The GNOME Foundation, a non-profit organisation has hired Stormy Peters, the manager of the Expert Community at OpenLogic, as executive director to work on strengthening the organisation by drawing in new industry members and contributors.

Peters has extensive industry experience, having worked at both OpenLogic and Hewlett Packard (HP). She founded and managed the Expert Community, an open source group at OpenLogic, where she will continue to work as an advisor.

A founding member of the GNOME Foundation Advisory Board and an active participant in the GNOME community, Peters held a keynote at the GNOME User and Developer European Conference (GUADEC) in England in 2007.

“I’m very excited to have the chance to help the GNOME community show the world how the GNOME desktop is changing the future of computing”, Peters said.

Director of GNOME Foundation and Australia-based open source consultant, Jeff Waugh said Peters is going to be excellent in that role, as she has extensive experience with the GNOME community.

“We have been looking for a new executive director for quite some time. Stormy actually has a very long relationship with the GNOME Foundation. She was part of our advisory board when the GNOME Foundation was launched. Back then she was with HP open source group. She’s been a very active part of the GNOME advisory community and the business community around GNOME, so she’s always had a very close relationship with us”, he said.

Peters’ appointment to executive director will promote a more professional image for the organisation.

“As GNOME has become a more important part of the open source ecosystem many more companies are relying on it, from desktops to mobile devices all sorts of things like that. We really need to be more professional in our pursuits and in what we deliver to our developer community and the organisations that depend on GNOME,” Waugh said.

Waugh says the hiring of Peters will benefit both the GNOME community and the businesses.

“The GNOME Foundation is substantially a volunteer organisation. All of the board members are volunteers. It really relies on the work of the community around the world. Having a full-time executive director means that we have someone that can sustainably use resources of the organisation to increase our reach and to broaden our relationships with the companies that are involved in GNOME and also organisations that haven’t been able to have a relationship with GNOME, because they don’t know how to interface with a volunteer organisation,” he said.

Waugh said that with a permanent executive director in charge of building relationships, many companies and academic institutions will now be able to have a closer relationship with GNOME.

The decision is not likely to have any direct impact on Australia, but whatever benefits GNOME will ultimately benefit the market, Waugh said.