Hello OSI Community Members,

I’m pleased to announce a major step in the development of the OSI. As our new General Manager, I’d like to take a few moments to introduce myself, and also provide a bit more information about both the new GM role itself, as well as some of the new programs identified by the OSI Board of Directors to extend and enable our mission.

First, I must say how honored, humbled and excited I am to join the OSI community in our mission, to educate about and advocate for the benefits of open source, and to build bridges among different constituencies in the open source community. While the OSI is recognized around the globe as the stewards of the Open Source Definition and the authority on open source licenses, it is the open source community—all of you—that truly drives development, promotes adoption and encourages participation. It is my sincere desire, and my highest priority, to meaningfully contribute to and promote your efforts in my new role as GM.

I also want to thank the current Board of Directors for their trust in inviting me to join the organization, as well as all of the OSI’s previous Directors who have so passionately contributed ideas and ideals throughout the years—establishing the foundation for the reputation and credibility the OSI enjoys today.

Most importantly, I want to acknowledge the new, and growing, OSI membership—the individuals, affiliates and corporate patrons. It was just in June of last year that the OSI Board of Directors outlined a plan to transition from an all volunteer, to a membership-driven organization: and response from the open source community has been inspiring. As the new GM (and an OSI member myself) one of the most exciting aspects moving forward will be engaging with and working among the membership to: define areas of interest; help direct OSI activities, and; empower working groups to drive development. Indeed, I am hoping the OSI itself can operate like an open source project.

As far as my background, I have spent the past 25 years working in various roles within higher education and technology: first as a Programmer Analyst at UCLA, and most recently, serving as the Chief Technology Officer for UMassOnline within the UMass Office of the President. Throughout my career I have actively promoted the awareness and adoption of, as well as participation in, open source software communities and particularly the values of the Open Source Initiative.

Over the next few months I, with the help of the Board, will be reaching out to the OSI community to not only introduce the various initiatives we feel will increase the OSI’s profile, influence and participation as a membership organization promoting the awareness and adoption of open source, but also increase our members network (i.e. your contacts, collaborations and communities) of like-minded peers to promote their (i.e. your) own interests, projects and activities. These include:

  • OSI Working Groups: these special interest groups provide opportunities—and resources—for OSI volunteers and members to self-organize around affinity issues and projects. If you want to do something to help further the OSI mission, we want to help you.
  • Extending OSI Membership: broader membership and participation creates a support model to pursue the OSI mission via individual contributions, non-profit affiliations and corporate sponsorships. Broad participation creates a community of interest, not only supporting the OSI’s activities, but also extending support to the members’ themselves around similar, local and/or unique interests. How can we incentivize open source developers, advocates and users to join, collaborate and contribute to a community of practice and specifically open source?
  • Membership elections: OSI’s individual and affiliate members can nominate and vote for OSI Board Directors. If you want to take on a leadership role, the OSI wants you to too!
  • Updating the OSI communication channels: Where are our constituents (online and across the globe)… what are they doing… how can we help? From our website, our blog and email lists—to conferences and user groups, it’s time to invest a bit in how we reach out and, critically, learn from the open source community.

Of course, I have much, much to learn about not only the OSI’s current interests and activities, but most importantly, the dedicated community of practice who makes everything we do possible, and without whom the OSI could not be, or continue on as, the globally recognized and respected institution it is in defining technology development and use.

Again, I am thrilled and thankful to take on this new role and I sincerely thank you for your ongoing interest in, and participation with, the OSI—I look forward to working with you. Please feel free to contact me directly, I am very interested to hear your thoughts and ideas.

Thank you

Patrick Masson,
General Manager, Director & Secretary of the Board
Email: masson@opensource.org