The Fedora Project Board is the executive team of the Fedora Project that makes guiding decisions and leads the project forward.
Successful projects need to have clear leadership. The Fedora Project Board serves this function, placing Fedora's leaders (both within the community and within Red Hat) at the highest level of decision making within the Fedora Project. Like any board of directors, the Fedora Project Board advises Fedora leadership and helps the project pursue broad goals. The Board does not generally implement practices, but instead relies on the recognized community leadership including but not limited to the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee to do so .
There are nine Board members: five elected by the community and four appointed by Red Hat. Volunteers and Red Hat employees are eligible for all seats, and often volunteers are appointed or Red Hat employees are elected. This Board is ultimately accountable for the Fedora Project, and in that sense is responsible for guiding all of the Project's operational decisions. However, the Board strives at all times to invest decision-making power in the community wherever possible.
As with any very large community, it is often not possible for the Fedora community to arrive at unanimity on some of the issues with which the Board deals. To make progress on these issues, the Board cannot be purely a reactive decision-making body, and must sometimes lead actively by making decisions that are in the best interest of the continued health of the Fedora Project. By having an elected component, the Board seeks to bear not only the responsibility for making these decisions, but also to be accountable for them to the Fedora community. As is the case with any representative governance, not every decision will satisfy the entire constituency, but the Board seeks always to make decisions based on what is best for the continued progress of Fedora.
Additionally, there is a Chairman appointed by Red Hat, who has veto power over any decision. The expectation is that this veto power will be used infrequently, as there are negative consequences that could arise from the frequent use of such power in a community project. Just as a CEO often serves as the bridge between a board of directors and a company's executive component, the Chairman is a bridge between the Fedora Project Board and the larger Fedora community.
Board members are also usually active project participants, and therefore involve themselves in a number of routine matters and discussions. No Board member's statements should be interpreted as Board policy unless explicitly so noted and supported by minutes and announcements made through official channels.
The issues discussed by the Board generally fall into these categories:
- Issues escalated from a committee or other subgroup in the Fedora Project that has reached an impasse but requires a decision by informed consensus;
- Issues concerning oversight of subprojects that are not under FESCo purview;
- Issues that does not fall into the purview of any of the established committees or other subgroups, but requires a decision by informed consensus;
- Issues of strategic, as opposed to tactical, importance for Fedora that require leadership and vision from above the team or subproject level to achieve; or,
- Sensitive legal or personnel issues which require research and discussion to protect the interests of the Fedora Project or its sponsor(s).
Typically the last type of issue is discussed to some extent in private. Refer to the Contact section for more information.
The Board is also responsible for:
- Deciding issues regarding use of the Fedora trademarks
- Final arbitration of complaints related to project policies
To advance free software, we need to provide a sustainable integration of free software without cutting corners. By providing a positive first impression before and during installation and real use, we support Fedora's reputation as a leading and reliable product that attracts future users and contributors. To provide that integration and experience we must have a clear set of priorities to help all contributors decide how to allocate resources and resolve conflicts. These priorities are not meant to be exclusive, or to keep contributors from working on the parts of Fedora that matter to them.
These priorities will sometimes expose gaps where contributors need additional assistance, and allow them to seek it both within the community and by bringing in additional contributors to help, exclusively on their particular interest area if desired. While narrowing our focus in some areas, though, we must provide opportunities for exploration to all contributors within the framework of our core values and without impeding progress.
This statement was adopted at the Board meeting of 2010-02-11
The Fedora Project Board uses two mailing lists.
advisory-board is a public list. Subscription is open to anyone, as are the archives. This list is the main discussion point for the Fedora Board, and the goal of the list is to either reach a decision, or to delegate the thread to a more appropriate location. For example, many engineering-specific threads will get some comments on fedora-advisory-board, before being redirected to fedora-devel-list for in-depth discussion.
board-private is a private list. Its membership is restricted to the current Board members, and its archives are private. This list is only used for topics that cannot be discussed on the public fedora-advisory-board list.
Jared K. Smith has managed small systems and large-scale networks, worked with the Asterisk community as a developer and community relations manager, taught around the world, and authored a book for O'Reilly. He has also worked in the Fedora Project, on the Documentation team helping with tools and content, and on the Infrastructure team helping with the Fedora Talk VoIP system. Jared joined Red Hat in July 2010 as the Fedora Project Leader, taking over from Paul Frields. Jared lives in Virginia with his wife and two children.
Christopher Aillon is the Desktop Applications Engineering Team Lead for Red Hat, where he has worked since 2004. He has been a long time contributor to the Mozilla Project (e.g. Firefox, Thunderbird) and has made many contributions to NetworkManager and various GNOME applications. He has been heavily involved with Fedora, having made contributions to over 100 packages.
Stephen Smoogen -- Stephen is a Fedora Infrastructure Minion for Red Hat, where he has worked since 2009. Before that he worked for the University of New Mexico, Sandia National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory in various System Administration forms. Looking back even further to the Triassic age, Stephen worked for Red Hat from 1997 to 2001 where he doubled as Coffee Maker and Support Minion. He has also worked with the CentOS project though the Secretary disavowals all knowledge of his actions. Stephen likes to speak in third person about himself which made writing this biography very easy.
