LibrePlanet: Conference/2013/Speakers

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March 23rd-24th 2013 in Cambridge, MA

With some events on the evening of Friday the 22nd

About | Full Program (PDF) | Photos | Video | Speakers | Schedule | Session descriptions | Transportation and lodging | Anti-harassment policy

Plenary Speakers

Leslie Hawthorn, Red Hat


An internationally known community manager, speaker and author, Leslie Hawthorn has over 10 years experience in high tech project management, marketing and public relations. In March 2012 she joined Red Hat, Inc., where she is responsible for Community Action & Impact on the company’s Open Source and Standards team. Prior to Red Hat, she served as Outreach Manager at Oregon State University’s Open Source Lab and as a Program Manager for Google’s Open Source Team, where she managed the Google Summer of Code Program, created the contest now known as Google Code In and launched the company’s Open Source Developer Blog.

Karen Sandler, GNOME Foundation


Karen M. Sandler is the Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation. She is known for her advocacy for free software, particularly for software safety on medical devices. Prior to joining GNOME, she was General Counsel of the Software Freedom Law Center. Karen continues to do pro bono legal work with SFLC and serves as an officer of the Software Freedom Conservancy. She is also pro bono General Counsel of and an advisor to the Ada Initiative. Before joining SFLC, Karen worked as an associate in the corporate departments of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in New York and Clifford Chance in New York and London. Karen received her law degree from Columbia Law School in 2000, where she was a James Kent Scholar and co-founder of the Columbia Science and Technology Law Review. Karen received her bachelors degree in engineering from The Cooper Union. She is a recipient of the O'Reilly Open Source Award.

Richard Stallman, Free Software Foundation


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 GNU, 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.

John Sullivan, Free Software Foundation


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 2011, John became the Executive Director after four years as Manager of Operations.

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 both Harvard and Michigan State University.


Denis Carikli, Replicant


Nico Cesar, Free Software Foundation


Nico is from Argentina. A programmer since childhood, he earned a degree in Software Engineering from the Universidad Tecnologica Nacional in Santa Fe, Argentina.

He previously had his own company for seven years, delivering solutions for GNU/Linux. For the last six years he's been doing sysadmin work for a living, while also giving public speeches, doing photography, hiking, sailing and traveling.

Alison Chaiken,

Alison Chaiken.jpg

Alison enrolled in the free software movement when, as an impressionable teenager, she encountered the GNU Manifesto in the emacs manual. Alison has used free software ever since, initially on her personal systems while working as a device physicist, and more recently as a software engineer for Mentor Graphics Embedded Software Division, Nokia, Stanford and HP. She comes into contact with Bay Area car software innovators as the organizer of the non-commercial, 600+-member Silicon Automotive Open Source Group.

ginger coons, Libre Graphics magazine

Ginger coons.jpg

ginger "all-lower-case" coons has been variously called a designer, artist, academic-in-training, technician and talker-about-things. She has also been called a pretentious doucherocket. As a founding editor of Libre Graphics magazine, Ms. coons has been a vehement promoter of Free/Libre Open Source graphic design. As an abuser of technology, she has toasted bagels in computer-controlled laser cutters. She has exhibited art and design work on three continents and has spoken passionately about F/LOSS and DIY topics on as many. When not building, writing, drawing, editing or holding forth, ginger is also a PhD student in Semaphore Lab at the University of Toronto, studying user-developer relations and grassroots technology development.

Loic Dachary, Upstream University


Loic Dachary has been involved with the Free Software Movement since 1987, when he started distributing GNU tapes to the general public in France. In 2012 he founded Upstream University, a non-profit with the goal of teaching developers how to contribute easily and efficiently. Dachary volunteers as a developer for April, a grassroots organization promoting Free Software. He maintains April's OpenStack cluster and organizes contributions with agile methods. As President of FSF France, he also provides technical and legal resources to French Free Software developers. His day job is to use and contribute to ceph within OpenStack.

Remy DeCausemaker, RIT Lab for Technological Literacy


As a Research Associate at the Rochester Institute of Technology Lab for Technological Literacy, Remy serves as Campaign Architect of FOSS@RIT. Inside and outside of the classroom, he helps mentor and guide the students and faculty of RIT's Humanitarian Free/Opensource Software Development course. He also serves the board of, who's mission is to improve access, openness, and transparency of public information. With help from Sugarlabs, TeachingOpensource, The Software Freedom Law Center, The Fedora Project, and many others, Remy advocates FOSS at conferences, campuses, and campaigns everywhere he can. You can keep up with his story via, Twitter, and his FOSS@RIT Blog.

