Board of Directors

Creative Commons draws on the diverse backgrounds, worldviews, talents, and experiences of its staff, affiliate network, and larger community. We believe that this diversity makes us a more effective and fluid organization, and helps us achieve our vision of maximizing digital creativity, sharing, and innovation on a global level. We strive to strengthen and nurture this diversity through an inclusive and collaborative working environment.


Cable Green, Director of Global Learning

Cable Green
Olympia, Washington
Started: May 2011

Cable works with the global open education community to leverage open licensing, open educational resources, and open policies to significantly improve access to quality education and research resources so everyone in the world can attain the education they desire. Cable has 15 years of academic technology, online learning, and open education experience in higher education and recently led a project to build and share a general education curriculum under the CC BY license. Cable holds a PhD in educational psychology from Ohio State University and tweets @cgreen.

Puneet Kishor, Manager, Science and Data

Puneet Kishor
San Francisco, California
Started: August 2012

Puneet Kishor is the manager of science and data policy at Creative Commons, where he works on all aspects of the scientific information lifecycle to make it systemically open and collaborative. Puneet’s current CC Science projects are focused on making better workflow tools, changing the conversation from the privacy imperative to the sharing potential of data, using personal data for public good, the role of open hardware and certification in science, legal implications of text and data mining, promoting open science in the global south, and extending the reach of CC by networking scientists from different disciplines and geographies. Puneet arrived at CC via a rural development NGO in New Delhi, the World Bank in Washington DC, a GeoSpatial consultancy, and data research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Puneet is a data wrangler, environmental scientist, geospatial developer and Charter Member of the Open Source GeoSpatial Foundation.

Matt Lee, Technical Lead

Matt Lee
Boston, Massachusetts
Started: April 2014

Matt is responsible for CC’s free software development and management of the myriad of servers and websites that tell the world about Creative Commons (including this one).

A professional Emacs user by day, in 2008 Matt wrote and produced the short film “Happy Birthday to GNU” starring Stephen Fry. He is the founder of the free culture community and co-founder of the federated social network, GNU social. He lives in Boston with his wife and aloof cat, where he is directing a CC-BY-SA licensed feature length monkey movie, tweeting furiously at Hulk Hogan, and dreaming in HTML.

Twitter: @mattl / @dotbiz

Photo: Steve Pomeroy / CC BY-SA 3.0

Ryan Merkley, CEO*

Ryan Merkley
Toronto, Ontario
Started: June 2014

Ryan Merkley is a national leader in public policy, open government, and digital communications. He is the incoming Chief Executive Officer of Creative Commons, the global nonprofit that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools. Ryan was Chief Operating Officer of the Mozilla Foundation, the nonprofit parent of the Mozilla Corporation, creator of the world’s most recognizable open-source software project and internet browser, Firefox. At the Mozilla Foundation Ryan led development of programs like Webmaker and Lightbeam, and in 2012 he presented Mozilla’s multimedia remixing platform Popcorn at TED Global. He also established Mozilla’s successful individual fundraising program, raising over $1.8 million from 44,000 new donors.

Ryan previously worked as Director of Corporate Communications for the City of Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Games, and acted as a Senior Advisor to Mayor David Miller in Toronto, where he initiated Toronto’s Open Data project. Most recently, Ryan was Managing Director and Senior Vice President of Public Affairs at Vision Critical, a Vancouver-based SaaS company and market research firm. He studied Political Science and Economics at Waterloo University.

Ryan is passionate about social causes, digital media, and open government and data. He is an avid cyclist, an amateur barista, and a father. He resides in downtown Toronto.

Twitter: @ryanmerkley

Photo: Rannie Turingan / CC0

* Ryan works through 0941176 B.C. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Creative Commons whose sole activity is to provide services to CC. 0941176 B.C. Ltd. is operated separately from our CC Canada affiliate.

