Humanitarian OSM Team/Board Election January 2021

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Humanitarian OSM Team Special Board Election January 2021

Current Board of Directors

The current HOT Board of Directors are: Miriam Gonzalez (President), Felix Delattre (Vice President), Ben Abelshausen (Secretary), Gertrude "Trudy" Hope Namitala (Treasurer), Rob Baker (Member at Large), and Maning Sambale (Member at Large). See 'Board' page on the HOT site for descriptions. Board Meeting Minutes can be reviewed here


Step Dates
Nominations 15th January 2021 at 00:00 UTC - 20th January 2021 at 15:00UTC
Special Meeting for Discussion and Election 21st January 2021 at 15:00UTC
Announcement of results Within 24 hours of Special Meeting

Full Procedures

Board Election Results

Candidate Votes Percentage of Vote
Kate Chapman 73 71.6%
Nicolas Chavent 24 23.5%
Abstain 5 4.9%

Bold indicates newly elected board members

Nominations for Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team Board of Directors

In this election, one seat is up for election, to complete the term of Tasauf A Baki Billah, which end at the 2021 AGM.

The nomination period for candidates has closed. The nomination period opened at 21:00 UTC 15th January 2021 and closed at 15:00 UTC 20th January 2021.

Candidate Name Nominator /
Why are they an excellent choice? Candidate statement
Kate Chapman Arnalie Vicario

Heather Leson

Pete Masters

Blake Girardot

Jubal Harpster

Mikko Tamura

United States/United States "Who leads matter." I am supporting Kate because she's an excellent leader, and HOT Board membership needs diversified voice / perspectives. I am well versed in HOT and OpenStreetMap, having served as HOT's first Executive Director and as the Chairperson of the OSMF. Since my time as Executive Director at HOT I have become a seasoned non-profit board member. I have mentored Executive Directors, helped with organizational strategy and organizational governance. I believe I could get up to speed relatively quickly on the HOT board and fill the gap left until the next election.
Nicolas Chavent Claire Halleux

Amadou Ndong

Rafael Avila Coya

France My OpenStreetMap journey is two fold. First, I co-founded the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) concept in 2008, I co-founded of HOT US inc in 2010, I served the org as a Board member (2010-2014) and as its de facto Operations Manager for Haiti and Sub-Saharan Africa (2010-2013). Second, I co-founded the French associations Projet Espace OSM Francophone (ProjetEOF) and Les Libres Géographes (LLG) which supported technically and organizationally at grassroot level the growth of autonomous OSM collectives in Haiti and French-speaking Africa from 2014 to date. I developed a span of skills and experiences fit to serve 6 months at the HOT US Inc Board and help the organization in its willingness to reflect, change, localize, decentralize and implement its activities in a way more respectful of the OSM way and especially OSMF policies, jurisprudence and practices. Through the inner human, technical and organizational knowledge I had built over time in these Francophone countries whose language is, by the way, not currently represented at the Board, I think I can help the organization through its willingness to change described by Tyler. Candidate Statement

Member questions for board nominees

Answers to member questions

Member name Question
Arnalie Vicario Given the limited time you will serve in the Board, how will you help re-build or re-connect relationships between staff, Voting members, and volunteers in the humanitarian OSM team organization?

(underlying question would be: How can we re-engage or motivate [the 200+] Voting Members to take active participation in HOT Organization?)

Pete Masters Question for Nicolas:

I have been requested to ask a question on behalf of a fellow voting member who worked with your organisation, Les Libres Géographes (LLG), and you in person over the last three years in Africa. This person has requested that I post it as they feel uncomfortable doing so in person and without anonymity:

"When we worked together, you told us (myself and other team members) about your journey with HOT. From what you said, I understood that you didn't want to be involved with HOT anymore. That same year, after I created tasks on tasking manager you sent an email (again copied to team members) saying that you (at LLG) would not work with HOT tools and advising us not to use them either. In 2019, a friend from OSM France told me of instances at the SOTM France 2019 where you denigrated HOT publicly.

So my questions are, as you have advised others against engaging with HOT, why do you continue to be a voting member and why do you now want to be a member of the HOT Board?"

Nicolas's reply from his email response from the hotosm internal mailing-list:

Forwarded message ---------

From: nicolas chavent <> Date: Thu, Jan 21, 2021 at 12:19 PM Subject: Re: [hotosm-membership] Re: Announcement of Special Meeting - January 21, 2021 To: Pete Masters <> Cc: Matthew Gibb <>, Membership <>, boris <>, Michael Collinson <>

Hey Pete and all, Salut à toi chèr.e inconnu.e,

I wish this question was put up earlier: I'd have had more time to reply since it deserves indeed a reply and may be on a couple of people's minds within our membership. I had to hit the road, drive close to 4 hours and hopefully make it to our Meeting. Hence the brevity of the reply in writing, the rest will be oral and paired with Arnalie's thorough question.

