nigeria have successfully held PyCons and with 50 other viable candidates I’m hoping to help make that number grow. Through my work with ZimboPy I’ve interacted with Pythonistas from Botswana. It would be fantastic to work with them towards launching the first PyCon Botswana! I also hope to reach out to the Python community in Nairobi, Kenya which meets up regularly and even has Python Expo’s to show off the work they’ve created using Python. I’d like to support the Pythonistas in these groups by actively seeking out and sharing their stories.
  • Encourage and Support Diversity by supporting African Python and Django Girl workshops: Additionally, I’m looking forward to sharing advice with members wanting to host Django Girls workshops or Python related activities in economically disadvantaged areas, given my experience with this. For example as part of our ZimboPy mentorship week we had an online Q&A with international Pythonistas like Lorena Mesa (a member of the PSF Board of Directors) and Ashley McNamara (from Pivotal Labs.) Our girls got great advice from them on where to find support and resources for women in tech as well as tips on being the best candidate for potential jobs. I would like to introduce similar events to other African countries and believe they will help the international Python community feel more connected!
  • Improving Documentation- I look forward to contributing to the PSF Translations Working Group to make documentation from the PSF and Python community readily available to non-English speaking Pythonistas. I also look forward to working on the PyCon Organizers Manual, as well as trying to popularize its use amongst new organizers globally.
  • Outreach and education programs: I would like to help support programs that make learning programming accessible particularly outside of the USA. Resources like tutorials and easy to follow summaries for teachers should be accessible and have an option for use in spaces that do not have stable internet connections. Keeping our members from diverse backgrounds in mind should be a priority when making educational documentation.


I am the co-Founder of ZimboPy an organic, on-the-ground effort by local Python developers in Harare. Our aim is to advance the cause of women in tech in Zimbabwe. We work in community centers, universities, high schools and tech hubs to make programming accessible to girls regardless of their socio-economic status or past experience with computers. ZimboPy also has a Mentorship Program that helps computer Science/ IT majors in Zimbabwe’s best universities use their skills to help their community. Mentors this year joined us either virtually or in person for a week long period and where from USA, Italy, Australia and Bulgaria. Students were able to work with experienced developers to start work on an open source project called ZimFarm, connecting small scale farmers to vendors.

I recently gave a talk at PyCon Italy and also work closely with the PyCon Zimbabwe organizers, Django Girls Chinoyi and was selected to give a poster presentation at PyCon USA2017. I believe my experience working with underrepresented communities, connecting and organizing Python developers from various parts of the world, and my passion to see the Python community grow makes me a great candidate for the board.


  • Co-Founder and Programs Director at ZimboPy
  • Code Purple Workshop Organizer

Paola Katherine Pacheco

New Board Member

Naomi: I nominate Paola - she has not only been a key organizer in Brazil, but extended herself to support Europython and has helped build the community in both Colombia and Argentina.


Hi, I'm Paola Katherine, I'm Systems Analyst, today I work with Python because of the community that hosted me with Pyladies and with Python Brazil. I believe that without the knowledge and help of the community today I would not work with development. Because I lived in Brazil for a long time I suffered some prejudice and without the support of the community I would have given up. From the moment I started in the area I have always tried to help everyone who wants to learn, focusing on women to understand the prejudice they suffer but I always had the intention to help anyone who wants to learn, as is the conduct of the Python community. With this I got involved with events, thus reaching more people. I believe that today Latin America in general needs attention in education, it is in a process of transition, a new generation which is now knowing technology, that is learning English, that has interest but in many countries in many countries still suffers a patriarchal culture Which does not see the woman working and also a technological lag.

History of contributions to the community:
  • Organization of the first Django Girls Rio de Janeiro
  • Django Girls Python Brazil 2016 organization, Florianópolis, the largest in Brazil.
  • Participation in the Pyladies Brasil community
  • Participation in the Pyladies community Rio de Janeiro
  • Creation of Pyladies Mendoza
  • Creation of the Mendoza Python community
  • Organization of Django Girls Pycon Colombia, where I just organized remotely until I found a Colombian who could lead with that after the event a Python community was created in Cali, Colombia.
  • Volunteer at Pycon Colombia
  • Speaker at Pycon Argentina and Euro Python to talk about community and diversity.
  • Organization of the Django Girls Euro Python, event where I organized alone and remotely, going only in the day. It was an event where we had problems in previous years and we had the success of getting tickets for all participants.
  • Creation of a conference focused on students and aimed at the diffusion of open source. Rio DevDay was the largest conference in Rio de Janeiro, with 311 people, 18% women and 40% students / people who never had the opportunity to work with technology.
  • Creating videos teaching python for beginners, to contribute to those who do not have much knowledge of English. Also helping anyone who is starting out and trying to be a female inspiration to the girls who are just getting started.