Mari Moreshead, Senior Administrator*

Toronto, Ontario
Started: February 2015

Mari comes to CC after three years at the Mozilla Foundation in administration. Prior to that, she held similar roles at a legal technology start up and the Playful Invention Company.

She’s lived in a number of Canadian cities but now calls Toronto home where she lives with her partner and their two cats.

* Mari works through 0941176 B.C. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Creative Commons whose sole activity is to provide services to CC. 0941176 B.C. Ltd. is operated separately from our CC Canada affiliate.

Jane Park, Project Manager

Jane Park
Los Angeles, California
Started: January 2008

Jane leads CC’s Platform Initiative, which seeks to create easy, clear, and enjoyable ways for users to contribute to the commons. Previously, Jane launched the School of Open, a global community of volunteers that runs free education programs on the meaning and application of “open” for creative endeavors, education, and research. As a founding volunteer of P2PU, she has designed and led courses on creative nonfiction writing, CC for educators, and designing collaborative workshops. Jane continues to help individual creators and companies leverage CC tools for greater social impact. She is based in Los Angeles, California.

Sarah Hinchliff Pearson, Senior Counsel

Sarah Hinchliff Pearson
Des Moines, Iowa
Started: May 2011

Sarah helps to provide legal support to Creative Commons, including assisting in the development of Version 4.0 of the CC license suite. While her primary focus is copyright law, Sarah advises the organization on all facets of CC’s work. Before joining CC, she worked at the Stanford Fair Use Project and as an associate at Fried Frank in New York City. Her interest in copyright began in her former life as a journalist. She has a journalism degree from Northwestern University and a J.D. from University of Michigan Law School.

Diane Peters, General Counsel/Corporate Secretary

Diane Peters
Portland, Oregon
Started: May 2008

As General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for CC, Diane directs the organization’s legal strategy, affairs and projects, and oversees CC’s legal staff. She coordinates legal programs and activities that harness CC’s diverse and complex international network of affiliate institutions. She also leads development of CC’s licenses and legal tools, including the CC0 public domain dedication (2009), the Public Domain Mark (2010), Version 3.0 ports and, most recently, Version 4.0 of the CC license suite (2013).

Diane is a founding director of the Software Freedom Law Center. Prior to joining CC, she served as general counsel for Open Source Development Labs (now, the Linux Foundation), and was legal counsel to Mozilla. In 2014, the Intellectual Property Section of the State Bar of California awarded her its Intellectual Property Vanguard Award for public policy. She is based in Portland, Oregon.

Scott Seethaler, Director of Finance and Operations

Scott Seethaller
San Jose, California
Started: August 2013

Scott has served as director of finance and operations since August 2013. Prior to joining Creative Commons, he worked for several privately held software companies in the Bay Area, including Aggregate Knowledge, SoftCoin, and DiCarta. Scott has an MS from San Jose State University and an MBA from the University of North Florida. In his spare time, Scott enjoys reading, writing, and engaging in fiery political debates.

Paul Stacey, Associate Director of Global Learning*

Paul Stacey
Vancouver, British Columbia
Started: August 2012

Paul is a senior project manager with Creative Commons. His project management skills were honed at Hughes Aircraft working on large scale, international air traffic control systems. Paul’s core expertise is in adult learning, educational technology, and open education. Prior to joining Creative Commons, Paul led Open Educational Resource (OER) and professional development initiatives across all the colleges and universities in British Columbia Canada. Paul’s firsthand experiences using Creative Commons’ licenses with faculty, institutions, and government inspired him to join Creative Commons. Paul is an avid outdoor and ping pong enthusiast.

* Paul works through 0941176 B.C. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Creative Commons whose sole activity is to provide services to CC. 0941176 B.C. Ltd. is operated separately from our CC Canada affiliate.

Timothy Vollmer, Manager, Public Policy

Timothy Vollmer
Oakland, California
Started: December 2009

Timothy Vollmer is Public Policy Manager. He coordinates public policy positions in collaboration with CC staff, international affiliate network, and a broad community of copyright experts. Timothy helps educate policymakers at all levels and across various disciplines such as education, data, science, culture, and government about copyright licensing, the public domain, and the adoption of open policies. Prior to CC, Timothy worked on information policy issues for the American Library Association in Washington, D.C. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Information, and helped establish the Open.Michigan initiative.

