The time has come...
As we head into the PSF election cycle, I'd like to let everyone know that I will not be running for re-election to the PSF Board of Directors and consequently from mid June I will no longer be serving as chair of the PSF.
Announcements like this always strike me as awkward, since they make two rather unlikely assumptions: that people will even notice, and that they will care if they do. But in the interests of transparency I'm going to go ahead as if both were true and share my reasons for this decision.
FIrst of all, I truly do believe that limited terms are good for the sustainability of an organization like ours. If someone is in a key role for too long, their inevitable departure and replacement can be unnecessarily disruptive and difficult, even with the best intentions. Of course "too long" can be hard to define, but I think it's safer to err on the side of leaving sooner rather than later. I also think it will be good for the PSF to practice handing off board leadership.
My other reason is that it's just time to move on. After five years on the board and 3 as chair, it seems like it's time to step out of that role and find something different to do, some other way to work for the Python community.
This isn't a dramatic change - I will be available to the next board as an advisor, and of course I will remain a passionate supporter of the PSF and Python communities around the world. So no, you're not getting rid of me that easily. :-D
I do hope that the PSF will continue to work on electing a diverse board, in all of the endless possible dimensions. For one target, I would love to see more representation on the board from Latin America, southern Europe, Africa, and Asia, as well as LGBTQ folks, racial and religious diversity, neurodiversity, and the rest.
If you're one of those people would help make the board more diverse but you're thinking, "yes, but there's no way that someone like me could be elected," well... I was thinking exactly the same thing when I ran for the board 5 years ago. There are no guarantees, but I believe it's worth a try, both for what you might bring and for the experience you will gain. So if that's you, get in touch - I'd be happy to talk about the board and what it involves, and offer any support I can.
It's been a privilege to work with so many amazing people on the board - we may not always have agreed on every point, but you would be hard pressed to find a group of people more dedicated to the success of the PSF and the Python community.
I'm also honored to have worked with the PSF staff as it's grown. They are truly amazing - smart, hardworking, and dedicated. I've seen their work up close, and believe me when I say that we're lucky to have them and they deserve all of the support we can give them.
As we move forward into the changes that the current crisis will bring, I have no doubt that the PSF and its board and staff will be more than up to the challenges ahead.
My time as chair of the PSF has been a lot of things for me - sometimes a challenge, often a learning experience, always an honor and a wonderful opportunity to get to know so many Python communities and their members. But above all it has been a rare and ridiculously improbable gift, something to be treasured, but also to be held lightly, and then passed on.
So long, and thanks for all the fish...