Martin Dluhos, The Free Software Foundation

Martin Cropped.jpg

Martin joined the FSF as a junior systems administrator after interning for the summer. He recently graduated from Grinnell College, a liberal-arts institution where he majored in Computer Science.

Michael Downey, OpenMRS


Michael Downey is the community manager for OpenMRS, a free software platform for developing medical record systems in resource-constrained settings. He has two undergraduate engineering degrees from Purdue University and is currently a PhD student at the Indiana University School of Informatics where he researches cross-cultural cooperative work. Before joining the free software movement and launching his own international development consulting business, he spent a decade as an IT professional in international health and financial services corporations.

Loic Duros, GNU LibreJS
Beth Lynn Eicher, Computer Reach


Beth Lynn Eicher is an IT expert with fourteen years of Free Software support experience nationally and abroad.

She is the Free Software Director of Computer Reach, a nonprofit organization based in Pittsburgh that refurbishes used computers and places them in underserved communities all over the world in an effort to bridge the digital divide. She was a key player in developing the Free Software program at Computer Reach. In the panel "Expanding the Tent" she will discuss a recent trip to Ghana during which 100 refurbished computers loaded with the Free Software environment were installed in schools in several cities.

Hamish Fraser, OpenMRS


Hamish Fraser is the director of evaluation and impact for OpenMRS, an open source platform for creating medical record systems in resource-constrained locations. A graduate of Edinburgh University, he previously served as the Director of Informatics and Telemedicine for Partners In Health, and on the faculty of the Harvard Medical School. In 2009, he was elected as a fellow in the American College of Medical Informatics.

Matthew Garrett

Matthew Garrett is a cloud security developer at Nebula, having previously worked at Red Hat. He led the design and implementation of Shim, a bootloader for Secure Boot systems that guarantees end-user control.

Joshua Gay, Free Software Foundation


Joshua works with Donald in our licensing and compliance team, and has twice previously worked with the FSF as a campaigns manager. He is a programmer and activist whose interests revolve around technology, government, education, and computer user-freedom.

Benjamin Mako Hill


Bradley Kuhn


Bassam Kurdali, Blender


Bassam is a 3D animator/filmmaker whose 2006 short, Elephants Dream, was the first ‘open movie’. It established the viability of libre tools in a production environment and set precedent by offering its source data under a permissive license for learning, remixing and re-use. His character, ManCandy, began as an easily animatable test bed for rigging experiments. Multiple iterations have been released to the public, and Bassam demonstrates him in the animated tutorial video + short, The ManCandy FAQ. Under the sign of the urchin, Bassam is continuing to pursue a model of production that invests in commonwealth. He teaches, writes and lectures around the world on open production and free software technique. Raised in Damascus, Bassam trained in the United States as an electrical and software engineer.

Kӱra, Free Software Foundation


Kira is on the campaigns team working primarily on Defective by Design. Kira is a student at Hampshire College concentrating on the intersection of feminism with free software and free culture. They view the importance of free software through a lens of social justice as a way to work against ableism, racism, classism, and (hetero/cis)sexism. Kira also serves on Students for Free Culture's Board of Directors as their webmaster and technology director.

Donald Lobo, CiviCRM


Donald Lobo (goes by Lobo) is a co-founder and lead developer of CiviCRM. He started CiviCRM in 2004 with Dave Greenberg and Michal Mach with the goal of giving the sector a free, libre and open alternative to their software needs. In his prior life, Lobo was an early employee at Yahoo! Inc and helped lead the engineering efforts locally and internationally. Lobo lives in San Francisco and enjoys food and life with his wife and two young daughters.

Francois Marier, Mozilla

Francois is a software engineer on the Mozilla Identity team where he fights for the free Web by building alternatives to centralized proprietary silos. A long time Debian developer, Francois contributes to several free software projects. He is also a licensing volunteer for the FSF and leads the development of Libravatar. You can follow him on (@fmarier) or on his ikiwiki blog.

Dave Neary, Red Hat


Dave Neary has been involved in free software for over 15 years. He has been a developer of the GIMP, active in the GNOME project, and currently works for Red Hat, helping grow the community around some cloud and virtualization free software projects, including oVirt and OpenStack.

