Karen Sandler Named New Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation

June 21, 2011: The GNOME Foundation today announced that it has appointed Karen Sandler as Executive Director. Sandler’s dedication to software freedom, her non-profits experience and her involvement in a wide range of free and open source software communities distinguish her as the logical choice for GNOME. “I’m very excited that Karen is joining the GNOME Foundation as Executive Director!”, says Stormy Peters, former Executive Director who has recently joined the GNOME Board as a new Director, “Karen brings a wealth of experience in free software projects and nonprofits as well as a passion for free software. That experience will be invaluable as GNOME continues to expand its reach with GNOME 3.0 and GNOME technologies.”

Sandler joins the GNOME Foundation from the Software Freedom Law Center where she has been General Counsel, advising a wide range of free and open source software organizations such as the Free Software Foundation, the Apache Software Foundation, the X.Org Foundation, Software in the Public Interest and the Software Freedom Conservancy. With SFLC, she also led an initiative advocating for free software on implantable medical devices. “Karen Sandler has been essential to the success of SFLC over the last six years,” said SFLC’s founder and executive director, Eben Moglen. “As our general counsel, she has been in the truest sense a lawyer’s lawyer. In representation of our clients she has been a superbly creative and conscientious practitioner. As mentor to younger lawyers here, she has set the finest of examples. The GNOME Foundation could not have chosen more wisely.” Sandler will continue to work on some legal matters pro bono at SFLC as well as regularly host an oggcast, Free as in Freedom, with Bradley Kuhn.

Sandler is a frequent speaker on free and open source software issues at corporate based conferences such as the the O’Reilly conferences and the Linux Foundation conferences, as well as community and nonprofit driven events such as the Free Software Foundation’s LibrePlanet and SCaLE. Prior to SFLC, she held legal positions at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, LLP and Clifford Chance, LLP. Sandler earned her legal degree from Columbia Law School and her engineering degree from the Cooper Union.

About GNOME and the GNOME Foundation

The GNOME Project was started in 1997 by two then-university students, Miguel de Icaza and Federico Mena Quintero. Their aim: to produce a free (as in freedom) desktop environment. Since then, GNOME has grown into a hugely successful enterprise. Used by millions of people across the world, it is the most popular desktop environment for GNU/Linux and UNIX-type operating systems. The desktop has been utilised in successful, large-scale enterprise and public deployments, and the project’s developer technologies are utilized in a large number of popular mobile devices.

The GNOME Foundation is an organization committed to supporting the advancement of GNOME, comprised of hundreds of volunteer developers and industry-leading companies. The Foundation is a member directed, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides financial, organizational and legal support to the GNOME project. The GNOME Foundation is supporting the pursuit of software freedom through the innovative, accessible, and beautiful user experience created by GNOME contributors around the world. More information about GNOME and the GNOME Foundation can be found at www.gnome.org and foundation.gnome.org. Become a friend of GNOME at http://www-old.gnome.org/friends/

For further comments and information, contact the GNOME press contact team at gnome-press-contact@gnome.org.

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