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Photo illustration: Aïda Amer. Photo: Horacio Villalobos/Corbis via Getty Images

Katherine Maher, the Wikimedia Foundation's CEO, will step down as of April 15, she tells Axios, leaving the nonprofit in a vastly stronger position than she found it when she joined in 2014.

Why it matters: Wikipedia is growing to become the most global and trusted source of knowledge in the world. Its base of active editors is rising, its number of women editors has increased by 30% just in the past year, and it has upgraded not only its website but also its app, which is now available for feature phones as well as smart phones.

Financially, the Wikimedia Foundation now has an endowment of more than $90 million, and has doubled its annual budget to an estimated $140 million in 2021.

  • It's hard to think of any other tech nonprofit that has been remotely as successful. OpenAI effectively became a for-profit in 2019, while Signal is still reliant on a single donor, Brian Acton.

Between the lines: One area that Wikimedia has been particularly successful is in garnering trust. That's also an area the news media could use some pointers.

  • Driving the trust: Maher is proud of her new Universal Code of Conduct, but also credits the diversity of Wikipedia's editors as a key ingredient creating trust in its content.
  • "Disagreement is the essential friction that produces our best content," she says.
  • A prime example: The magisterial 14,000-word article (plus 492 footnotes and a very detailed discussion) detailing the storming of the U.S. Capitol last month.

What's next: The Wikimedia Foundation board has created a committee to search for Maher's successor. Maher tells Axios that she hopes the next leader will "come from the future of knowledge" — by which she means Africa, the Indian subcontinent, or Latin America.

  • Maher herself says she intends to move back to the East Coast. She's up for a challenge — and there are some big jobs available.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that the Wikimedia Foundation has an endowment of more than $90 million.

Go deeper

Republican Sen. Sasse slams Nebraska GOP for "weird worship" of Trump after state party rebuke

Sen. Ben Sasse, (R-Neb.) Photo: Andrew Harnik - Pool/Getty Images

The Nebraska Republican Party on Saturday formally "rebuked" Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) for his vote to impeach former President Trump earlier this year, though it stopped short of a formal censure, CNN reports.

Why it matters: Sasse is the latest among a slate of Republicans who have faced some sort of punishment from their state party apparatus after voting to impeach the former president. The senator responded statement Saturday, per the Omaha World-Herald, saying "most Nebraskans don't think politics should be about the weird worship of one dude."

Cuomo barraged by fellow Dems after second harassment accusation

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo faced a barrage of criticism from fellow Democrats after The New York Times reported that the second former aide in four days had accused him of sexual harassment.

Why it matters: Cuomo had faced a revolt from legislators for his handling of nursing-home deaths from COVID. Now, the scandal is acutely personal, with obviously grave political risk.

3 hours ago - Health

Fauci: Children "very likely" to get COVID vaccine at start of 2022

NIAID Director Anthony Fauci. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Children under age 12 will "very likely" be able to get vaccinated for coronavirus at the "earliest the end of the year, and very likely the first quarter of 2022," NIAID Director Anthony Fauci told "Meet the Press" Sunday.

Why it matters: Children generally aren't at risk of serious coronavirus infections, but vaccinating them will be key to protecting the adults around them and, eventually, reaching herd immunity, writes Axios' Caitlin Owens.