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[liberationtech] Come Hear Mitchell Baker, Mozilla Foundation, Thursday November 20 at 2:15 pm

Seeta Peñ–a Gangadharan whoa at
Wed Nov 19 20:48:52 PST 2008

*Who: Mitchell Baker, Chair, Mozilla Foundation (creator of the Firefox 

*What: Mitchell Baker in conversation with David Booth (USF) and Brian 
Behlendorf (Mozilla, Apache and Stanford Networked Governance class) about*
*Where: d.School (Institute of Design)*
Building 524, 451 Panama Mall


*Occasion: Networked Governance Seminar - All are Invited to Join 
(Profs. Winograd, Noveck, Behelendorf)

*When: 2:15 pm on Thursday, November 20*
Mitchell Baker's Bio (from Wikipedia)
Winifred Mitchell Baker, better known simply as Mitchell Baker is the 
Chairperson of the Mozilla Foundation and Chairperson and former Chief 
Executive Officer of the Mozilla Corporation, a subsidiary of the 
Mozilla Foundation that coordinates development of the open source 
Mozilla Internet applications, including the Mozilla Firefox web browser 
and the Mozilla Thunderbird email client.

Trained as a lawyer, Baker coordinates business and policy issues and 
sits on both the Mozilla Foundation Board of Directors and the Mozilla 
Corporation Board of Directors. In 2005, Time magazine included her in 
its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world and she 
has been affectionately given the title of "Chief Lizard Wrangler" at 
the Mozilla Corporation.

Baker received an AB in Asian Studies from the University of California, 
Berkeley in 1979, achieving a Certificate of Distinction. She received 
her JD from the Boalt Hall School of Law in 1987 and was admitted to the 
State Bar of California in the same year. From January 1990 until 
October 1993, she worked as a Corporate and Intellectual Property 
Associate at Fenwick & West LLP, a law practice that specialises in 
providing legal services to high technology companies. She then worked 
for Sun Microsystems as an Associate General Counsel from November 1993 
until October 1994.

In November 1994, Baker was hired as one of the first employees of the 
legal department of Netscape Communications Corporation. Reporting 
directly to CEO Jim Barksdale, she jointly set up the initial 
department. She was responsible for intellectual property protection and 
legal issues relating to product development, reporting to the General 
Counsel. She also created and managed the Technology Group of the Legal 
Department. She was involved with the Mozilla project from the outset, 
writing both the Netscape Public License and the Mozilla Public License. 
In February 1999, Baker became the Chief Lizard Wrangler (general 
manager) of, the division of Netscape that coordinated the 
Mozilla open source project. In 2001, she was fired during a round of 
layoffs at America Online, by then the parent of Netscape. Despite this, 
she continued to serve as the Chief Lizard Wrangler of on a 
volunteer basis.

In November 2002, Baker was employed by the Open Source Applications 
Foundation, helping to guide the group's community relations and taking 
a seat on OSAF's Board of Directors. From the outset, she also had part 
of her time assigned to working on issues. However, the 
division of her hours gradually became more and more weighted towards 
her Mozilla work at the expense of her OSAF duties, leading to her 
decision to return to Mozilla full time in January 2005. She retained 
her seat on OSAF's board.

Baker was instrumental in the creation of the Mozilla Foundation, an 
independent non-profit that was launched on July 15, 2003 as America 
Online shut down the Netscape browser division and drastically scaled 
back its involvement with the Mozilla project. Baker became the 
President of the Mozilla Foundation and was appointed to the five-person 
Board of Directors.

When the Mozilla Corporation was launched as a taxable subsidiary of the 
Mozilla Foundation on August 3, 2005, Baker was named the CEO of the new 
entity. In addition, she joined the Mozilla Corporation's Board of 
Directors, though she also kept her seat on the Mozilla Foundation's 
board, as well as her role as Chairperson.

On January 8, 2008, Mozilla announced that Baker, while retaining her 
role as Chairperson of the Mozilla Foundation, would no longer serve as 
CEO of the Corporation, and that MoCo's Chief Operating Officer John 
Lilly would take over this role. The reasons cited for this change was 
Mozilla's rapid growth, which made it difficult for executives to 
continue to wear many hats. In the future, Baker will focus on the 
vision and message of the Mozilla project, while leaving the nuts and 
bolts of running a corporation with the CEO. Lilly, however, is expected 
to take a more public role in the future, much as Baker has.

Mitchell is married and has one son.

As a hobby, she is a skilled trapeze artist, "flying" two or three times 
a week. She can also speak conversational Mandarin Chinese.

She is known for her unique hair style, with her hair cut in a bob on 
right side of her head, and very short on the left. Her hair 
coincidentally bears a resemblance to the Firefox logo.

*Check out Mitchell's Blog at *

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