Board of Directors

The Board of Directors provides the formal governance of the Open Knowledge Foundation as a whole. Minutes of the meetings of the Board of Directors are posted online, as are the Terms of Reference for the board, and further information including annual accounts can be found on the Governance page.

Karin Christiansen — Board Chair

Karin Christiansen is General Secretary of the Co-operative Party. She is one of the founders and former Managing Director of Publish What You Fund. Before setting up Publish What You Fund, Karin worked as a Policy Manager at ONE and for many years as Research Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in the Centre for Aid and Public Expenditure. She joined ODI having worked as an Economist at the Rwandan Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Agriculture. Prior to that, Karin worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. In 2011 Karin was named as one of the Devex London 40 Under 40 International Development Leaders.

James Casbon

James Casbon has been working with open knowledge throughout his professional career. He has been responsible for analysing and managing large scale data sets in genomics, aerospace and finance. After working at Population Genetics Technologies on a project to enable parallel resequencing of the human genome he is now working developing financial solutions at Getco (now KCG). He contributes to the Foundation’s work on open data in science and helps to oversee Open Knowledge Foundation operations.

Tom Cobbold

Tom has contributed financial leadership to the growth success of many SMEs in his 15 years as a commercial accountant hitherto, at organisations including Tadpole Technology, Multimap, Oilspace, Displaylink, Managed Networks and most recently Cambridge successes Transversal and MagicSolver. Along the way he has enjoyed delivering a broad assortment of useful accounting projects in and around boardrooms, undertaking fundraising, M&A appraisal and acquisition integration, turnaround, restructuring, growth and exit planning, always retaining a firm grip on business as usual management reporting, controls and regulatory requirements. Educated in Norwich and at Nottingham Trent University Humanities department before embarking on his accountancy career, Tom now lives in Essex with his young family and divides time between start-up/growth/change challenges in the capital, in Cambridge and beyond. Tom is an FCCA.

Ben Laurie

Ben Laurie is a software engineer, protocol designer and cryptographer. He is a founding director of The Apache Software Foundation, a core team member of OpenSSL, a member of the Shmoo Group, a director of the Open Rights Group, Director of Security at The Bunker Secure Hosting, Trustee and Founder-member of FreeBMD and a committer at FreeBSD. He blogs at

Paula Le Dieu

Paula Le Dieu is a new media executive and advisor. Paula has worked with the BBC, Guardian, Fairfax, Ofcom and Creative Commons as well as online content and activism communities such as iCommons and the international documentary community. Her experience spans advising on the future of public service media, open culture theory and practice, the role of archives in the digital age, leading international communities of volunteers, building e-commerce solutions and sitting on the executive board of the leading European Documentary Festival – Sheffield Doc/Fest…amongst other things. More information can be found at

Chris Marshall

Dr Chris Marshall is a financial services and risk management executive and board member with 25+ years experience in IT (IBM, Oracle), Banking (UBS), consulting (IBM, KPMG) and thought leadership (Harvard, Chicago, Cambridge Universities, EDHEC, E&Y) in three continents, and in over 20 countries. He has developed, sold, implemented and managed analytics and technology programs at banks, asset managers, and insurance companies.

Jane Silber

Jane Silber is CEO of Canonical. Canonical produces Ubuntu, the leading open source platform for client, server and cloud computing. Canonical also provides services to the IT industry to bring Ubuntu-based products to market, and to enterprise and consumer users to maximise their Ubuntu experience. Before becoming Chief Executive Officer in 2010, she served as Canonical’s COO and has helped lead the company through periods of dramatic growth. Jane has over 20 years of business development, strategic leadership, operations and software management experience. She holds an MBA degree from Oxford University, an MSc degree in Management of Technology from Vanderbilt University, and a BSc degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from Haverford College.

Helen Turvey

Jane Silber

Helen Turvey (King) is CEO of the Shuttleworth Foundation. She originally joined the Shuttleworth Foundation to define international relations for the organisation, before moving into her present role where she is responsible for all of the Foundations strategic and operational elements. Helen was educated in Europe, South America and the Middle East. With 15 years worth of experience working with international NGOs and agencies, she is driven by the belief that open technologies, content and processes have vast benefits and value to offer education, economies and communities in both the developed and developing worlds.

Martin Tisné — Board Observer

Martin Tisné

Martin is the director of policy with the Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. Previously he was founding director of the Transparency and Accountability Initiative, a collaborative of leading funders committed to strengthening democracy by empowering citizens to hold their governing institutions to account. Martin observes the Open Knowledge Foundation board on behalf of the Omidyar Network, who provide core funding to the Foundation. He is not a Director of the Foundation.

Rufus Pollock – Board Secretary

Dr Rufus Pollock is CEO and Founder of the Open Knowledge Foundation. He was formerly a Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow, and the Mead Fellow in Economics at Emmanuel College, University of Cambrige. He has worked extensively as a scholar, activist and technologist on the social, legal and technological issues related to the creation and sharing of knowledge. More information can be found on his home page. Rufus was a member of the Board from its founding until 2013 when he stepped down as a Director but continues to act as Board Secretary.