Foundation:Executive Director Search 072607

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ED Search Committee meeting #1 - July 26, 2007


Mitchell, Eunice, dmose, pavlov, dria, kairo

Search Committee duties

  • Review resumes
  • Interview and assess candidates
  • Work as recruiters to help sell the right candidates on the job
  • Move the final candidates forward out to the community, and help the community understand, get to know, and assess the candidates
  • Communicate with and speak on behalf of the community in the early stages of this process
  • Monitor and seek to understand community feedback at all stages


  • Does the candidate understand the work the Executive Director needs to do?
  • What does "take the Foundation to the next level" look like? What does it mean?
  • Looking very specifically for strong leadership qualities
  • Looking for someone who has previously demonstrated the ability to build a community, as well as someone who has the requisite passion for the work we do
  • Must be able to work with the Board and work closely with the governance process
  • Must be able to create opportunities for the Foundation and develop and organization and programs to take advantage of those opportunities all within a very diverse community


  • There will be 2 initial rounds of interviews with the Search Committee
  • Third stage will introduce the candidates to a larger community group, then finally introducing them to the community as a whole

First round of interviews

  • Exploratory, open-ended interview intended to determine whether this particular candidate is worth talking to further. Not specific and pointed like a regular job interview, that comes later -- this is earlier in the recruiting process and is more an initial than final evaluation
  • Candidates will have key qualifications and a proven ability to step into leadership roles of this nature, but will not necessarily have direct experience with our particular situation or challenges
  • 80% of the talking should be by the candidate
  • This round is our opportunity to learn about them and assess them at a high level for cultural fit and general capabilities
  • The SC will cooperatively craft questions, working with Eunice and the community to develop good, open-ended questions
  • Looking at their past experience in the first round, not what they want to do in the future or with the Foundation
  • SC will have a set of key questions we need to ask each candidate -- must be a level playing field by which we can fairly evaluate and compare them
  • These will be authentic, real, probing questions -- no trick questions, etc.
  • First round is to be a high level assessment - does this person have the raw ability to come into a new situation, create the relationships and organizations needed, and move that all to a new level of growth and development?
  • Eunice has rating sheets and other tools that she will send out to the SC group. We can tweak these as needed to fit our specific purposes.

Second round of interviews

  • This is where we will start talking to the candidates about challenges and opportunities within the Foundation and this particular role
  • Challenge candidates with case studies and scenarios, as well as questions regarding vision and forward-looking goals
  • Also help the candidates understand that this is an exciting, challenging, fascinating, one-of-a-kind opportunity

Third step of the process

  • Introducing the candidates to the community and getting the community's assessment.
  • Two layers to this - first the candidates will be introduced to and assessed by a smaller group of community and project leaders. This will *not* be the Corporation, but will likely include a large number of corporation employees as well as many non-employee community leaders. This will be very similar to how the Manifesto was moved out into the community. Candidates' names and information will still be considered "confidential" at this point.
  • Afterwards, the candidates will be introduced and assessed by the community at large. At this point their candidacy will be public, so they will have to be comfortable with that information being widely known.
  • Candidates will be moved through this process in stages, not all at once.


  • We will interview 4 or 5 candidates in the first round of interviews, having in-depth discussions about each to determine whether they should move into the second round. It is expected that 2 or 3 candidates will make it to the final stages where they will be introduced to and assessed by the Mozilla community.
  • Interviews will be held in MV.
  • Where possible, SC members should meet face to face with candidates, otherwise discussions can be held by video conference or telephone.


  • SC should start thinking about case studies and scenarios with which to challenge the candidate
  • SC also needs to think about how we can articulate our passion for what we do so the candidates can get a real sense of what we're really all about
  • SC also needs to formulate the questions we want to ask in each round of interviews
  • SC needs to solicit questions from the community for the candidates -- what does the community want to know about the candidates, how does the community believe we should be assessing them? Should start this process very soon, and give a full week for responses and discussion.
  • Arrange an all-hands session to get questions and such from the project and community members in attendance?