2024 Board Candidate: Pablo Correa Gomez


I am Pablo Correa Gomez (pcgomez@gnome.org, pabloyoyoista in GNOME’s gitlab), a GNOME developer, enthusiast, and member of the GNOME Foundation. I am currently the maintainer of Papers[1], the Document Viewer app currently in Incubator to replace Evince. I am also a member of postmarketOS Core Team, a distribution aiming to bring Linux (GNOME in my case!) to mobile phones and other devices, with more than 500 phones booting. I have been involved in FOSS maintenance during approximately the last 2 years, with my time as a user going back to more than 8 years.

In the past I have been involved in governance, volunteering, and accounting in small user associations and non-profits. So I am accustomed to the world of a Board of Directors, and I have experience in treasury. I have also received basic training on accounting and legal during my bachelor studies. As part of my current responsibilities in the postmarketOS Core Team I have been involved in setting good governance practices to let the project grow organically, cultivate healthy relationships with other projects, and do project planning and management on some of our priorities. In addition, I believe I have a strong focus on collaboration focus and the ability to help reach consensus and positive agreements, which was proven the way Papers was forked from Evince. I hope this would be an appreciated skill in the view of a big and varied Board of Directors.

Regarding my motivations. I am applying for the Board of Directors with the goal to become part of the Finance Committee, and help in economic-related areas of the foundation regarding:

  • Transparency and correctness: I would like to improve the transparency and accountability of funds raised and spent by the GNOME Foundation. I recently wrote a detailed blog post regarding my concerns about the economic situation of the foundation. I believe a big amount of those concerns could be easily solved by providing more detailed reports and making more information publicly available. This should include more status on the foundation assets, as well as detailed information onto which people, entities or assets does the GNOME Foundation pay money to. I also believe that better tracking and presentation of economic affairs is needed. This would avoid the embarrassing situation where Annual Reports present expenses for previous years that do not match tax declarations (when those have been filled, finished, and reconciled), among others. I hope that the fact I was able to analyze the data, organize it and write that blog post is prove of my ability to deliver. I can also bring my experience from having completely transparent economics at postmarketOS[2].
  • Use of Funds: I would like to potentially improve the usage of funds withing the GNOME Foundation, and how they are communicated. It might well be that funds are being spent efficiently and effectively, but that a lack of transparency does not let us see that. Unfortunately, there are some indications that funds have not be spent with great efficiency in the past. During 2021 and 2022 fiscal exercises the GNOME Foundation spent close to 1 Million USD in reserves. While it makes sense to rather spend the money than leave it in a bank account, to my knowledge such deficit was not knowingly spent on specific plans with the goal of going back to normal spending. I believe that a clear example is that the previous executive director left during that period. And that the Foundation has hit the reserve[3] soon after hiring a new one. I would like to make sure that financial plans established by the Foundation in the future are realistic and aimed in a great majority to advance its foundational goals. I also would like to establish a clear communication policy, so that Foundation members are always informed of economic decisions and the rationales behind them. I believe my previous experience in accounting and managing organizations with reduced budgets can be greatly benefitial for this task.

In addition to these goals, I deeply appreciate the GNOME Foundation’s commitment towards diversity with programs like Outreachy, and would like to continue supporting such efforts. I also believe that the current GNOME Foundation team has a strong focus in fundraising, both through its executive directory, and relevant members of the board. I can however still bring my experience through the work we have done at postmarketOS in managing and organizing grant applications.

I am looking forward to stand as a candidate, hear back from you and answer all your questions.

Best regards,
Pablo Correa Gomez.

I have no corporate conflict of interests.


[1] GNOME / Incubator / Papers · GitLab
[2] postmarketOS - Open Collective
[3] Update from the board

These links were not allowed to be posted in the initial post


I’m very happy to see Pablo running for the board, as he has demonstrated he has a wide range of skills that would benefit the foundation.

In particular, Pablo seems to be particularly qualified to do some of the difficult, invisible but extremely important glue work between technical and less technical folks.

I think Pablo can bridge the gap that remains between the foundation and project, and I’m happy to endorse him as a candidate. Good luck, and thank you for running for the board Pablo!


@pcgomez Thanks for your sharing and it seems you did some works! I would like to ask a question which I am interested to know.

May you tell us what will you do and how to handle for & between the finance transparency (to share with others/public) and non-disclosable Information like NDA agreements (such as all board members & 3rd party contractors signed), personal privacy information (such as salary of a contractor/staff) ?

Hi Sammy, thanks for the question and sorry for the lengthy answer.

I believe that there is very little room in a 501(c)3 like the GNOME Foundation for NDAs. More even, when its main mission is to create a platform that is completely free (and in consequence open) software and whose first Principle is “Open and Public”. This is even more relevant when the GNOME Community is one built on Openess. Code developed is public, issue trackers are public, release scheduling, design decisions, overall project planning are all public. We know the employers of every contributor (as they are the copyright holders), or whether they are contributing as volunteers. I strongly believe the culture around the GNOME project is one that values openess and transparent communication, which the Foundation should respect and abide to. I consider every Foundation Member (and by our principles, in some way also every GNOME user) to be a stakeholder that should be informed about relevant whereabouts, like the real status of finances.