Jon Stanley -- Jon is a long-time contributor to Fedora, and has previously served on FESCo. His interests lie mainly in the base operating system and making Fedora do new and cool tricks in that space, as opposed to others who like to make Fedora do cool bling (though that's cool too - have I used cool too many times?). When he's writing code, it's in Python, and he is an active member of Infrastructure. He currently lives with his computers in a tiny, overpriced apartment in New York City, and loves every minute of it. His interests outside of computers include being an avid beer drinker (of good craft brews), and rooting for the Cardinals.
Colin Walters -- is a Software Engineer on Red Hat's desktop team, and has contributed to a wide variety of Free Software projects over the years. He currently is working primarily on GNOME 3. Colin holds a B.S. in Computer Science from The Ohio State University, and lives in Cambridge, MA.
Tom "spot" Callaway has worked for Red Hat since 2001, and is currently the Fedora Engineering Manager. A founding member of the Fedora Steering Committee, and the chair of the Fedora Packaging Committee, Tom has put a lot of time into the Fedora project (and with over 250 packages to his name, a lot of tears as well). He's involved with the Fedora Perl SIG, R SIG, Release Engineering, and heads up the Fedora Legal team. In what little remains of his spare time, Tom also leads the Fedora SPARC effort (formerly Aurora SPARC Linux), and occasionally sleeps. He lives in Boston with his wonderful wife Pam, their bouncing baby boy, two cats, three toads, and at least 30 SPARC machines.
Rex Dieter works as Computer System Administrator in the Mathematics Department at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. Rex is a KDE advocate and founded the KDE Red Hat project. He is also an active contributor to Fedora Extras. Rex lives in Omaha, Nebraska, with his wife, 2 children, and 4 cats.
Matt Domsch is a Technology Strategist in the Dell Office of the CTO. He has been developing, debugging, testing, and fixing aspects of Linux since 1999. He has served on the Fedora Project Board since April 2006, and as the Mirror Wrangler and author of MirrorManager since Fedora Core 6. Matt holds a BS in Computer Science and Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a MS in Computer Science from Vanderbilt University. Matt lives in the Austin, TX area with his wife and children.
Máirín Duffy -- a Boston-based Red Hatter who started as an unpaid intern in 2004 and is now a senior interaction designer there. She's used Fedora as her primary desktop since 2004, despite Linux-based desktops and open source tools like Gimp and Inkscape not being commonly used (yet) by professional designers. Máirín has lead the Fedora Design team (formerly art team) since 2006. She helped establish an open, community-based process for producing Fedora's artwork, using & creating openly-licensed materials and using the free & open source tools in Fedora to do it. She's worked on many projects across Fedora, recently including the Fedora Community UX design, the new Fedora Spins website, an ongoing www.fedoraproject.org redesign project, the new Anaconda installer storage redesign, the authconfig GTK redesign, and a project to get high-quality open fonts packaged for Fedora. She loves strawberries, hello kitty, and pandas.
Chris Tyler is a professor at Seneca College, where he teaches open source development and Linux system administration. He has been a long-time user of and contributor to Fedora, is the author of Fedora Linux and X Power Tools (O'Reilly), and is a member of X.org. He lives in Vaughan, Ontario (near Toronto) and shares a four-user multiseat Fedora system with his wife and two daughters.
A separate page outlines the process for changing the members of the Fedora Board. Following changes in Board composition, the Chair ensures that Board succession followup items are handled. There is also a page that shows the current status of upcoming or recently held Elections of the Board and other steering groups.
A separate page gives a detailed history of who has filled Board seats at different times.
Chris Blizzard was a software engineer and engineering manager at Red Hat. He is best known for his open source contributions within the Mozilla project as well as his work with OLPC.
Josh Boyer - is a long time member of the Fedora community. He has been a Fedora package maintainer and on FESCo for three years. He enjoys working with PowerPC and contributes to the Fedora PPC effort. Josh holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Michigan Technological University and lives with his family in Michigan.
Greg DeKoenigsberg is the Chief Technology Officer at iskme.org. Previously he was a senior community manager at Red Hat. He has served the Fedora community in several roles, most notably as the founding chairman of what was then the Fedora Extras Committee (now FESCo). He has been with Red Hat since 2001. He believes the children are our future.
Steve Dickson is a kernel Engineer at Red Hat. For the last five years or so he has been responsible for NFS, NIS, CIFS, and QUOTA packages (both kernel and user level). His responsibilities include both RHEL and Fedora releases. In prior lives he worked on DEC's Tru
Cluster product as well as a short stint working in the Infiniband world writing both user and kernel applications for the Linux. Steve started his career at Lachman Associates developing and supporting SCO's NFS implementation.
Paul W. Frields has been a Linux user and enthusiast since 1997, and joined the Fedora Project in 2003, shortly after launch. As a founding member of the Fedora Board, Paul worked on a variety of tasks, including guides and tutorials, website publishing, and toolchain development. He also maintains a number of packages in the Fedora repository. Paul joined Red Hat to serve as the Fedora Project Leader from February 2008 to July 2010. He currently lives with his wife and two children in Virginia, and works for Red Hat's engineering department.