My goals for 2017/2018 as a board member::

Promoting diversity: I would like to boost the issue of diversity in Latin America, we still need to include issues such as women, race, color. Since I lived in Brazil, which was much more ahead of other Latin American countries, we had problems with regard to female inclusion, and today in Argentina I see that the problem is a little more serious, perhaps because of cultural issues. I raise the Pyladies flag which encourages a lot of girls and minorities to be included.

Promote the increase of knowledge: By having another language, Latin America In relation to the rest of the world for many times ends up falling behind. I would like to encourage conferences, dissemination of knowledge, leverage this curious audience, students, to anyone who wishes to have this knowledge that often can not, due to lack of access to information.

  • Pyladies Mendoza
  • Python Mendoza
  • Women Who Code
  • Women Techmakers

Kenneth Reitz

New Board Member.

Hello, my name is Kenneth Reitz, and I'm a lover of Python. I'm mostly well known for being the author of the Requests library,, and many others.

I have spent a large amount of my time over the past five–six years giving talks about Python at many of the major user groups in the US, as well as keynoting/speaking at large Python events around the world. Many of these talks were about the future sustainability of Python and other open source projects.

Python is a core and integral part of my life, and it would be an honor to help steward the direction of the community by serving on the board. I have a plethora of free time, and I can't think of a better way to utilize it.


  • Sustainability — open source is all about sustainability, and the PSF is in a great position to decisively empower projects and communities, while providing infrastructure for the entire Python community. The role that the PSF plays is a very multi-faceted one, and it has been eye-opening to travel to Python events all over the world and meet any subset of the massive number of people who have lives that are impacted by the PSF's decisions.


  • Heroku, Inc — Python Language Owner
  • Requests Project — BDFL, founder, and creator
  • Certifi Project — founder and creator
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to Python — book author, project founder, and maintainer (royalties donated to Django Girls Foundation)
  •,, Maya, Records, OSX-GCC-Installer, Autoenv, Tablib, git-legit, and more
  • The "Say Thanks" Project (
  • Import This Podcast


  • Heroku

Thank you for your consideration!

Kushal Das

2016 Board Member

I am a CPython core developer, and also a fellow at PSF. I am also co-chairing the PSF grants committee, and worked as the communications officer on the 2016 board and wrote the regular board meeting minutes reports to the community.

Other than volunteering for PyCon US in various roles, I also help as the sprint coordinator. You may have seen me taking photos during the conference.

I chaired the PyCon Pune, it is a new regional PyCon started from 2017 with goals to create more upstream contributors.

I am organizing an online summer training for 10 years where people from all over the world participate and learn about FOSS in general and then learn how to use Python to solve their daily life problems. This training goes on for almost 3 months over IRC. The goal of this training is to get more global developers, diversity is a key factor in that training.

(Updates) for goals from 2016-17:

  • To help PSF to grow the community base outside USA: Started a completely new regional PyCon (PyCon Pune), and also helped to organize the Python track in FOSSASIA (in Singapore). Regular mentor in PyLadies Pune group, and helped local PyLadies team during PyCon India. I attended all the meetings of PSF board this year except the one happened a week before PyCon US (which I misunderstood due to timezone).
  • Working to make sure the outreach and education efforts reach far away places: Helping with the grants working group and providing the regional input as required was part of my regular activity. I am also one of the org admin for GSoC for PSF.

Goals for 2017-18:

  • Continuing working on building upstream community in the Python eco-space. I would prefer to help in the communication from the board and getting the rest the of the community more involved.
  • Continue working with the rest of core developers to build mentoring the new contributors to the CPython and workflow/infrastructure itself. GSoC and Outreachy are two important parts to reach out to a bigger and diverse community and help people grow.
  • Helping out in the regular activities of the PSF.


  • Red Hat, PSF Fellow

Younggun Kim

2016 Board Member

I've owed a debt to the Python community for all of their support over the last two decades of my software engineer career. And I’ve always had a mind to pay it forward. That's why I began organizing PyCon KR with a few fellow Pythonistas in 2013. As a result, I introduced PyCon to local Pythonistas in 2014 with 400+ attendees for the first time. The event has grown with each successive effort, and now 1500+ attendees are anticipated for PyCon APAC/KR 2016.

Every year, I'm traveled across the world to join 5 or 6 regional PyCons because sharing knowledge and expertise with others is a core value of mine, and I attend as many PyCons as I can so that I can learn about planning, organizing, and delivering the best programming to our attendees.

During my past term, as a representative of our community on the other side of this planet, I was happy and felt honored to be a bridge that connects our communities.


  • PyCon KR/APAC organizer - I co-chaired PyCon KR/APAC since its inception in 2014 to 2016.
  • Open Source Advocate at NIPA - NIPA is an affiliated organization of Korean Ministry of Science. As an Open Source Advocate at NIPA, I enjoy giving talks at conferences as well as contributing my code to several on-going open source projects.
  • Technical Leader at Smart Study - The company has been using Python heavily since its early stages. I'm in charge of the company's backend infrastructure, technical decisions, and developer culture.
  • Technical Translator - I translate technical articles, books into Korean. Most of my work is related to Python. Two past projects include "Python for Data Analysis" by Wes McKinney and "High Performance Python" by Ian Ozsvald and Micha Gorelik.
  • University Lecturer- I'm teaching Python Programming to graduate students at Seoul’s School of Integrated Science and Technologies (aSSIST).
  • Based in Seoul, Korea. However, I have various networks all around the world, especially Non-English speaking countries.

