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Esther Wojcicki Becomes Creative Commons Board Chair

About CC, Open Education

San Francisco, CA, USA — 04/01/2009

Noted educator, education innovator, and journalist today became Chair of the Creative Commons (CC) Board of Directors, taking over from founding board member James Boyle. Wojcicki first joined the board of Creative Commons last July. Creative Commons is a world wide non-profit organization that promotes the creative re-use of intellectual and artistic works.

“I am thrilled to take on this new role,” said Wojcicki. “I strongly believe that the Creative Commons approach to sharing, reuse, and innovation has the power to totally reshape the worlds of education, science, technology, and culture at large. My main goal as chair is to make average Internet users worldwide aware of Creative Commons and to continue building the organization’s governance and financial resources. I am also very eager to help CC’s education push at high school and college journalism programs worldwide.”

Wojcicki is a journalism and English teacher at Palo Alto High School, where she leads one of the largest high school journalism programs in the nation. She leads a variety of award-winning journalism projects, including a newspaper, a magazine, a website, a television program, and a sports publication. Over the past 20 years, these projects have won Gold and Silver Crowns from Columbia Scholastic Press Association, the PaceMaker Award and Hall of Fame Award from National Scholastic Press, and best in nation from Time Magazine in 2003. In February 2009, she was awarded the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Key Award in a special ceremony at Columbia University for “outstanding devotion to the cause of the school press … and service above and beyond the call of delegated duty.” She is the president of the Friends of the Lurdes Mutola Foundation to support girls’ education in Mozambique and is a consultant for the Silicon Valley Education Foundation and Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

The outgoing chair, James Boyle, expressed delight that Wojcicki has accepted the position. “Esther is a wonderful choice for Chair of Creative Commons. She brings so much to the table. She is an award winning teacher, a journalist, and someone who has spent her professional life exploring the connections between education and technology. She will keep us focused on making Creative Commons licenses simple and clear and on solving actual problems people have. What’s more, she will make sure we do a good job explaining what Creative Commons and Science Commons can actually do for the world. I am incredibly happy that we persuaded her to take the position.”

Boyle was on the original board of Creative Commons, serving from 2002 to 2009, the past year as chair, and was co-founder of Science Commons and ccLearn. He has stepped down from the board upon vacating the Chair. Boyle is a founder of the modern movement to recognize, protect, and grow the intellectual commons, William Neal Reynolds Professor of Law at Duke University, and author of the recent book The Public Domain: The Enclosing of the Commons of the Mind.

“I have been a Creative Commons board member from the beginning. Apart from raising my kids, my work with Creative Commons and Science Commons is one of my proudest accomplishments,” continued Boyle. “Though I will be stepping down from the board to focus on other projects, I will continue to be an ardent supporter of CC, both financially and professionally. I am excited about the organization’s future and I can’t think of a better person to lead us forward than Esther.”

Creative Commons CEO Joi Ito added that the appointment of Wojcicki to board chair marks an important step in the maturation of Creative Commons. “Esther’s ascension to chair demonstrates that we have successfully completed the leadership transition from visionary founders to a team that is operationally scaling that vision to become the global infrastructure for sharing in culture, education, and science,” Ito said.

About Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a not-for-profit organization, founded in 2001, that promotes the creative re-use of intellectual and artistic works, whether owned or in the public domain. Through its free copyright licenses, Creative Commons offers authors, artists, scientists, and educators the choice of a flexible range of protections and freedoms that build upon the “all rights reserved” concept of traditional copyright to enable a voluntary “some rights reserved” approach. Creative Commons was built with and is sustained by the generous support of organizations including the Center for the Public Domain, Omidyar Network, The Rockefeller Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, as well as members of the public. For more information about Creative Commons, visit


Mike Linksvayer
Vice President, Creative Commons

Press Materials

Posted 01 April 2009