VP search update — and Europe

A year ago, Mozilla Foundation started a search for a VP, Leadership Programs. The upshot of the job: work with people from around the world to build a movement to ensure our digital world stays open, healthy and humane. Over a year later, we’re in the second round of this search — finding the person to drive this work isn’t easy. However, we’re getting closer, so it’s time for an update.

At a nuts and bolts level, the person in this role will support teams at Mozilla that drive our thought leadership, fellowships and events programs. This is a great deal of work, but fairly straightforward. The tricky part is helping all the people we touch through these programs connect up with each other and work like a movement — driving to real outcomes that make digital life better.

While the position is global in scope, it will be based in Europe. This is in part because we want to work more globally, which means shifting our attention out of North America and towards African, European, Middle Eastern and South Asian time zones. Increasingly, it is also because we want to put a significant focus on Europe itself.

Europe is one of the places where a vision of an internet that balances public and private interests, and that respects people’s rights, has real traction. This vision spans everything from protecting our data to keeping digital markets open to competition to building a future where we use AI responsibly and ethically. If we want the internet to get better globally then learning from, and being more engaged with, Europe and Europeans has to be a central part of the plan.

The profile for this position is quite unique. We’re looking for someone who can think strategically and represent Mozilla publically, while also leading a distributed team within the organization; has a deep feel for both the political and technical aspects of digital life; and shares the values outlined in the Mozilla Manifesto. We’re also looking for someone who will add diversity to our senior leadership team.

In terms of an update: we retained the recruiting firm Perrett Laver in January to lead the current round of the search. We recently met with the recruiters to talk over 50 prospective candidates. There are some great people in there — people coming from the worlds of internet governance, open content, tech policy and the digital side of international development. We’re starting interviews with a handful of these people over the coming weeks — and still keeping our ear to the ground for a few more exceptional candidates as we do.

Getting this position filled soon is critical. We’re at a moment in history where the world really needs more people rolling up their sleeves to create a better digital world — this position is about gathering and supporting these people. The good news: I’m starting to feel optimistic that we can get this position filled by the middle of 2019.

PS. If you want to learn more about this role, here is the full recruiting package.

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