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 Open Education
Started: May 2011
Cable works with the global open education community to leverage open licensing, open content, and open policies to significantly improve access to quality, affordable, education and research resources so everyone in the world can attain all the education they desire. His career is dedicated to increasing access to educational opportunities for everyone around the world. He’s a leading advocate for open licensing policies that ensure publicly funded education materials are freely and openly available to the public that paid for them.
Cable has 20 years of academic technology, online learning, and open education experience and helped establish the Open Course Library. Cable holds a PhD in educational psychology from Ohio State University, and enjoys motorcycling and playing in the mountains with his family. He lives in Olympia with his wife and two boys.
Matt Lee, Technical Lead
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 Libre.fm and co-founder of the federated social network, GNU social. He lives in Austin, after directing the “ultimate tribute to Boston” — Orang-U, the CC BY-SA licensed feature length monkey movie which allowed him to leave. He spends his time watching TV detective shows, and tweeting about them.
Rebecca Lendl, Director of Development
Bay Area, California
Started: July 2015
As Director of Development for Creative Commons, Rebecca leads the organization’s fundraising and advancement efforts.With 15 years experience in nonprofit management, Rebecca has dedicated her career to supporting artists, creativity, and innovation through administration, finance, fundraising, and strategic planning in the cultural sector. Before joining Creative Commons, Rebecca worked with leading cultural institutions in San Francisco and New York, including Headlands Center for the Arts, Creative Time, the New School’s Vera List Center for Art and Politics, and MoMA PS1, as well as the open source hardware company Bug Labs. Rebecca has an undergraduate degree in visual studies from the New School, a graduate degree from Hunter College, and was a fellow at New York University. She lives with her husband and their two young children in the San Francisco Bay Area where they can be found gardening, building things, listening to music, making waffles, and adventuring around local beaches and trails.
Ryan Merkley, CEO*
Started: June 2014
Ryan Merkley is Chief Executive Officer of Creative Commons. He joined the organization to focus on defining a new strategy and to establish long-term sustainability for CC. Today, Creative Commons is implementing its renewed strategy to build a vibrant, usable commons powered by collaboration and gratitude. Since 2014, CC nearly tripled the number of individual donors, and the commons grew to over 1.1 billion licensed works.
Prior to joining CC, Ryan was Chief Operating Officer of Mozilla, makers of the world’s most recognizable open-source software project and internet browser, Firefox. Ryan previously worked as Director of Corporate Communications for the City of Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Games, and was a Senior Advisor to Mayor David Miller in Toronto, where he led the Mayor’s budget policy and initiated Toronto’s Open Data project.
Ryan is an experienced campaigner and advocate for social causes, and has advised political campaigns on the local and national levels. Ryan is an avid cyclist and an amateur barista. He lives in Toronto with his daughter.
Rob Myers, Software Developer*
Vancouver, British Columbia
Started: April 2015
Rob Myers is a Developer at Creative Commons, which means he’s leading the creation of technologies and tools to help build the commons. An experienced Free Software developer, Rob started out in digital arts education before being involved in the startup scene in both dot.com booms. He’s been involved in the Creative Commons community online since 2003 and has used and promoted the Creative Commons licenses extensively in both professional and personal projects. He’s a former Chief GNU Webmaster, part of the team behind the Libre.fm and GNU social projects and is on the advisory board of Furtherfield gallery in the UK. Rob recently moved from the UK to Vancouver in order to be with his wife, gaining two cats in the process.
Mari Moreshead, Senior Administrator*
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.
Jane Park, Director of Platforms and Partnerships
Los Angeles, California
Started: January 2008
Jane leads CC’s work with platforms to create a more vibrant and useable commons. She has eight years of organizational experience in open education, communications, fundraising, and community building. As a founding volunteer of the Peer 2 Peer University, she has designed and taught a variety of online courses from creative writing to Creative Commons for educators. She has a BA in Philosophy and minor in creative writing from the University of California at Berkeley.
Sarah Hinchliff Pearson, Senior Counsel
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
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
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*
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.
Eric Steuer, Director of Content and Community
Started: February 2016
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.
Timothy Vollmer, Manager, Public Policy
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.
Gwen Franck, Regional Coordinator – Europe
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
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
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
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
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
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 iRights.info. 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
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.
Iris Brest, Special Counsel, Policy
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
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
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.