Goals for 2017-2018

  • Introduce PyCon to as many countries as possible - Help them to become successful, sustainable, and most importantly, enjoyable events for the community.
  • Encourage more people to contribute to open source project - I believe it is important to encourage more people to "experience contributing" with their beloved Open Source Project. With a little care, we can get engage many new contributors in the community, and a few of them may be the next core contributors to the project.
  • Discover neglected areas of the community - I still see neglected areas of the community out there. Some of them want to organize their own PyCon but don't know how. Or even worse, it is not sustainable. While they want to, they should be able to. Because of the language, region, and/or income, some people have no way to gain access to Python.

I assure you that my passion for our community has never been more enthusiastic. I will capitalize on my local advantage to outreach within our community. Thank you.

Affiliations: PyCon KR/APAC, Open Source Advocate at NIPA, Smart Study

Trey Hunner

2016 Board Member.

I would be honored to continue to serve on the PSF board.

I heard an enormous number of PSF-related concerns expressed while chatting with Python community members over the last year. I've realized that there are many important goals that need a champion and I need to pick and choose my goals based on the likelihood I will make an impact in each area during my term on the board.

My priorities

  1. Charter the Code of Conduct working group. We started this effort last year and I am hopeful that we will have a CoC working group and with CoC enforcement policies adopted by the end of 2017. I plan to push for policies similar to the well-documented Django Software Foundation's Code of Conduct policies.
  2. Increase community involvement in the PSF. There are working groups, mailing lists, and other resources for many different groups within the Python community but many community members don't know about them. We need to empower more community members interested in making a positive impact on the international Python community.
  3. Foster an inclusive and diverse Python community. I would like to find ways to encourage more proactive community mentorship efforts within Python core development and related projects. I would also love to see grants policies link the amount of financial support to diversity/inclusivity efforts more directly: conferences with strong diversity-oriented policies should receive more funding.
  4. Make it easier to hold an awesome regional Python event. I'd like to continue work on the Python conference organizers manual that we initiated last year. I have not yet organized a conference and I hope to ensure the manual addresses questions first-time conference organizers might have.
  5. Improve the usability of PSF resources for volunteers, community members, and staff. Various PSF resources are very difficult to discover. For example, it is non-trivial to discover how to become a PSF voting member or how to ask the PSF to reimburse meetup fees. I would like to see the PSF make these pages and others considerably easier for community members to discover without needing to ask for help from someone in-the-know.

My involvement

I have been using Python since 2009 and I started my involvement in the greater Python community around 2013. I have acted as a consultant, teacher, mentor, community manager, and event organizer.

I am a full-time Python trainer and a volunteer mentor to new and aspiring Python programmers. I hold online Python chats every week and I mentor peers at my local San Diego Python Study Group every Saturday afternoon.

I have participated in multiple Python community workshops and conferences, both in and outside of my home city, San Diego:

  • SD Django TDD workshop 2013 - co-author, co-organizer, teacher
  • SD Intro to Python workshop 2014 - co-author, co-organizer, teacher
  • Django Girls Ensenada 2015 - coach
  • PyCon US 2015 - tutorial assistant teacher and meetup open space host
  • DjangoCon US 2015 - lightning talk presenter
  • Django Girls Austin 2015 - coach
  • Django Girls Inland Empire 2015 - co-organizer
  • PyTennessee 2016 - tutorial assistant teacher and lightning talk presenter
  • PyCon 2016 - tutorial presenter
  • DjangoCon US 2016 - speaker
  • Django Girls San Diego Jul 2016 - co-organizer
  • Django Girls San Diego Jan 2017 - co-organizer
  • PyTennessee 2017 - tutorial teacher
  • PyCaribbean 2017 - speaker
  • PyCon 2017 - tutorial presenter and speaker


  • Trainer and owner of Truthful Technology LLC
  • Co-organizer of San Diego Django Girls

Jackie Kazil

2016 Board Member

PSF board nomination

After spending a year on the board, I am proud to have done work in a variety of areas over the last year, which included the platform of democracy, diversity, and education. I feel like I am just getting started with would like to continue the work I am doing.

