Board/FAQ

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This is an FAQ related to the role of the Mozilla Foundation board.

What does the Mozilla Foundation board do?

The Mozilla Foundation board is responsible for the overall corporate governance of Mozilla and provides strategic oversight of programs operated directly by Mozilla Foundation staff.

The board participates in the yearly development of goals and approves an annual budget based on these goals. They are also responsible for selecting, supporting and evaluating the Executive Director of Mozilla Foundation and the Board of Directors for its subsidiary, the Mozilla Corporation. The board also provides strategic advice and input to the steering committee of Mozilla Corporation through a yearly status meeting and occasional informal one on one meetings.

For more information about the role of non-profit boards, see this article in Board Source.

What are the expectations of a board member?

Board members are ambassadors and stewards for Mozilla. They also bring expertise in one or more areas important to Mozilla: web and internet trends; open source; innovation; and business and non-profit management. Board members use their expertise to identify opportunities to advance Mozilla's mission and to inform the yearly strategic planning for the Mozilla Foundation. They are responsible for financial oversight and for the legal and ethical integrity of the organization. Many board members work actively with the community on one or more Mozilla projects.

Does the board play a role in product or module governance?

Not directly. The module ownership system governs core Mozilla Project software and activities such as Firefox and Mozilla.org. Module owners are appointed based on merit and contribution. There is more information on module ownership here.

How often does the board meet?

The board as well as the Executive Director and management team of the Mozilla Foundation typically meet six times per year to discuss Mozilla Foundation strategy and business. The board also meets at least once per year with representatives of the Mozilla Corporation steering committee to receive a strategic update on our product meeting. Slides from board meetings are normally posted on the Executive Director's blog.

How are board members chosen?

Board members are selected and elected by the board itself. However, the Mozilla community and Mozilla Foundation management team all play a role in recruiting and vetting potential board members. This is the job description we're currently using to recruit new board members.

How long do board members serve?

Board Members serve two year renewable terms. Board terms are staggered with half of the positions needed to be elected each year.

Who are the current Mozilla Foundation board members?

The current board members include: Mitchell Baker, Chair of Mozilla Foundation and Corporation; Apache founder and tech investor Brian Behlendorf; Duke University professor and educational innovator Cathy Davidson ; MIT Media Lab Director and Creative Commons Chair, Joi Ito; and former Netscape VP; former Luminate CEO Bob Lisbonne; and Brazilian academic Ronaldo Lemos.

What's the difference between the Mozilla Foundation board and the Mozilla Corporation board?

The Mozilla Corporation board oversees the corporate strategy and operations of Mozilla's core software products and services. Current Mozilla Corporation board members include Reid Hoffman, Karim Lakhani, and Chris Beard. The Mozilla Foundation is the sole shareholder of the Mozilla Corporation and is responsible for appointing the members of the Mozilla Corporation board.