Dennis Gilmore works at Red Hat as release engineer for Spacewalk and RHN Satellite , He was previously the build and release engineer for OLPC. Dennis has worked in most aspects of Fedora. Currently he is involved in Infrastructure and FESCo. He is also an active package maintainer, leading the implementation of secondary architectures and doing Release Engineering for EPEL. Dennis hold a Bachelor in Information Technology (Data Communications) from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) as well as an RHCE. Dennis Lives in Washington, IL with his wife, his daughter, and two dogs.
Dimitris Glezos is the Founder and Chief Ninja of Indifex, a startup company developing scalable content distribution technologies, best known for their work on Transifex. He has been deeply involved in the Fedora Localization Project as its spokesperson and lead engineer. He has served on the Documentation Steering Committee, and contributed to a number of other Fedora projects including Websites, Marketing, and Ambassadors. Dimitris lives in Greece, and in his spare time he transform into a published photographer, a passionate rock climber, a fine cook, and a sluggish guitar and euphonium player.
Harald Hoyer joined the Linux community in 1996. His first kernel patch was the module ip_masq_quake in 1997, followed by boot support for md raid devices. He joined Red Hat in July of 1999, working on projects ranging from udev, network daemons and CD recording packages to creating configuration tools, extending smolt and writing python interfaces.
Jeremy Katz is an engineering ninja at Hubspot. In the past he was a Red Hat engineer, the longtime maintainer for Anaconda, and a founding member of the Fedora Extras steering committee.
Jesse Keating is currently a Red Hat employee tasked with release engineering for the Fedora project. He has been involved with Fedora since its creation, and Red Hat Linux before that. He created and led the Fedora Legacy project until it was retired as no longer needed. Jesse has also been a member of FESCo a few times over the course of Fedora's existence. Besides Release Engineering, Jesse participates in QA, Infrastructure, Triage, Spins, and any other shiny object that may come his way. Jesse lives in the Seattle, WA area with his wife and son.
Elliot Lee was a software engineer at Red Hat from 1996 - 2006. His open source contributions include release engineering for Fedora Core, co-founding the GNOME project, and maintaining assorted open source libraries and utilities. He is a founding member of the former Fedora Extras steering committee (now FESCo), and he was the first leader of the Fedora Infrastructure team.
Michael McGrath - Works at Red Hat full time as the Fedora Infrastructure Team lead. Studied telecommunications management and worked as a developer for years but took the jump to systems administration and architecture around 2002. Holds a BA in telecommunications from Illinois State University as well as an RHCE. Currently based out of Schaumburg, IL near Chicago.
Bill Nottingham joined Red Hat in May of 1998, working on projects ranging from the initial port of Red Hat Linux to ia64, booting and hardware detection, multilib content definition and fixing, and is currently doing work related to stateless Linux. He's also been involved in various technical lead details, such as package CVS infrastructure and distribution content definition.
Bob McWhirter joined Red Hat in early 2007 as the JBoss community-manager. Previously, he'd founded the Codehaus open-source community, the Jaxen XPath engine and the Drools rule engine (acquired by JBoss in 2006).
John Poelstra is a Program Manager for Red Hat and spends a majority of his time working on Fedora. Previously John was a manager in Red Hat's Quality Engineering group, responsible for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) updates testing, originally joining Red Hat in 2004. He holds a B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting. John also holds a CPA license and is a Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE). Before venturing into technology (where he says things are far more interesting), John worked at a national accounting and consulting firm and in other financial roles. He lives with his family in the Pacific Northwest.
Jef Spaleta is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the SuperDARN research group at the Geophysical Institute on the UAF campus. He has been an active community contributor in some form or fashion since the Fedora Project began. Initially focusing on end-user troubleshooting and bug triage, then as a Fedora Extras contributor. He lives in Fairbanks, Alaska and enjoys the alternating seasonal joys of curling and canoing and the pleasantly squeaky sound that snow makes under your shoe at -20 F.
Rahul Sundaram is a Red Hat associate based in Pune, India. He is a longstanding contributor to multiple Fedora projects, a Fedora Ambassador for India, and a ex-member of the Fedora Ambassadors steering committee.
Seth Vidal is the project lead for yum, which is one of the key building blocks for software management in Fedora. He also maintains mock, the basis for the Fedora Extras build system. He is a founding member of the Fedora Extras steering committee, and he was one of the people chiefly responsible for the first ever release of Fedora Extras packages in 2005. Seth is also the lead administrator of the infrastructure at fedoraproject.org, which includes the Fedora project wiki, RSS feed aggregator, and bittorrent server.
Karsten Wade is a Senior Community Gardener at Red Hat. He has been a long-time contributor to Fedora, serving currently as the chair of the Fedora Documentation Steering Committee and as a member of the EPEL SIG steering committee. He is active in community building, writing, website design, translations, and documentation. Karsten lives in Santa Cruz, CA with his wife and two daughters on their little urban homestead.