Highlights from the past year

  • Established processes for the grants working group to be able to increase the number and efficiency which we process grants.
  • Organized PyLadies Auction
  • Helped guide the Scipy diversity committee
  • Spoke about Python and the PSF in various capacities at the following locations: U. of Illinois in Champaign, IL, Pycon CZ, Pycon Russia, MIT, Open Source Bridge, PyData DC
  • Organized the following events which advanced the Python community: PyData DC (conf), Women in Data Science (conf), Women Data Scientists DC (meetup), Pyladies DC (meetup)
  • Shared the impact of the PSF and mission of PSF with various international ambassadors in the DC metro area
  • Identified grant opportunity through the U.S. State Department for international Python communities -- Small Grants program
  • Began the process with other board members to stand up a Code of Conduct working group / committee
  • Hosted a handful of CFP writing sessions in the DC metro area for Python conferences

Goals I have for the next year

  • Primary Goal: Establish a resource for community organizers to ease the community organizing burden of conferences, meetups, etc.
  • Primary Goal: Establish a working group / committee for code of conduct to review PSF and PyCon code of conduct, along with acting as an advisory group for other conferences
  • Stretch Goal: Establish an educational and job placement system for new additions to Python community with a focus on populations that are low income and underrepresented in tech.

Things that I have done prior (specifically in the programming community)

  • Board member of Byte Back --
  • Board member of Presidential Innovation Fellows Foundation --
  • Founded PyLadies DC, which has helped seed future growth worldwide.
  • Assisted in development on new PyLadies chapters.
  • PyLadies auction organizer PyCon 2015, 2016, 2017
  • PyLadies auction helper, Pycon 2014, 2013
  • PyCon Keynote committee 2015
  • Talk or tutorial reviewer for PyCon or Scipy 2013, 2014, 2015
  • Scipy diversity committee 2017
  • PyCon Speaker 2012, 2013, 2015
  • Led accessibility hackathon - #allyhack 2015
  • Leader of DCFemTech
  • Teaches Python in the local community
  • Former leader (now-coorganizer of Django District)
  • Founder of GeoDC
  • Teaches Python journalists through IRE/NICAR, PyJournos, and sometimes Hacks and Hackers
  • Building a Python library w/ friends on Python library that does agent based modeling

Affiliations: PyLadies, DCFemTech, Women Data Scientists DC, Byte Back (non-profit that teaches digital literacy), Presidential Innovation Fellows Foundation

Christopher Neugebauer

New Board Member.


I’m an Australian Python developer, speaker, and serial conference organiser. I’ve recently moved to the US.

I’ve been closely involved in PyCon Australia for many years, including as a lead organizer, and also as their lead for outreach and inclusion. During this time, PyCon Australia has grown from 240 attendees to upwards of 500, and the financial aid we’ve been able to offer has grown to $20,000 (or close to 10% of the total conference budget).

I’ve served as a Council Member for Linux Australia, an organisation that provides financial, legal, and technical support for open source-related conferences including PyCon Australia. In that role, I helped to develop and implement a policy for making sure our events are run in a sustainable fashion, and made sure that Linux Australia continued to be a healthy organisation.

Since 2015, I’ve served on the PSF’s Grants Working Group. We’ve helped substantially grow the PSF’s capacity to offer grants to important Python projects throughout the world.

I’ve also spoken and volunteered at numerous Python conferences throughout the world, and over the last year have been working with the PSF’s support to build Registrasion, an open source ticket sales package for conferences, which is currently used by PyCon Australia and

What I want to get done

Through my work on the Grants Working Group, I’ve seen that the PSF has a great capacity for supporting the global Python community by helping passionate people run events in their local communities.

I want to make it easier for Pythonistas to support their local Python communities.

Whilst the expansion of the grants program has grown the PSF’s financial support of events, the PSF has significant legal and technical resources that community projects can make use of. At the moment, it doesn’t seem clear to many regional PyCon organisers or meetups that the PSF can help them make their projects a success. We can fix that.

In my first year on the board, I want to:

  • Establish an events working group to help provide guidance and mentorship to organisers who want to create new events
  • Develop policy and processes that make it easy for events to run as projects of the PSF, particularly in the US
  • Seek out a small number of pilot events to run under this policy, and to evaluate it
  • Make it easy for PyCons to deploy technical infrastructure, including CFP and ticket sales

Where to find me


  • PSF Grants working group
  • North Bay Python Conference organising team
  • PSF Fellow

Thomas Wouters

New Board Member.

I'm a Software Engineer at Google, where I'm part of the team that maintains CPython and the internal Python infrastructure. I'm also a long-time CPython core developer, founding PSF member and former PSF Board member (2001-2004, the first three years of the PSF).

Before joining Google in 2006 I worked at the Dutch ISP XS4ALL, where I arranged sponsored hosting of infrastructure services for the Python website and mail server. I'm happy to say the Python infrastructure has long since outgrown their services.

Apart from my technical contributions to CPython, I'm very active on the #python IRC channel on Freenode, where I am (along with Ned Batchelder) the PSF Group Contact, the official point of contact for Freenode, for "official" Python channels (#python and #python-*). This forum isn't always without controversies, but we try to be "fair but firm" in handling any issues. One of the things I want to do to improve transparency and visibility for these efforts is to create a Working Group for IRC.

