2024 Board Candidate: Allan Day

Hi all!

I’m throwing my hat into the ring for this year’s board elections.

  • Name: Allan Day
  • Email: aday@gnome.org
  • Corporate affiliation: Red Hat

I’ve been contributing to GNOME for 15+ years, primarily as a member of the GNOME design team. In my time I’ve worked on various other aspects of the project, including the Engagement Team, writing the release notes, project documentation, and more. I was previously a member of the board between 2015 and 2021.

When I was last on the board, I wrote the official GNOME software policy and helped to come up with GNOME Circle. I also played a major role in setting up the new board committee structure and meeting arrangements, and I was involved in creating GNOME’s first code of conduct.

The main reason I’m running for the board is that I want to make sure that the GNOME community is effectively represented on the board. Having a strong community presence in the Foundation is important, and I think that it’s a role I could be effective in. Having been on the board for a long time and then having had a break gives me some useful insight here.

If I’m elected, there are two other things that I’d prioritise. The first is long-term sustainability. Given the Foundation’s financial situation this has to be a priority. My previous experience on the board taught me the importance of being unflinching when it comes to critical issues like this. I’d work to make sure that the Foundation doesn’t lose its focus.

My second interest is in improving GNOME’s governance and leadership structures. Right now there are a number of issues. The board is our highest authority and the only elected body, but it is primarily concerned with the non-profit Foundation and not so much the wider project. Then there are issues around transparency and the role of Foundation staff. I think that these issues require organisational solutions, and that is something I’d be really keen to work on and resolve.

Note: I’m going to be offline 24-29 May, so there may be a delay in my responses to questions and comments.


Hej Allan, I’m really pleased to see you run for the board, and I’m sure you would make a strong board member! I have a few questions about the lessons learnt since your last tenure.

The Foundation has struggled with sustainability for a while. Would you say you are completely aligned with the Foundation’s strategic plan? If not, what direction would you like to steer the Foundation in?

Past board members including myself have had the issue of avoiding difficult decisions. Given the finances of the foundation, it might have to reduce some of its activities to generate new momentum on more profitable ones. Do you feel ready to support the board and ED in difficult manoeuvres, should the need arise?

Thanks again for your time!


If there’s one person that I’d like to see on the Board, it’s Allan. I second his candidacy.


Hey Allan, great to see your name thrown in!

I know from your work with GNOME Circle that you see the community as larger than just “core”. I’m wondering what your position on the Foundation’s interaction with the community is, and if you think there’s room to develop a similar halfway point for community-oriented efforts.

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Glad to see you running again, Allan. +1


Candidacy has received enough endorsements and is approved.

Thanks for the questions, @thibaultamartin and @andyholmes .

There are a lot of aspects of the strategic plan that I really like, particularly the parts around improving how we tell our story and governance. In terms of sustainability, the challenge has always been around developing sources of income. It’s really good to see lots of ideas for this in the strategic plan, but we will need to focus it down.

Experience tells me that not all of the outlined directions are practical. We need to concentrate on the ones with the greatest chance of success (as well as the lowest overhead). The directions that look most promising to me are developing partnerships, work around uses for the GNOME platform in different contexts, and security-orientated work.

As a board member you have to be prepared to do this. I’d go further and push to make sure we don’t avoid those difficult discussions - we need to be thinking ahead.

Yes I think there’s room and this is something that I’m really interested in! A non-profit board isn’t a great vehicle for community governance. Nor is a traditional corporate governance structure (what the GNOME Foundation has) a good fit for a community project.

I’d be really interested in changing our governance structures. The main idea I have here is to set up a new community governance body that would work alongside the board and staff. This could be more transparent and accessible to the community, and could be more agile when it comes to day to day operations.