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Nominee for 2019 Python Software Foundation Board Election

Philippe Gagnon

  • Previous Board Service: New board member
  • Employer: Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
  • Other Affiliations: None
  • Nominee Statement:

      My name is Philippe and I have worked with Python for the past eight years. I have always been impressed by the depth and breadth of its community; I have received so much from the Python community, yet it is only so strong because of the active involvement of its members.

      Two years ago, I decided to start contributing back to projects from which I derived value, and last year, I made the decision to become involved with the PSF’s initiatives more directly. I volunteered on the PyCon US 2019 program committee, will continue to do so for PyCon 2020, and I hope to be given the opportunity to further my involvement by holding a seat on the PSF board.

      Background

      I have been volunteering actively with communities I am involved with for almost my entire life. I served for many years as a volunteer mountain rescue worker, and as a board member for a local community organization. During my graduate studies I volunteered as social chair for my program, as student representative on university committees, and as a member of the executive committee (treasurer) of the graduate student’s association, representing 3000 individuals and overseeing the work of over 100 volunteers and dozens of initiatives.

      I believe that these pieces of my background make me uniquely suited for a board director position, as they demonstrate sustained volunteer community involvement and prior experience in leadership roles in nonprofit organizations.

      Goals

      My goals for the PSF during the next term are as follows:

      • Uphold the Python community’s core values of diversity and inclusiveness. Every individual, regardless of their race, gender, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation or economic background should be afforded equal opportunities to participate in PSF-sponsored events and contribute to the Python community in general. I would like to champion these values on the board and bring awareness to these issues in every matter considered.

      • Increase transparency and controls in financial matters. The PSF is now an organization that handles significant sums of money. To continue to retain the trust that the community has placed in it, a high degree of transparency, accountability and rigor is required. I would like to work on implementing oversight processes based on the best practices of the nonprofit sector, since the organization’s credibility depends on it.

      • Improve the PSF’s communications. It can be hard at times to figure out what is happening in the PSF, yet transparency is one of the foundational principles that drive community adhesion to the ideal of the PSF as a pillar of the Python community. I would like to work towards improving transparency with regards to the PSF’s activities by making information more accessible and opening as much of our data as possible.

      • Empower the PSF staff and improve our governance practices. As the PSF is evolving, maturing and gaining in size and scope, the roles and responsibilities of its staffers needs to be clearly defined and articulated. The PSF’s professional staff needs to be given the mandate and ability to implement our common objectives. On a related front, the board needs the experience and expertise to exercise strong oversight of the organization’s activities on behalf of the community, and I would like to bring our structure and processes inline with the nonprofit sector's best practices.