As a founding PSF member I'm gratified with the growth and direction of the PSF, despite the growing pains involved, and the last ten years or so it has done much better than the first few years. I believe the PSF should offer technical and legal support for Python itself, as well as the community. This includes supporting development (through direct project funding as well as sponsoring sprints), infrastructure (like Warehouse) and efforts like translating documentation in more languages. I strongly believe in diversity, inclusivity, transparency, and fostering growth as well as technical excellence, and I would be happy if the PSF spent more of its money on any of those.

Contrary to popular belief I'm actually Dutch, and based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


  • Google
  • PSF Fellow
  • CPython
  • Bits of Freedom (Dutch digital rights organisation)

Justin Myles Holmes

New Board Member


I live in a school bus with my little family. We have lots of interesting tech on board, including an off-grid power system; almost all of it carved out of Python. Many of you toured it at PyCon 2017.

For four years now, I have organized import antigravity, a PyCon Open Space for the practice(s) of Acro Yoga. Specifically, we help people find playful and healing poses tailored for the body dynamics created by too much screen-and-keyboard time.

I have contributed to a number of open source projects. I have only started one project that has gained any traction - hendrix, a Twisted container for Django, focused on concurrency and off-beat network traffic.

I also started a technology collective and dojo in New Paltz, NY called slashRoot. I worked closely with a few students over three years to develop the skills and discipline necessary for effective citizenship in the information age.

Since that time, I have taught (Python and other tech skills) across the USA, in settings ranging from academic to corporate to festive.

Goals and Platform

I am more-or-less in favor of the current direction of Python. PyCon gets better every year, the new features in the language seem to be working well (and easy to learn / adopt), the Education and Language Summits seem to be accomplishing their goals.

At next PyCon, in addition to import antigravity, I intend to form some kind of "PyBabies" group, where the youngest Python children can get together and play, learn, and be more visible to the conference. This is not a replacement for the childcare, but an additional way for Python parents to collectively meet and care for our young.

My only critique is that I hope that we can increasingly come to realize that Python in specific (and open source in general) have to mean peace and justice for our brothers and sisters around the world. In our attempt to foment and welcome diversity, our efforts ring hollow if we fail to prevent and disrupt violence and imperialism from stopping the underprivileged youth of the world from ever getting started. To that end, I specifically advocate that we refrain from taking sponsor dollars from weapons contractors or other enablers of empire. I don't think that's unreasonable.

Affiliations and Links * Our bus: * My github: * slashRoot:

Paul Hildebrandt

New Board Member


I use Python as my primary programming language both at work and home. I've been doing this for the past 14 years. Most of my work is closed source but have open sourced it when possible. Nine years ago I discovered PyCon, and I have been an active contributor since then. I am on staff for handling packaging and distribution of swag.

My job at Disney is more than writing software it's also Product Management. I spend time talking with users, understanding their needs (hint: it's not always what they ask you to do) and building a backlog of issues based on Return on Invertment for the larger organisation. I would like bring my experience as a Product Manager to Python.

I would like to bridge the gap between the Python community and the Animation/Visual EFX community. The VFX Reference Platform ( is intending to move the VFX community to Python 3 in CY2019. I would like to help with that transition.

I see an opportunity to approach commercial users of Python, understand their needs, and give them an avenue to pay for fulfillment. My first effort at getting sponsors with this blog post: in 2012.

My involvement:

  • Head of Swag for US PyCon 2008-2017
  • Speaking
    • Keynote EuroPython 2013
    • Keynote PythonBrasil 2013
    • Keynote PyConPL (Poland) 2015
    • US PyCon 2015
    • Keynote PyCon Taiwan 2016
    • Keynote EuroPython 2016
    • Keynote PyCon Russia 2017
    • User Meetups: Los Angeles, San Diago, PyLadies Burbank, Budapest, Tokyo
    • Colleges: RIT, OCI Osaka, NCCU Taiwan


  • Walt Disney Animation Studios

Don Sheu

New Board Member. (Nominated by Yannick Gingras)

Summary Past Community Efforts

  • PyCon Startup Row w/ Yannick Gingras + Jason Rowley since 2014
  • Founded PuPPy, Seattle's Python user group w/ Dusty Phillips -- Doulas Larry Hastings + Yannick Gingras
  • PyCascades regional PyCon rotating amongst Cascades region cities of Vancouver, Seattle, Portland
  • Sponsors wg for Python Software Foundation

Beginning with PyCon Montreal 2014, I joined Yannick Gingras in organizing PyCon Startup Row. As part of this team producing Startup Row, I launched local events to select participants on Startup Row at PyCon. My efforts at producing local events started in February 2014, in Seattle where companies like and OfferUp presented. Nearly 300 people attended the inaugural Startup Row road show event. From my tenure coordinating Startup Row, OfferUp and Nylas have sponsored PyCon for multiple seasons.