Regional Coordinators

Carolina Botero, Regional Coordinator – Latin America

Carolina Botero
Started: July 2011

Carolina Botero is a Colombian lawyer, researcher, lecturer, writer and consultant on issues related to law and technology, especially regarding access. She has developed a special interest on the challenges that the educational and scientific sector faces regarding copyright issues while working with Karisma Foundation in Bogotá where she leads a working group on law and Internet and serves as Legal Lead for Creative Commons Colombia. She is an active member of the Colombian Free Software community and is member of the Board of Conexions (an open education project of the University of Rice) on behalf of Creative Commons.

Jessica Coates, Global Network Coordinator and Regional Coordinator, Asia-Pacific

Jessica Coates
Started: May 2011

Prior to joining CC, Jessica worked as a copyright specialist and community manager in Australia. There she spent much of her time as the Project Manager of Creative Commons Australia and the Creative Commons Clinic, a research program at the Queensland University of Technology. She has also had stints working as a copyright and broadcasting policy adviser for the Australian government and Australia’s commercial television broadcasters, as well as an academic, lecturer and educator. She has a Master of Laws from the University of Melbourne and both a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts (English Hons) from the Australian National University.
Photo by Joi Ito, licensed CC-BY 2.0

Gwen Franck, Regional Coordinator – Europe

Gwen Franck
Started: June 2013

Since 2008, Gwen Franck has been working for Ghent University Library on several projects such as Google Books and Europeana. For Ghent University, she served as project assistant for OpenAIRE, a European funded project supporting the Open Access policies of the European Commission. Within the scope of this project, she co-started Open Access Belgium, aiming to spread the word about Open Access for scientific research in the Belgian research community. Since 2013, she is the regional coordinator for Creative Commons in Europe, and from 2014 on she will also be working as open access coordinator for Electronic Information for Libraries (eIFL).

Alex Gakuru, Regional Coordinator – Africa

Alex Gakuru
Started: August 2012

Alex is an activist for openness and transparency and consumer empowerment. He discovered that Creative Commons responded well to his content aspirations on the belief that while “content is king” really, “context rules” as dictated by the creators and/or if with consumers’ contribution. His job entails strengthening, widening and deepening Creative Commons’ embrace across Africa.

He serves as Africa Representative- ICANN’s Non-Commercial Users Constituency, Council Member – Free and Open Source Foundation for Africa, Chair – Broadcasting Content Advisory Council, CCK (converged state regulator), ED- CODE-IP Trust, Kenyan non-profit catalysing enabling environment for local content development and its intellectual property protection. Consultant on ICT solutions, computer programming and digital content development.

Gakuru enjoys creative company; programmers, movie makers, artistes, artists, poets, bloggers, writers and publishers and others, and frequently contributes on technology to various media outlets. He enjoys reading, listening to music and swimming.

SooHyun Pae, Regional Coordinator – Asia-Pacific

SooHyun Pae
Started: July 2012

Soohyun has been with CC Korea since 2008, playing her part as international coordinator and leadership roles in many different volunteer projects. She received a Master’s in translation from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and began her career as a full-time translator before she developed interest in CC and free culture movement. Other than translating and CC activities, she loves to read with a strong coffee and to try new things.
Photo by dreamdrawing, licensed CC-BY 2.0

Claudio Ruiz, Regional Coordinator – Latin America

Claudio Ruiz
Started: July 2011

Claudio Ruiz is director of Derechos Digitales, a Chilean non-profit that works to promote, defend and develop rights and civil liberties in the digital environment. He is the public lead for Creative Commons Chile, coordinating projects related to the local music industry, netlabels and public sector, working closely with the local librarians community. He is experienced at free software licensing, fundamental rights and specially freedom of expression on the digital environment. He has a cat, loves indie rock and single speed bikes.

