By Kirsten Fiedler

Dear friends,

We write to share news of leadership change at EDRi. We are beginning a year of transition at the Director level, and we want to both share our reasoning, and invite your support.

The organisation has experienced nine years of continuous growth in terms of membership, influence and staff numbers. In order to consolidate and build on this success, we are in the midst of a planning cycle which includes preparations for a restructuring of EDRi’s management.

Some of you may know that when Joe joined, he announced that he would be staying with EDRi for ten years in total. He started in 2009, so it’s time. EDRi will therefore launch the search for a new Executive Director – as Joe plans to step down as EDRi’s Executive Director at the end of 2018, and Kirsten will draw her time as Managing Director of EDRi to a close in the first quarter of 2019.

When Joe set up the office in 2009, the organisation was mainly a community that organised its work via a handful of mailing lists. While it was already recognised as a network of respected experts in digital rights issues at that time, EDRi did not have a sustained presence in Brussels. By launching the office, Joe played a crucial role in establishing EDRi’s reputation and role as the digital rights thought leader in Europe. He has led the organisation through two EU Parliament terms, and fought in all of the important battles over that span.

In her seven years, Kirsten first served the organisation’s advocacy work in the earliest stages of the net neutrality and data protection files and then chose a largely behind-the-scenes role to help the organisation grow from three to eight staff. She oversaw fundraising, finances, and community coordination as well as communications, making sure that everyone in the team had what they needed to do their work as effectively as possible. In 2019, Kirsten will be turning her attention to new challenges in the civil rights field.

Thanks to the inspiration and support of the member organisations and the excellent team work in Brussels, we have had more success than seemed possible. The global importance of some of EDRi’s successes both for Europe and internationally, such as Europe’s new privacy and net neutrality rules, is becoming more and more obvious.

We are now turning our attention to recruiting a new Executive Director, who will mostly take over the functions of the current Managing Director. This person should be deeply committed to the EDRi’s values and mission and can drive forward our joint vision for the organisation.

We all believe that an exciting and challenging role at the heart of the defence of digital rights in Europe awaits the right candidate. In the coming months, we will need your help to find this person, whether they work for a NGO, a company, at a university, or somewhere else entirely. Please keep your eyes open for the publication of our job ad and take a moment to consider whether you know a candidate who might be a good fit for this position.

While we will undoubtedly speak to many of you in person, Kirsten and Joe would also like to take this opportunity to say thanks. We are grateful to have worked with many of you these past years, and for all the collaboration and progress we have achieved with the network. Please don’t hesitate to be in touch with your thoughts and questions on how we can best usher EDRi into its next phase of growth and impact, and we look forward to keeping you updated along the way.

Best,
Joe, Kirsten
Katarzyna, Andreas and Ot for the Board
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