Since the initial event in Seattle, the Startup Row team has produced events across North America every year. In our PyCon Portland 2016 event in San Francisco, we fielded an all women panel of judges. Judges included Kat Manalac partner of Y Combinator, bethanye McKinney Blount formerly CTO of Reddit, Leah Culver Developer Advocate at Dropbox, Bebe Chueh CMO of Legalzoom, Jessica Scorpio founder of Getaround, and Christine Spang founder of Startup Row alumna Nylas. For 2017, Avvo hosted an event in Seattle that featured six women founders. The Startup Row companies that exhibited at PyCon in Portland featured two women founders Amy Hutchins and Laura Malcolm both of whom who pitched at the Seattle event.

With Dusty Phillips author of Python 3 Object Oriented Programming, I founded PuPPy, Seattle's Python user group. Our very first event was a mini-conference on discussing strategies for improving gender balance in tech professions. Lynn Root was our featured speaker. Panelists included Geek Girls Carrots founder Kamila Stepniowska, Kristin Toth Smith COO of Dolly and local selection committee members of National Center for Women and IT, Krista Davis and Steph Burg.

In the 34 months since founding, PuPPy has convened over 40 large turnout talk format meetings. PuPPy's large format meetings turnout over 100 and as many as 230. We have put on a total of 235 events over 34 months when we include weekly Programming Nights and other collaboration oriented events. Membership of PuPPy is now exceeds 3700.

For a string of three months, we fielded all stars of Python as speakers starting with Brett Cannon and Larry Hastings in December 2015, Brandon Rhodes in January of 2016, and Jessica McKellar in February 2016. The February event hosted by Dropbox included Redfin CTO Bridget Frey on a panel that discussed tactics for improving gender balance in engineering roles. Our women attendance for our February 2016 event was 52%. Globally, PuPPy normally turns out about 25% women turnout at our talk format events, correlating with our overall membership of 25% women.

Prior to PuPPy's founding, there was a preceding group SeaPIG. Though the group had been meeting for a while, membership had declined. Launching PuPPy reinvigorated the Puget Sound region's Python community. Kevin LaTona the organizer of SeaPIG regularly attends PuPPy events. I consider him a mentor as he guides me through the history of community activity in Seattle. In April, Adam Feuer a member of the former leadership team of SeaPIG spoke for PuPPy.

Coming January 22, 2018, will be PyCascades. I am collaborating with Vancouver Pythonistas Mariatta Wijaya, Meghan Haltson, Sebastian Vetter, Bryan Chow; Write the Docs creator Eric Holscher; and my fellow PuPPy organizer Alan Vezina to put on a regional PyCon that will cycle through Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland.

Note: Motivation for improving gender diversity in tech professions

My passion for improving gender diversity in tech professions stems from my mother's illiteracy. The result of being raised in a patriarchal society shackled my mother with a severe hindrance that not only affected how she perceived the world but also had severe ramifications for how she raised my two sisters and me. I dropped out of high school, and only later in my young adult life did I obtain a GED in New York state and matriculate at Columbia University. My parents both children of war -- father WWII and the Korean War, mother the Korean War, never completed a full education. Neither were in a position to mentor me or my sisters. Because of this we missed out an opportunity to take full advantage of an education offered us during peacetime. What my parents missed out on and what I completed with much hardship, I hope that I can help others achieve much more easily. Part of my mission to assist others includes my belief that modern literacy includes an understanding of computing languages. We must refuse to live like Saudi Arabia in our tech communities when it comes to gender diversity. For the future we all need, all the talent must have a chance regardless of gender or race or other particularities. We must address diversity with a fervent vigor for the mutual benefit of our community. I can pledge to do this, and I promise to build on my past efforts.

One Goal for Board Term

Income for the Python Software Foundation

If I am honored with the privilege of serving on the Python Software Foundation board, I'd like to assist Van Lindberg's many year effort to introduce process and professionalism to the efforts of the PSF. Where I think I can offer concrete improvement is in efforts to generate income for the PSF. During this past year I have participated in the PSF's sponsors working group. During this effort, I believe my learnings applied to a concrete plan will succeed in diversifying our Foundation's income.

My plan is broken into three parts: 1) valuation of the benefits we deliver sponsors of the Foundation; 2) implementing specific process for deployment to reach sponsors and close commitments that will contribute monies to our Foundation; and 3) specific calendar for action.

  1. valuation of the benefits we deliver sponsors of the Foundation

I learned from participating on the Sponsors working group, nobody has conducted a valuation of the PSF's assets like the website. For example, nobody's asked how many visitors perform what actions like viewing or downloads at

  • I propose to gather the statistics on use and investigate the quality of engagement on and any other online assets of the PSF
  • Taking the information gathered in the initial investigation, I plan to compare against other open source foundations and how they price sponsorships normed for the differences in traffic and engagement (IEEE for example has a complete sales staff enrolling sponsors of their org)
  • Interview current sponsors and identify good prospects to approach for enrollment as sponsors to determine the value they want from sponsorship of the PSF
  • Take all of the information gathered in this phase of the plan to compose a proposal for consideration by the PSF's boards and stakeholders of the associated parties for a plan for pricing and and publicizing sponsorships
  1. implementing specific process for deployment to reach sponsors and close commitments that will contribute monies to our Foundation

For Startup Row for example, in San Francisco alone I generate email lists for outreach that total over 500 founders of startups using Python. With that list I methodically approach each founder individually with directly addressed email offering to share information about Startup Row and our efforts to help early stage startups by featuring them in the expo hall of PyCon.

