Senior Public Policy Manager

  • Wikimedia Foundation
  • Jul 13, 2018
Full time Non-profit-Social Services

Job Description


Wikimedia envisions a world where the sum total of human knowledge is available to everyone.  

The Wikimedia Foundation, the San Francisco-based nonprofit home of Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, and other free educational projects, serves as the hub of a global movement of hundreds of thousands of contributors collaborating to collect and share the sum of all human knowledge with the world. Wikipedia, the most prominent of the Wikimedia projects, comprises some 48 million articles in nearly 300 languages and is viewed more than 15 billion times each month from around the world.

The Public Policy team works to establish and defend a legal and regulatory landscape that is essential to Wikipedia and other free educational projects and to enable the Foundation to advance its mission. We are looking for an experienced public policy professional who can run campaigns on crucial issues for our mission, like copyright, intermediary liability, freedom of expression, access to knowledge, privacy, and censorship. The immediate focus is on United States law and policy affecting the open internet with the aim of raising Wikimedia’s profile and influence in debates that affect the ability of Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects to function as sources of free knowledge.

The senior public policy manager will be one of two such managers on the Public Policy team, located within the Legal Department, and will work closely with outside digital rights advocates and Wikimedia affiliates in the U.S. and internationally.

Who Should Apply

At Wikimedia, we serve the world. We believe that there is no way to meaningfully achieve our goal of reaching every single human unless our organization reflects the full breadth of the human experience. To that end, the Wikimedia Foundation recruits candidates from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences, including those from historically marginalized groups — women, people with disabilities, people of color, formerly incarcerated people, people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or gender nonconforming, first and second generation immigrants, and people from low-income families. A diversity of lived experiences is reflective of those who create and use Wikimedia every day.

We seek candidates with successful track records in advocacy work around internet legal and policy issues.

Essential Functions of Role:

  • Act as one of Wikimedia’s key leaders in designing the Wikimedia Foundation’s policy positions and agenda, initially and primarily in the U.S., but globally as well.
  • Raise Wikimedia's profile in legislative, regulatory, and other discussions on key issues, particularly in the U.S. Congress.
  • Develop proposals, including educational, legislative and regulatory initiatives, to support free knowledge consistent with the Wikimedia Guiding Principles.
  • Analyze existing and proposed laws to determine how they may impact the Wikimedia projects and users.
  • Alongside the international Wikimedia community and in coalition with other allies, build and coordinate campaigns on critical issues.
  • Write blog posts, op-eds, position statements, and other material discussing how different policy issues affect the free knowledge movement and Wikimedia projects in specific.
  • Present our policy initiatives at conferences, meetings with lawmakers and regulators or other influencers, workshops; brief and educate key Foundation and Wikimedia constituencies.
  • Train key staff and volunteers to educate people about our work and mission.
  • With other members of the Public Policy team or on your own, work collaboratively with other teams in the Wikimedia Foundation.

Essential Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree and excellent academic credentials.
  • 5+ years of experience working in government, advocacy groups, or think tanks, including at least 2 years working on relevant issues within the United States.
  • Successful responsibility of advocacy campaigns, particularly focused on U.S. Congress or relevant agencies.
  • Deep understanding of intellectual property, privacy, and other internet law issues.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills and attention to detail.
  • Dedicated, hardworking, passionate, and able to complete projects on your own.
  • Ability to learn on the job, spot issues, think fast, and comfortably deal with complex and ambiguous issues with sound judgment.
  • Ability to travel domestically and internationally as needed, and to work or travel on weekends when necessary.


  • Graduate degree in law, public policy or related fields.
  • Ability to speak other languages, experience living or working outside the United States, or past work on international legal or policy issues.
  • Experience with open source, free culture, free software, or online communities.
  • Prior experience working in the technology or nonprofit sector.

The Wikimedia Foundation is... 

...the nonprofit organization that supports Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia free knowledge projects. Our vision is a world in which every single human can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. We believe that everyone has the potential to contribute something to our shared knowledge, and that everyone should be able to access that knowledge, free of interference. We host the Wikimedia projects, build software experiences for reading, contributing, and sharing Wikimedia content, support the volunteer communities and partners who make Wikimedia possible, and advocate for policies that enable Wikimedia and free knowledge to thrive. The Wikimedia Foundation is a charitable, not-for-profit organization that relies on donations. We receive financial support from millions of individuals around the world, with an average donation of about $15. We also receive donations through institutional grants and gifts. The Wikimedia Foundation is a United States 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with offices in San Francisco, California, USA.

The Wikimedia Foundation is an equal opportunity employer, and we encourage people with a diverse range of backgrounds to apply

Benefits & Perks *

  • Fully paid medical, dental and vision coverage for employees and their eligible families (yes, fully paid premiums!)
  • The Wellness Program provides reimbursement for mind, body and soul activities such as fitness memberships, baby sitting, continuing education and much more
  • The 401(k) retirement plan offers matched contributions at 4% of annual salary
  • Flexible and generous time off - vacation, sick and volunteer days, plus 19 paid holidays - including the last week of the year.
  • Family friendly! 100% paid new parent leave for seven weeks plus an additional five weeks for pregnancy, flexible options to phase back in after leave, fully equipped lactation room.
  • For those emergency moments - long and short term disability, life insurance (2x salary) and an employee assistance program
  • Pre-tax savings plans for health care, child care, elder care, public transportation and parking expenses
  • Telecommuting and flexible work schedules available
  • Appropriate fuel for thinking and coding (aka, a pantry full of treats) and monthly massages to help staff relax
  • Great colleagues - diverse staff and contractors speaking dozens of languages from around the world, fantastic intellectual discourse, mission-driven and intensely passionate people

* for benefits eligible staff, benefits may vary by location

More information



Annual Report - 2017

Wikimedia 2030


Other, General-Other: Legal

Listing Logo