[tor-project] Board Minutes from July 14, 2016, to April 16, 2018

biella biella at riseup.net
Sat Aug 18 13:12:17 UTC 2018


The board is releasing our first batch of Tor Project meeting minutes
from July 14, 2016, to April 16, 2018 [1]. After our next reunion, to be
held on August 20, 2018, we will release minutes as a single item
shortly after we meet.

Before the board made the decision to publish them, I had volunteered to
write a report about board work and accomplishments. Now that we are
releasing our minutes, there is less of a need to write a detailed
report, but I’ve decided to highlight some of things we’ve done and what
we are up to in the next few months.

As is probably obvious, board minutes are a fairly conventional genre of
documentation for providing an official record of decisions taken by the
board. They reference our collective discussions and include other
standard information such as the start time of meeting, place or method
of connecting, and a list of present and absent members. They tend to
contain regular items of business, such as a discussion of pending and
current grants and the finance reports, both of which relate to one of
the core of duties of a board: fiduciary oversight of the organization.
But these notes also provide a limited window into other aspects of the
organization, as well as its shifting concerns and priorities depending
on unforeseen factors and events. Early in this board’s tenure, we,
along with TPI (The Tor Project, INC.) officers (Shari, Roger and Nick)
dealt with matters of organizational housekeeping: filling board
positions, establishing email voting protocols, clarifying and defining
roles around the officers, and approving new policy documents or changes
in existing policy documents. (These documents are included with the
minutes.) With that in place, we moved on to other tasks that are also
typical of boards, such as the ED review, which was carried out in the
winter of 2017. As the organization stabilized, we were free to take on
more time consuming projects, such as board expansion and
diversification, which involved a number of meetings outside of the
regular board reunions as we vetted and interviewed potential new
members. Another fairly large undertaking for the current board was
finding a replacement for Shari after she notified us of her plans to
retire. While a search committee was constituted and tasked with the
bulk of the initial work—compiling names, reaching out to candidates,
scheduling meetings, and holding initial interviews—the entire board and
TPI officers were also pulled in at various points to rate the long list
of applications, hammer out procedures and timing, and interview and
discuss the final few candidates.

While the minutes provide a fairly accurate record of board duties,
roles, and accomplishments, board members contribute in ways that are
not registered or reflected in our minutes. Shari has reached out to
individual board members to help build strategic partnerships, as she
did with Mozilla, for instance. Other board members have many informal
discussions with members of the Tor community that directly loop back
into board discussions, while organization officers like Roger reach out
to board members to discuss particular grants. We’d also like to remind
everyone that they should feel free to contact us at any time on any
matter related to the Tor Project (I've included our contact information

Now that we’ve wrapped up the ED search, we’ve returned again to
expanding the board, and a few of us are in the process of reaching out
to a couple of other candidates, one of whom was recommended by a Tor
community member (and we happily continue to welcome recommendations
like these). Like everyone else, we are also thrilled to work with the
incoming ED, Isabela, who will be joining us for our August board
meeting. While there will be period of transition as we work with a new
ED, we feel the organization has matured and stabilized under Shari’s
careful and skilled guiding hand to the point where we can help Isabela
fulfill her strategic vision. We were exceedingly impressed by her plan
to make Tor more usable and more technically robust and we felt her
wide-ranging experience running projects and teams, her intense
familiarity with Tor, and her dedication to the fight for privacy and
the people of Tor, made her the ideal candidate to shepherd this
organization forward into the future.

Don’t hesitate to contact any of us if you have any questions, queries,
suggestions, and/or comments.

Gabriella Coleman, on behalf of the entire board.

ps-- I'd like to thank Linus for formatting all the minutes and putting
them online.

[1] https://gitweb.torproject.org/company/policies.git/tree 

Gabriella Coleman, biella at riseup.net
<mailto:biella at riseup.net>

Megan Price, meganp at hrdag.org <mailto:meganp at hrdag.org>

Cindy Cohn, cindy at eff.org <mailto:cindy at eff.org>

Linus Nordberg linus at torproject.org <mailto:linus at torproject.org>

Ramy Raoof, ramyraoof at riseup.net <mailto:ramyraoof at riseup.net>

Bruce Schneier, schneier at schneier.com <mailto:schneier at schneier.com>

Matt Blaze, blaze at cis.upenn.edu <mailto:blaze at cis.upenn.edu>

Julius Mittenzwei, julius at mittenzwei.com <mailto:julius at mittenzwei.com>

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