Email remains a cost effective way to reach potential sponsors for big denomination contributions for the PSF.

  • Develop variants of email copy and test for effectiveness before wide deployment
  • Build a prospect list of the right parties to reach at target companies
  • Determine a schedule of activity (sales quotas are harder to predict than say a cadence of activity, e.g. 100 emails a week)
  • Rinse and repeat a process that includes first approach in email, follow-up email to schedule a call explaining the PSF and sponsorship benefits, add support for value or introduce relevant PSF supporters to persuade prospects, close new sponsorship enrollees with monies deposited to the PSF's accounts
  1. specific calendar for action

No project completes without a schedule for action. Setting a commitment during my candidacy will move me to predictable and concrete action.

  • First quarter of new board convening -- complete 1) valuation of the benefits we deliver sponsors of the Foundation
  • Second quarter of the new board convening -- complete 2) implementing specific process for deployment to reach sponsors and close commitments that will contribute monies to our Foundation
  • Third quarter of the new board convening -- as 3) specific calendar for action, works adjust the calendar for any misses or adjust for a faster than expected cadence should the campaign prove more successful than predicted.
  • Fourth quarter of the new board convening -- focus on recruiting additional volunteers to help with the campaign and preserve the knowledge base so this becomes a sustainable source of income supporting the good work of the PSF.

If I can contribute meaningfully to our community's financial sustainability, I will only repay a small measure of the great pleasure I have from participating in the finest OSS community I know.

Affiliation: PuPPy cofounder, PyCon organizing Startup Row, 10two1 (self-employed)

Leonardo Jimenez

New Board Member


I’m a community organizer from Dominican Republic and a Django developer.

My work includes organizing events, meetups and workshops. I have been organizing Python Dominicana User group for the last 4 years. I have also organized the PyCaribbean Conference since 2015.

I want to work on the following topics:

Improve Python Software Foundation Marketing/Usability strategies: I used to work in a completely unrelated industry. Thanks to the Python community I was able to transition to a software development job. I want to make it easier to get more people like me to move to Python.

Improve the reach of our community, in particular in Latin America: We created PyCaribbean to grow the Latin American community using Python. I want to Increase the density of user groups and community events in Latin America.

Creation of a User Group and Conference Organizer Manual: To increase the numbers of events we need to make easier for people to create communities and events. I want to work on recording our accumulated knowledge and make it accessible.

Grow the next generation of community leaders:  The people creating awareness of the language are important and we need more of them. I think we need to create community events to help, recruit and reenergize volunteers.

Help expand the Python Ecosystem (Long Term) There are programmers that we are not reaching (Ex. Front End and Mobile Developers). I want to help expand the Python ecosystem in those communities.


I love the Python community and I would not be where I am today without it. Thanks for the opportunity of applying

Kerstin Kollmann

New Board Member

Naomi: I nominate Kay - she is a thoughtful and experienced organizer and a tireless advocate for wider inclusion and diversity.

About me

I'm Kay – some of you might have seen me present a poster at this year's PyCon, which was my very first PyCon and a really exciting experience for me. I'm based in Central Europe (Vienna, Austria) and currently work as a Python/Django/JavaScript developer at a social science research institute after having completed my BSc in Computer Science in autumn last year. My original background is in journalism/writing/social sciences and I'm particularly interested in areas where tech overlaps with art, culture and media. Works of mine have been published in The Recompiler and Model View Culture, both magazines covering tech and diversity topics. I felt encouraged to apply for the PSF board after chatting with Naomi (Ceder) at PyCon.

Tech community work

I've been involved in the larger tech community since 2009 and have been organising workshops and other events for underrepresented groups in tech in Vienna/Austria since 2012, including several first editions of international event series. I "officially" joined the Python community in 2014, when I attended my first EuroPython conference and the first Django Girls workshop ever, and joined the EuroPython Society. I also offer diversity and inclusion consulting for conferences/orgs/projects.

Selected contributions to the general tech community & Python community

  • board member of local hackerspace Metalab
  • organiser of the first Rails Girls workshop in Vienna/Austria overall
  • organiser of the first Women Techmakers event in Vienna
  • session chairing at several Chaos Communication Congresses
  • founder of Techtrrrs, a project connecting women and non-binary folks interested in tech in Vienna & Austria (several workshops/events for women/NBs/trans folks; responsible for awarding financial aid for web dev conference .concat())
  • volunteer at EuroPython (Communications workgroup among other tasks)
  • editor for Hello Web App, a beginners book on Django
  • co-maintainer of Python library MoviePy for video editing
  • organiser of the first Django Girls workshop in Vienna/Austria overall (April 2017)
  • organiser of the first Python conference in Austria, PyDays Vienna (May 2017)
  • (upcoming) organiser of a new Python meet-up in Vienna, Austria

Things I care about

I'm pretty vocal about issues concerning/injustices against underrepresented groups & minority groups, including groups I do not belong to myself. It's nice to know that more people care about diversity and inclusion in tech now than just a few years ago, but I feel like too often this simply comes down to (endorsing) efforts to increase the percentage of women active in the community (which is important but only contributes to diversity so much), and is expressed in a rather "passive" way: there is support in theory but less action than there could be, like amplifying the voices of people pointing out issues or publicly acknowledging them as well as actively taking a stand. As a community, I think we need to better listen to those underrepresented within it and actively try to change things for the better.

