what makes a good president and chairperson? (was: supporting our fellowship representative)

Bernhard E. Reiter bernhard at fsfe.org
Tue Sep 4 07:54:37 UTC 2018

Hi Daniel,

Am Montag 03 September 2018 19:04:25 schrieb Daniel Pocock:
> The ideal president or chairperson needs to be somebody who can unite
> staff, volunteers, fellows, supporters, donors and external parties.  To
> chair meetings, lead effectively and gain respect when representing FSFE
> publicly, they need to be above the controversial politics we have seen
> recently and acceptable to everybody.

and how do you find such an ideal person?

> The president doesn't have to be staff, it could be a volunteer too, we
> have over 1,500 people in the community and I'm sure there are many good
> candidates there.

Our anchor person has much to do, a volunteer wouldn't have enough time on her 
hands to do the job. 

> Matthias could continue to lead the staff in the Executive Director
> role, given Jonas' recent news that he is vacating that role?  Could
> this be the most constructive way to move forward and close the chapter
> on the recent politics?

No, it couldn't. Politics don't go away.
And the executive director position is almost as powerful as the anchor person 
position, so if you'd support Matthias in that position, you'd also support 
him in his current position. 

Matthias is doing a very good job in my opinion (and in the majority of FSFE 
people I know).

> Maybe a dramatic change of leader could also be a good alternative to
> the endless discussions about diversity. 

Which endless discussion are you referring to?
Diversity is a difficult topic with a lot of inertia in society. From the 
beginning we in FSFE have tried to enhance it, were only having a minor 
successes and we will try again with learned lessons. Thus we evolve and will 
continue the topic from now to then, discussing it. I see this as a good 

> By making it a position for a volunteer, more people might apply for it.

May apply yes, but being able to do a good job on it: No, because they'd lack 


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