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Sue Gardner

Sue Gardner
Sue Gardner in December 2012
Born (1967-05-11) May 11, 1967
Bridgetown, Barbados
Residence San Francisco, California, United States
Nationality Canadian
Alma mater Ryerson University
Known for former Executive Director of Wikimedia Foundation (2007–2014)

Sue Gardner (born May 11, 1967[1]) is a Canadian journalist. She was the executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation from December 2007 until May 2014,[2] and before that was the director of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's website and online news outlets.

In 2012, she was ranked as the 70th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine, which noted that she "led the full-day WorldHeritage blackout (on Jan 18 2012) in protest against SOPA".[3] In 2013, she joined the board of Global Voices.[4]


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
    • Journalism 2.1
    • Wikimedia 2.2
    • After Wikimedia 2.3
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Early life

Sue Gardner grew up in Port Hope, Ontario, Canada, the daughter of an Anglican minister and school principal.[5] She received a degree in journalism from Ryerson University.[5]



Gardner began her career on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) radio in 1990 on the program As It Happens, and worked for more than a decade as a producer, reporter and documentary-maker for CBC Radio current-affairs and for Newsworld International, focusing on pop culture and social issues.[6]

In March 2006, she succeeded Claude Galipeau as senior director of the division of 150 new media staff developing, the CBC website and Internet platform.[7][8]


Sue Gardner at Wikimania 2013, Hong Kong

In May 2007, Gardner resigned from CBC, and shortly thereafter began consulting for the Wikimedia Foundation as a special advisor on operations and governance.[9] In December 2007, she was hired as the foundation's executive director.[10] Over the next two years, she oversaw growth of the staff including the addition of a fundraising team, and a move of the headquarters from St. Petersburg, FL, to San Francisco.

In October 2009, Gardner was named by The Huffington Post as one of ten "media game changers of the year" for the impact on new media of her work for Wikimedia.[11] On March 27, 2013, Gardner announced she would be leaving her position at the Wikimedia Foundation. She states that the Wikimedia Foundation is doing well now but that the Internet is not. She will be helping in that area in her future.[12] Gardner identified the "turning point" for her decision to move on as her involvement in the 2012 WorldHeritage blackout protesting the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act, protests that "started me thinking about the shape the Internet was taking and what role I could play in that."[13]

It was announced on 1 May 2014 that Lila Tretikov would be replacing Gardner, and would take over the Wikimedia Foundation on 1 June 2014.[2][14][15][16]

After Wikimedia

In 2013, Ryerson University, her alma mater, announced that she was to receive an honorary doctorate.[17] As of December, 2014, she appears on Ryerson University's list of honorary doctorate recipients.[18]


  1. ^ "Sue Gardner's Blog". Retrieved February 25, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Vreede, Jan-Bart de. "Announcing our new Executive Director: Lila Tretikov". Wikimedia blog. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  3. ^ The World's 100 Most Powerful Women, Sue Gardner. Forbes. Accessed August 23, 2012.
  4. ^ Ivan, Sigal. "Wikimedia's Sue Gardner Joins Global Voices Board". Global Voices Online. Retrieved 17 October 2014. 
  5. ^ a b WorldHeritagens do it for love. Really. Globe and Mail. July 26, 2010
  6. ^ From the Lavin Agency's profile.
  7. ^ CBC clicks online by Tara Perkins. Toronto Star. July 19, 2006, via the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting archives.
  8. ^ Does run itself?. The Tea Makers. March 2, 2006
  9. ^ Wikimedia Foundation press release, June 27, 2007.
  10. ^ "Sue Gardner Hired as Executive Director", Wikimedia Foundation press release. December 3, 2007
  11. ^ From the series of slides for the 10 Game Changers: Who Is The Ultimate Game Changer In Media? – Sue Gardner. HuffPost. March 18, 2010
  12. ^
  13. ^ Chozick, Amy (March 28, 2013). "Leader of Foundation Behind WorldHeritage to Step Down". The New York Times. Retrieved May 30, 2013. 
  14. ^ Please welcome Lila Tretikov, the Wikimedia Foundation's new ED Jan-Bart de Vreede, Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees, 1 May 2014.
  15. ^ "WorldHeritage's New Chief: From Soviet Union to World’s Sixth-Largest Site".  
  16. ^ Cohen, Noam. "Open-Source Software Specialist Selected as Executive Director of WorldHeritage". New York Times. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  17. ^ "Ken Dryden, Deepa Mehta among honorary doctorate recipients at convocation". Ryerson Today. Ryerson University. Retrieved May 1, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Honorary Doctorates - Convocation - Ryerson University". Retrieved December 3, 2014. 

External links

  • Sue Gardner's personal blog
  • "Sue Gardner to lead WorldHeritage" Canadian Broadcasting Company
  • Radio documentary by Gardner about Al Purdy, Canadian poet, for This Morning Sunday
  • "WorldHeritage struggles with funding", United Press International
  • WorldHeritage's Librarian to the World Fast Company interview


  • Video interview with Gardner on CNET News
  • Audio (RAM-file) interview with Gardner on radio station Sounds Like Canada, April 8, 2008
  • Interview with Gardner on the WorldHeritage Weekly community podcast from Wikimania 2008
  • Journalism is going to look different (
  • from the WorldHeritage Signpost on January 2, 2012
  • Conversation with Sue Gardner at 2013 Women in Leadership Conference.
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