Relatedly, I believe Codes of Conduct are important, and it's great that so many conferences have a CoC now, but we hear little about if and how organisers actually deal with issues, or what is done about people who have previously made and continue to make others feel unwelcome and excluded. Parts of the Django community have set important signals and steps in the right direction (there is, for example, a reporting guide and enforcement manual, and some conferences have made public transparency reports regarding Code of Conduct breaches) and in my opinion, the greater Python community could benefit from taking a closer look at these measures and building on them. I would like to get involved in the PSF's Code of Conduct working group and push for changes going in this direction.

I'm also very passionate about making people with non-traditional (non-tech) backgrounds feel more welcome in tech overall and in the Python community specifically, or, in fact, introducing them to it, including those who discover programming "late" (i.e. not before their late twenties/early 30s). As someone with a non-technical background myself, who's not been working as a professional programmer for very long (but who'd been meaning to change careers for a long time), I know how hard it can be for "older newbies" to try to find their place in a community which largely consists of people who have been at this for a long time, people who are young but have never known anything else, or people who made their career switch at a relatively young age.

Another thing I am invested in, which ties back to diversity and inclusion endevavours, is the handling of financial aid for conferences, especially the communication with financial aid recipients. As someone who knows both sides, having decided on grants as well as having been a recipient of financial aid, I find there are many things events could do to improve the experience of scholarship recipients. I would like to start working out guidelines meant to help (future) organisers of Python events handle financial aid communications better, which could happen as part of the Grants Working group (seeing as grants for events can also include finaid).

Places you can find me online (among others)


  • developer at Centre for Social Innovation
  • contributer apertus° – open source cinema
  • Techtrrrs
  • Django Girls Vienna
  • PyDays Vienna

Irma Leticia Kramer

New Board Member


I’m a Python developer, PyLadies organizer, and mom in her second career as a programmer in Austin, Texas. I’m honored to submit myself as a candidate for the board of directors. I’ve been increasingly involved in the Python community over the last 4 years, and feel like I could provide a unique perspective to the board.

As a member of the PSF Board I’ll focus on engaging communities which I have specific experience with, such as working mothers and people reskilling to change careers. I’d like to use my position as a member of the PSF board to encourage the development of more resources, opportunities, and programs for those groups. I taught myself Python by taking CodeAcademy and Coursera classes, following online tutorials, and building successively more polished Flask and Django web applications. I learned a lot through that process about what resources work and what don’t, and how hard it is to get a position writing Python without prior programming experience. As a Spanish-speaking Latina in Texas, I’m also excited at the possibility of connecting with some Python groups in Latin America to bring speakers to Austin as well as visiting their meetups and presenting about the PSF.

2017 Goals as a PSF Board Member

  • Create a resource package and promote funding opportunities for parent-friendly meetups and events, including tips on logistics for offering childcare for events and other suggestions to make them more mom friendly
  • Work to connect companies able to sponsor event childcare with event organizers
  • Create a resource package for companies considering offering returnships, and meet with several companies interested in offering returnships or other career-transition friendly opportunities to provide guidance and encouragement
  • Create a resource page listing companies with Python Returnship programs
  • Speak at a Latin American Python event about the PSF

Python Community Involvement

  • Joined the Austin chapter of PyLadies in 2013
  • Co-Organizer of PyLadies ATX since 2014, including setting up events and presenting workshops
  • Voting Member of the PSF since May 2015
  • Created and hosted the PyMoms group where mothers could bring their children and childcare was provided, which was presented as a PyCon poster in 2016.
  • Created and ran a mentorship program in the Austin PyLadies group which paired over 20 sets of mentors and mentees for career and programming guidance
  • Communications Co-Chair of the 2015 SciPy conference
  • Represented PyLadies at the OSCON, DjangoCon, Data Day Texas, PyTexas, PyData Dallas, and SciPy conferences
  • Mentored at the Introduce a Girl to Engineering days at the University of Texas on behalf of PyLadies
  • Helped teach introductory Python and Django to a half dozen groups

Programming Community Involvement

  • Founded the Austin chapter of the Anita Borg Institute
  • Organizer for AlterConf Austin 2017


  • Booz Allen Hamilton (Software Engineer)
  • PyLadies ATX

PythonSoftwareFoundation/BoardCandidates2017 (last edited 2017-05-28 21:17:24 by NaomiCeder)

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