Deb Nicholson, Open Invention Network


Deb Nicholson works at the intersection of technology and social justice. She is the Community Outreach Director at the Open Invention Network and the Community Manager at Media Goblin. She also serves on the board at Open Hatch, a non-profit dedicated to matching prospective free software contributors with communities, tools and education and is an Advisor to The Ada Initiative, an organization supporting women in open technology and culture. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Tim Otten, CiviCRM


Aeva Palecek, Lulzbot


Aeva Palecek works for LulzBot, a libre hardware company that sells free as in freedom 3D Printers. Aeva volunteers in training python programming at women's outreach events, contributes to MediaGoblin, and is working on a free software solution to lowering the barrier to entry for 3D printing.

Fernando Perez


Fernando Perez is a research scientist working on the development of computational tools for neuroscience at the at the University of California, Berkeley. After a PhD in particle physics and a postdoc in applied mathematics developing numerical algorithms, he now works at the interface between high-level scientific computing tools and the mathematical questions that arise in the analysis of neuroimaging data. He created IPython in 2001 and continues to lead the project, now as a collaborative effort with a talented team that does all the hard work. He regularly lectures about scientific computing in Python, and is a member of the Python Software Foundation as well as a founding board member of the NumFOCUS foundation.

Evan Prodromou, StatusNet


Evan Prodromou is the founder of StatusNet and and is co-chair of the Federated Social Web community group at the W3C.

Libby Reinish, Free Software Foundation


Libby's job is to inspire people to use free software and put pressure on companies that violate user freedom. She is a justice organizer who believes in the power of appropriate technology to transform communities. Before joining the FSF, Libby worked to build community radio stations with the Prometheus Radio Project and advocated for better media policy at Free Press.

Donald Robertson, III, Free Software Foundation


Donald is our copyright administrator in addition to doing licensing and compliance work with Joshua. Donald is a graduate of the New England School of Law and interned for the Hon. William G. Young at the federal district courthouse in Boston. Donald was previously the managing editor of the New England Law Review and wrote and published An Open Definition: Derivative Works of Software and the Free and Open Source Movement, 42 New.

Rubén Rodriguez, Trisquel


Zak Rogoff, Free Software Foundation


Zak is an activist and programmer. He wants to get people to think about software's potential to make our society more just and democratic. His degree is in robotics engineering, but most of his paid work has been as a campaigns manager.

Wendy Seltzer, W3C
Paul Tagliamonte, Sunlight Foundation


Ward Vandewege, The Free Software Foundation


Ward discovered GNU/Linux in 1995 and never looked back. He likes to do both system administration and programming work and doesn't mind wielding the occasional soldering iron. He became Chief Technology Officer at the Free Software Foundation in September 2011, and worked previously as a system administrator since 2005, and was a volunteer before that.

Italo Vignoli, The Document Foundation


Italo Vignoli is one of the founders and a member of the Board of Directors of The Document Foundation, with responsibility for marketing and communication. He is also an international spokesman for the project. From September 2004 to the end of 2010 he has been a member of the OpenOffice marketing project. He is also a member of Assoli, the Italian association of Free Software advocates, and a strenuous supporter of software freedom.

Kat Walsh, Creative Commons
Christopher Webber, GNU MediaGoblin


Chris Webber is founder and lead developer of the GNU MediaGoblin project and longtime free software activist. He previously worked for Creative Commons and has worked with the FSF previously on projects like animations for the Patent Absurdity film. He is currently funded fulltime to work on MediaGoblin through a crowdfunding campaign run in conjunction with the FSF.

Stefano Zacchiroli, Debian


Stefano Zacchiroli is Associate Professor of Computer Science at University Paris Diderot. His research interests span formal methods and their applications to improve package quality and user experience in the context of Free Software distributions. He has been involved in the Debian Project since 2001, taking care of many tasks from package maintenance to distribution-wide Quality Assurance. He has been leading the Debian Project since April 2010.

Marina Zhurakhinskaya, Outreach Program for Women in GNOME


Marina Zhurakhinskaya is a Senior Software Engineer at Red Hat, working on the GNOME desktop. Since 2009, she has been organizing GNOME's Outreach Program for Women which has recently expanded to include multiple free software organizations. 72 women have participated in free software internships thanks to the program. Marina also uses her experience with women outreach to improve outreach to all new contributors in GNOME and free software.