Membership Process 2016

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Approved by board vote in August 2016.

General Process

Each year new charter members are nominated and elected by existing OSGeo charter members, in a process operated by the Chief Returning Officer (CRO).



  1. The nominations period should be roughly 2 weeks, and should be announced by the CRO on the OSGeo announce and discuss lists.
  2. An existing charter member can nominate potential new Charter Member(s).
    • Nominees should meet the Membership_Process#Positive_Attributes Positive Attributes for Charter Members.
    • Please confirm with the nominated person first!
    • Please email with their name, contact email and paragraph describing why you are recommending this person as a Charter Member
  3. CRO will verify with the nominee that they are willing to stand for nomination
  4. A nomination must be seconded by at least one other charter member
    • CRO will gather nominations into a candidates list to be presented to the OSGeo board
  5. Candidate review
    • All OSGeo members (members as well as charter members) are encouraged to discuss candidates on the discuss list.
    • A veto may be raised by any OSGeo charter member by sending a private e-mail to the CRO (at
  6. Once all the nominations close
    • CRO will gather any and all vetos for the OSGeo board for an anonymous review
    • If the veto is accepted by the board, then the CRO shall reply to the public and the nomination is removed from the CROs candidates list
    • A summary of charter candidates will be prepared and presented by the CRO to the OSGeo board
    • When approved by the OSGeo board the candidates will be added as charter members and posted to the OSGeo discuss list.

Positive Attributes

Recommended membership selection criteria include:

  • Members should believe in the general goals of the Foundation. To support and promote the use of free and open source geospatial software, education and data in a collaborative manner.
  • Previous participation in or support of OSGeo activities
  • The person should already have made a contribution to free and open source geospatial software, education or open data.
  • The person should be willing to put in time and effort on the Foundation, perhaps joining committee(s), or volunteering in some other way that gets the Foundation going.
  • Members should be prepared to work constructively and positively towards the goals of the Foundation. Good teamwork skills are an asset.

Membership nominations should strive to promote diversity:

  • Nominate members representing a diversity of geographic regions, diversity of projects, diversity of programming languages.
  • Nominate members representing and diversity of interests (e.g., corporate, hobbyist, educational, scientific).
  • Nominate members representing a diversity of humanity including gender and race


Official responsibilities for charter members are important, but relatively light. As of August 2014, they include:

  1. Annually vote for OSGeo Board members.
  2. Annually vote for new OSGeo Charter members.
  3. Be aware of and protect against a takeover of OSGeo by single group or viewpoint. This threat is incredibly low but has been known to occur in other volunteer organisations.


The following questions have been asked during the election process, if you have a question please reach out to the email list.

  • Q: What is meant by hostile takeover
    • Charter Members have the responsibility of voting responsibly "preserving the integrity" of the OSGeo Foundation. A takeover in this context would be a change of management, without the consent of the members resulting in a new direction of the organization.
  • Q: Where are people to send nominations?
    • Please email your nomination to as outlined above, the chief returning officer will email after updating the wiki page of nominations.
    • Be careful about emailing the discuss@osgeo directly, your candidate may be missed!
  • Q: Will the nominated person who has been vetoed be publicly named (this might be seen as insensitive and might be best to inform them privately).
    • The board motion calls for transparency in this manner, it may be enough to indicate that the nomination was unsuccessful.
  • Q: Will the person sending the veto be named?
    • The review is conducted blind by the board.
  • Q: Will the board member votes be made public?
    • Yes (The board publish minuets of all meetings)
  • Q: Will the reasons someone has been excluded be made public?
    • Reasons will be discussed as part of the blind review process.