Sakai Foundation New Staff Members

As a result of a strategic review of its goals and activities, the Sakai Foundation has recently introduced some important changes to the Sakai Development Process. The introduction of this process and an examination of the role the Sakai Foundation should play in supporting the community resulted in the creation of two new staff positions: Sakai Product Manager and Sakai Communications Manager.  I’m pleased to announce that we have completed the interview process for both of those positions and will have two excellent new additions to the Sakai Foundation staff.

Clay Fenlason has been selected for the Sakai Product Manager position. If you’ve followed Sakai at all you’ll know the contributions Clay has made as a community member, a staff member of two Sakai adopters (Boston University and Georgia Tech) and as a member of the Sakai Foundation Board of Directors. His skills and experience, coupled with his passion for and dedication to Sakai, will contribute a great deal to supporting the community and making the new Product Development Process successful.

As Sakai Product Manager, Clay will lead the new development process for Sakai and will drive both greater engagement from users and contributors as well greater roadmap predictability for adopting institutions. He will also serve as the liaison between the community and the Sakai Product Council. This will be a challenging and invigorating role since the Product Manager will, in a very real sense, “own” the Sakai roadmap. The Sakai Foundation and Georgia Tech are still in the process of finalizing the formal arrangements for the appointment, but we are working to ensure that he can assume these duties as quickly as possible while still assuring a suitable transition at Georgia Tech. I know that everyone in the community who has worked with Clay understands how much he will be able to contribute in this role.

I’d also like to welcome Pieter Hartsook, the new Sakai Communications Manager. Pieter is an experienced marketing and communications specialist with a history in higher education and open source. Most significantly, Pieter spent nearly 6 years as marketing and communications specialist at the Open Source Applications Foundation (OSAF), the non-profit foundation behind the open source Chandler project founded by Mitch Kapor.  He also previously worked as Vice President of Marketing Analysis & Research at Apple Computer and published “The Harstook Letter” an independent newsletter focused on market analysis of the Macintosh. We’re very excited to have Pieter on board to bring his extensive communications, high tech and open source experience to the Sakai Foundation.

Pieter will be responsible for both internal and external communications for the Sakai Foundation. He will own the content for the Sakai website and the overall organization of our wiki and other communication vehicles for Sakai. This will be a role with a wide set of responsibilities, involving everything from developing a communications strategy to writing lots of content.

Please join in offering congratulations to Clay and Pieter! Both will be at the 10th Sakai Conference so those of you attending the conference will have a chance to do that in person.

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