I had been critical of the majority perspective of our organization and the way under which HOT US Inc had been working: most of my criticisms are featured in Tyler's diary note [1] as things that require changes and where we need to move forward differently. This is because of this new openness to change that I sensed in our communication, public as well as internal, that I also noticed while talking to Board members as well as Staffs and voting members that I decided to help the organization by contributing my perspective. I started describing in my candidate statement [2] what I believe I can bring to the organization so that it can reflect, change, and operate differently along the new lines described by Tyler. Prior the election, I had already decided to act in that direction within the HOT US Inc membership but as well as an OSMF Member via the OSMF Local Chapter Community Working Group (OSMF LCCWG) as well as the Diversity Inclusion Committee (DISC) shall the OSMF Board decides to resume this activity of this Foundation Body.

I think we can look maturely at things from the Past, identify the issues, work so that they will not develop again. I think that with the OSM ethos/policies/practices, through inclusivity, respect of minorities of all sorts (including organizational perspective in HOT US Inc), Openness, democratic deliberation/participation during elections times and through hard work, we can succeed re-inventing partly ourselves for the benefit of the OSM project globally and in the territories of the Global South with the people active and living there. In one word, ensure that OSM stays OSM in ways which are relevant globally and locally and fulfill its promises within an overarching emancipation scheme.

Talk to you later, Be well, stay safe Best, Nicolas


Pete Masters Hi Nico, thanks for the statement. Could you provide information on the nature of your engagement with LLG and ProjectEOF? Specifically, are you an employee? A contractor? Are you renumerated? Do you work on funding proposals or in a paid capacity on funded projects in the same areas as HOT works?

I am interested because MSF actually advised Jorieke and I that it was a conflict of interest to be on the HOT board whilst working in a paid capacity for MSF on openstreetmap-related activities in the same regions as HOT (including partners and community collaborators). This is why Jorieke stepped down from the board when she started working for MSF and why I didn’t run for the board until I was working in an unrelated position (medical innovation).

Lastly, could you provide links to what LLG is / what it does? I am struggling to find any information on it as an organisation… (I have found info on ProjectEOF at

Nicolas's reply on Pete’s CoI question from his oral answer at the Members special meeting:

On CoI at large:
I think that the first paragraph of my candidate statement answers the questions related to the French Association Projet EOF (which does not operate through paid work and relies mainly on the voluntary contribution of its members ; low level of activity in recent years) as well as my working relationship (various paid work as a freelancer ; not a Board members position); the above-mentioned paragraph reads right below, specific questions are answered further below
“I want to state that in so doing, I have no conflict of interest (CoI) with HOT US Inc and the other organizations I co-founded since then and in which I am currently engaged. I have been working as a freelancer for many organizations including the French association Les Libres Géographes (LLg) that I co-founded and of which I am not a Board member. Whilst not holding a formal continued work contract with LLg, I checked with my LLg friends and Colleagues/Board members that serving a 6 months term at the HOT US Inc Board would be compatible with my engagement in LLg. I did what other hotties did prior to me in such occasions (Dale Kunce at the American Red Cross [ARC] or Jorieke Vyncke and Pete Masters at Medecins Sans Frontières [MSF]). Shall a CoI situation apply, I’ll comply to the HOT US Inc CoI handling policy like other former Directors who were staffs of other organizations or freelancers working in this domain. Furthermore, my engagement within the French association Projet Espace OSM Francophone (Projet EOF) does not constitute a CoI neither. The association carries out its activities (which mostly revolve around local OSM animation) via the voluntary contribution of its members while its Bylaws exclude paid work (in French “prestation de service”) from its resources.”

On MSF specific CoI handling policy:
I think it’s important to distinguish the hic et nunc, this election and the mid/long term. In this run-up, I based my CoI situation analysis on HOT US Inc specific policy and practices. On the long-run, HOT US Inc shall act to learn from MSF whose high moral standards are of a unique value in the humanitarian action and aid development worlds. MSF’s policy might be reviewed and analyzed by our Governance Working Group. We might seek lawyer’s assistance (via paid or pro bono services). We might also reach out and consult OSMF LWG to get feedback and have them equally learn and think through MSF policy and practices. This Governance WG work shall be opened to any Voting member interested in the matter. Ideally and eventually, these efforts will result into a report and recommendations as per changing or not HOT US Inc CoI policy. This shall be shared with the membership as part of a consultation featuring discussions over email/Slack and BigBlueButton as well as anonymous survey. Shall the outcome resulted into a changed CoI policy banning my presence at the Board, I’d have no other choice than being compliant with our policy and resign.

On the web presence of the French association #LesLibresGeographes (LLg):
LLg had been operating through direct contacts with funders and partners relying on the quality work it had been providing in OSM, Open Data and Free Geomatics across the Francophone area (mainly France, Haiti and Sub-Saharan Africa).

Mikel Maron What is the best way to build welcoming communication spaces within HOT and within OSM as a whole? Do you support Code of Conduct and moderation on key mailing lists?

Past Elections

See the main page of HOT Board Elections for information on past elections.