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by Richard Stallman last modified April 07, 2010 17:14

The Free Software Foundation Management and Board.

The Free Software Foundation is led by:

Richard M. Stallman, President:

Richard Stallman

Richard is a software developer and software freedom activist. In 1983 he announced the project to develop the GNU operating system, a Unix-like operating system meant to be entirely free software, and has been the project's leader ever since. With that announcement Richard also launched the Free Software Movement. In October 1985 he started the Free Software Foundation.

Since the mid-1990s, Richard has spent most of his time in political advocacy for free software, and spreading the ethical ideas of the movement, as well as campaigning against both software patents and dangerous extension of copyright laws. Before that, Richard developed a number of widely used software components of the GNU system, including the original Emacs, the GNU Compiler Collection, the GNU symbolic debugger (gdb), GNU Emacs, and various other programs for the GNU operating system.

Richard pioneered the concept of copyleft, and is the main author of the GNU General Public License, the most widely used free software license.

Richard graduated from Harvard in 1974 with a BA in physics. During his college years, he also worked as a staff hacker at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab, learning operating system development by doing it. He wrote the first extensible Emacs text editor there in 1975. He also developed the AI technique of dependency-directed backtracking, also known as truth maintenance. In January 1984 he resigned from MIT to start the GNU project.

Peter T. Brown, Controller and Executive Director:

Peter Brown

Peter came to the FSF in 2001 having previously worked as a member and director of the New Internationalist Cooperative in Oxford, and in London for BBC Network Radio. Peter has led the FSF during its efforts to embrace public campaigning to promote the cause of software freedom and he launched the anti-DRM campaign Peter has worked as the FSF Compliance Lab Manager and as Controller. In March 2005 Peter was appointed Executive Director in advance of FSF's preparations for its public redrafting of version 3 of the GNU General Public License. Peter is not a programmer, but did author "Black Max" for the Sinclair ZX81, a BASIC language program listing that appeared in the last edition of the UK magazine publication Sinclair Programs in September 1985. The magazine had been a source for teenagers to freely share code and programming ideas.

John Sullivan, Manager of Operations

John Sullivan

John started working with GNU Press and the Free Software Foundation in 2003 and then became the FSF's first Campaigns Manager, working on outreach efforts like Defective by Design, BadVista, and PlayOgg. In 2007, John was named Manager of Operations, to coordinate the work of the campaigns, sysadmin, and fundraising teams. His background is mainly in the humanities, with an MFA in Writing and Poetics and a BA in Philosophy, but he has been spending too much time with computers and online communities since the days of the Commodore 64. He's become a dedicated GNU Emacs user after first trying it around 1996, and contributes code to several of its extensions. Prior to the FSF, John worked as a college debate team instructor for Harvard and Michigan State University.

The Free Software Foundation board of directors:

Gerald J. Sussman, Professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT.

Gerald has been involved in artificial intelligence research at MIT since 1964. He co-authored Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs and Structure and Interpretation of Classical Mechanics and is the recipient of numerous awards, including ACM's Karl Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award and the Amar G. Bose award for teaching. He is a fellow of numerous institutions including the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, the ACM, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the New York Academy of Arts, and Sciences.

Richard M. Stallman, founder and president of the FSF.

Richard is a free software developer and activist, he is the founder of the GNU Project and the author of the GNU General Public License. He is the principal author of the GNU Compiler Collection and wrote the GNU symbolic debugger, GNU Emacs, and various other programs for the GNU operating system. He has received numerous awards, including the Association for Computing Machinery Grace Hopper Award, a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Pioneer award, the Takeda Award for Social/Economic Betterment, as well as several honorary doctorates.

Geoffrey Knauth, Computer Science Instructor at Lycoming College.

Geoffrey is an independent software contractor, has worked as a programmer, senior associate, systems engineer, and systems analyst at various companies and has contributed to the GNU Objective-C project. He is fluent in Russian and French and has a working knowledge of German, which helps him maintain relationships with computer scientists, mathematicians, and physicists of the Russian Academy of Sciences and with United States economists, scientists, and agencies. He holds a BA in Economics from Harvard University and is the treasurer of the FSF.

Henri Poole, founder of CivicActions

Henri Poole is an internet strategist with three decades' experience in information technology and more than a decade's with online communities and commerce. He was the first technologist to set up a blog for a member of the US House of Representatives. He has presented at conferences in Europe and in the US, and was the technical editor of Demystifying Multimedia. He co-founded CivicActions, a grassroots campaign technology consulting firm in 2004, helping provide network-centric free software technology solutions focusing on transforming the world.

Hal Abelson, Professor of Electrical Engineeering and Computer Science at MIT.

Hal was designated as one of MIT's six inaugural MacVicar Faculty Fellows and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the MIT School of Engineering's Bose award, the IEEE Taylor L. Booth Education Award. He is co-director of the MIT-Microsoft iCampus Research Alliance in Educational Technology and of the MIT Project on Mathematics and Computation and co-chair of the MIT Council on Educational Technology. He serves on the steering committee of the HP-MIT Alliance. He developed and teaches the MIT course Ethics and Law on the Electronic Frontier and co-authored Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs. He is a founding director of Creative Commons, Public Knowledge, and the FSF.

Benjamin Mako Hill, Fellow, MIT Center for Future Civic Media.

Mako is an author, technology/copyright researcher, activist, and consultant. He has been a leader, developer, and contributor to the free software community for more than a decade as part of the Debian and Ubuntu projects, and co-authored The Debian GNU/Linux Bible and of The Official Ubuntu Book. He is currently helping build software for the One Laptop per Child project while pursuing research in free software processes at the MIT's Sloan School.

Bradley Kuhn, president of the Software Freedom Conservancy.

Kuhn began volunteering in the Free Software Movement in 1992, as an early adopter of the GNU/Linux operating system, and contributor to various Free Software projects. He worked during the 1990s as a system administrator and software developer for various companies, and taught high school Computer Science (using all Free Software). In 2000, he joined the FSF as an employee. From 2001 until 2005, he was FSF's executive director, where he led FSF's GPL enforcement efforts, launched the Associate Member program, and invented the Affero clause of the AGPL. In 2005, he left FSF to work as an employee of the Software Freedom Law Center. Kuhn holds a summa cum laude B.S. in Computer Science from Loyola University Maryland, and an M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Cincinnati. Kuhn is also president of the Software Freedom Conservancy.

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