Maryana Iskander: The New CEO of Wikipedia

Wikipedia’s new Leader

Wikipedia started in 2001, starting as a crowdsource project with the ambitious goal of documenting real-time history. Now, Wikipedia has earned a spot on the teacher’s blacklist, but is used by millions daily for information about any topic. Recently, the Wikimedia Foundation-the group in charge of Wikipedia-announced the appointment of Maryan Iskander to the chief executive position starting in January 2022. 

Maryana Iskander

Maryana Iskander is a social entrepreneur in South Africa, with lots of work focused through nonprofit efforts tackling mainly youth unemployment and women’s rights issues. Iskander is an Egyptian-born American lawyer who was the CEO of the Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator NGO since 2013. This comes with a vacancy of the position by Katherine Maher, who has nurtured the platform into becoming a worldwide source of information. With the platform at a stage of success, many are curious about what changes Iskander will bring to Wikipedia.

The New York Times spoke with her, asking for her opinion on multiple issues and her goals for Wikipedia. She stated that Wikipedia is “… not trying to be anything else. It’s certainly not trying to be a traditional social media platform in any way.” Iskander also responded to a question surrounding disinformation by indicating that Wikipedia creates task forces ahead of time for events such as elections in a proactive manner, and has constant, careful monitoring on polar pages such as climate change. Iskander also hopes to create a better, more reputable image of Wikipedia as a citable and referenceable source. 


In conclusion, Maryna Iskander hopes to and is expected to bring great change to Wikipedia, while keeping it on track for its mission: access to free knowledge for everyone. She has lots of experience through leading many volunteer movements that had observable impact on the state of affairs in various issues, including but not limited to: health care, unemployment, women’s rights. She hopes to address multiple issues from polarization of the platform to the diversity of contributors. Iskander will take the position of Executive Director on January 5th, 2021, and head the organization in the future.


Categories: Society