Tobias Schonwetter, Regional Coordinator – Africa

Tobias Schonwetter
Started: August 2012

Tobias is the legal lead of Creative Commons South Africa and the Principal Investigator for the Open AIR (African Innovation Research & Training) project, which investigates the relationship between IP and Innovation on the African continent. He previously worked as a Senior Manager for PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Technology & Innovation Law Division in Johannesburg and held a Postdoctoral Fellowship Position at the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Intellectual Property Law & Policy Research Unit – the hosting institution of Creative Commons South Africa. He studied and practiced law in Germany and San Francisco, U.S.A. Tobias’s Ph.D. dissertation was on copyright-related issues – with a special focus on copyright exceptions and limitations.

John Weitzmann, Regional Coordinator – Europe

John Weitzmann
Started: June 2013

As the Legal Lead for Creative Commons Germany, John joined the CC Community in 2006. He is based in Berlin and specializes in open content law, private order licensing in general and open science, both as a lawyer and as a journalist at the consumer information portal John periodically publishes papers on internet law topics, is a founding member of the Digital Society Association and vice president of the Internet & Society Collaboratory intervention platform. As time allows, John provides expertise to activist groups and initiatives. In the past John has inter alia participated in the Communia Project and served as a sherpa in the German Federal Governments IT Summit process.

Naeema Zarif, Regional Coordinator – Arab world

Naeema Zarif
Started: April 2014

After 8 years in advertising, Naeema Zarif took a leap into social enterprise offering expertise on conceptualization and producing both offline and online integrated media initiatives, including print, social web, audio, and film. She is an enthusiastic supporter of open culture, speaking and lecturing frequently at conferences and educational institutes, and contributing visual and digital strategic consultancy and training to various governmental, not-for-profit, and for-profit initiatives around the MENA region.


David Kindler, Writer

David Kindler
Started: March 2011

David is a communications consultant and development writer from Chicago.

He is working on funding proposals and how CC shares its story with the world.

He worked for nearly a decade as a community organizer and enjoys playing hockey and photographing athletes, dancers and all kinds of skaters.

Eric Steuer, Arts and Media Advisor

Eric Steuer
Started: November 2005

Eric works with artists, media companies, technology developers, and cultural institutions on the use of Creative Commons licenses and CC-licensed content. Before joining CC, Eric was an editor for Wired magazine, where he is currently a correspondent, covering the intersection of technology and popular culture. He is on the board of CASH Music and is a musician whose recordings and remixes have been released by a variety of record labels.

Photo by David Kindler, licensed CC BY

Creative Commons Fellows

Iris Brest, Special Counsel, Policy

Iris Brest
Started: November 2013

Iris’ work at Creative Commons focuses on foundation grants and legal issues. Before joining Creative Commons, she was a lawyer at the Carnegie Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, a couple of biotech start-ups, Stanford University, and LDF (the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., as it was then). She is a graduate of Swarthmore College and Harvard Law School, and what she likes doing is reading, cooking, baking, traveling and doting on her grandchildren, although not in that precise order.

David Wiley, Education Fellow

David Wiley
Started: September 2013

David Wiley coined the term “open content” and created the first open license for non-software creative works in 1998. Since then, he has been a tireless advocate for “open” and the power of openness to improve the quality and affordability of education. David is currently a Shuttleworth Fellow and was previously a Nonresident Fellow at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School.

He is currently on leave from Brigham Young University and leading Lumen Learning, an organization dedicated to supporting and improving the adoption of open educational resources by middle schools, high schools, community and state colleges, and universities.

Mike Linksvayer, Senior Fellow

Mike Linksvayer
Started: April 2003

Mike Linksvayer joined Creative Commons as CTO, became Vice President in April 2007, then a part-time Senior Fellow in April 2012. Previously he co-founded Bitzi, an early open content/open data service.

He occasionally writes on his personal blog.