Indeed, the GNOME Foundation already sticks to these principles in many situations. For example, the cost of being a member of the advisory board is public, the money that is paid to each intern in programs like Outreachy or GSoC is public. The salaries and overall expenses related to the high management and other key employees (as defined by US federal tax law mostly those with > 150 000 USD salary, though it’s a bit more complicated) is required to be public by law. The income received from certain grants is public. We know STF gave GNOME 1 million EUR, and that a 6% of that when into fiscal sponsorship by the Foundation. And as far as I am aware, no contractor signed an NDA and the standard rate is one that has been shared with other members of the community (including myself), certainly without any kind of NDA.

I of course understand there are some situations where NDAs are absolutely necessary. These include things like the CoC, which affect individuals that should be protected, contracts under negotiation, or the specific of certain contracts signed. Still, in most of those cases it should be possible to disclose information in the after-math or aggregated. For example, in case of an agreement with manufacturers or partners, it might not be possible to disclose the money the Foundation is receiving per device or click. But it should be absolutely necessary to be able to disclose the global amount the Foundation paid or received for a certain partnership.

If I get elected as member of the Board, I will absolutely respect NDAs already signed. But I will also strongly work to renegotiate those possible, and establish a culture where transparency is the norm. I understand this is a process, it will not happen from one day to another, and requires continuous and dedicated work on convincing people and getting changes into effect. I would hope this is something that could be greatly improved by the end of my mandate.

Finally, I want to clearly state that I do not consider rates/salaries for contractors to be confidential data outside the possibly currently signed NDAs. Regarding staff hired under a payroll, it is of course relevant to respect the applicable law, and salaries might be considered personal private data. Still, open salary policies are a thing, for which plenty of literature and previous examples exist. I would like to make it possible for GNOME to establish such a policy, and follow the example of other entities like Mastodon that publish the remuneration of each of their employees. This will of course require negotiations, that I believe I am capable of contributing to.

I hope this successfully answers your question, at the risk of being a little bit too verbose.

Best regards,
Pablo Correa Gomez.


Thanks for running Pablo! +1 from me

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Thank you for running, Pablo. +1

From what I can tell, Pablo has been doing a great job at postmarketOS, helping to solve longstanding organizational issues. So I support this nomination.

Candidacy has received enough endorsements and is approved.

FWIW, Pablo has my complete confidence and I’m sure he’ll do a great job. :+1:

Hi Pablo,
We met at GUADEC last year and I really enjoyed talking to you. I also read your blog post and I appreciate your skill, inquisitiveness, and dedication in writing it. I think those skills would be well applied as a board member.

It’s about this blog post that I have a possibly difficult question; please don’t take this as a criticism of your actions.

As we all know, GNOME rakes up a lot of controversy no matter what it does, just because of the contrarian nature of some tech circles on the internet. So while I applaud the ethics that led you to research and publish that blog post, one downside is that it creates uncertainty and the appearance of internal conflict. That is likely to be exploited as fuel for more controversy by certain YouTubers with a grudge.

While you have every right as a Foundation member to publish whatever you want, as a board member you would have a legal duty of care towards the Foundation, meaning that board members must refrain from taking actions that might damage the public perception of the Foundation. Instead, you’d be responsible together with the rest of the board for solving issues instead of writing about them, and communicating it to the best of your abilities in a way that doesn’t fuel controversy.

Is that a responsibility that you would feel comfortable with, if elected? If not, how might you manage those conflicting duties?


I’m sorry Philip but I feel this is pretty dishonest of you to paint Pablo’s article like an aggression against the Foundation, and by extension Pablo like its aggressor. He clearly researched and published this article because he cares about the Foundation as one of its members. What was he supposed to do, close his eyes and shut up‽

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I applaud Pablo for following up his critical review of the financial transparency (or where is comes short) with this willingness to help resolve it.

Don’t we all love when the bug reporter also volunteers to make a patch?


Hi Philip,

I appreciate your question, since it is something that I have privately discussed with other members of the community. Before going in details, to the wonder:

Instead, you’d be responsible together with the rest of the board for solving issues instead of writing about them, and communicating it to the best of your abilities in a way that doesn’t fuel controversy.

I totally believe I have those skills, and were proven during the Evince fork as I wrote above (FYI, I shared that firstly with German!). I feel comfortable in this position, and am happy working with other members of the community and the board to come with a good communication strategy. I have also been involved in this at postmarketOS too, in case you are interested in previous work of mine in this field.

However, while I understand the concerns, my understanding is that the key is:

a legal duty of care towards the Foundation … might damage the public perception of the Foundation

That is a broad and strongly subjective concept. For what I talked with others, it seems that some people have the idea that caring means hiding things and not making them public. This includes things like conflicts or the real status of finances. I believe this this is the wrong approach. Nothing can ever be hidden forever, and things will one day come to light. And when long-time hidden problems come to light, they usually have the consequence of providing huge blows and completely breaking the trust of the community. They also can create a perception of unreliability towards the foundation that I believe are far more damaging than being straight.

With the example we have at hand. I believe it would have been much better for the foundation to communicate that the deficits for the last years were problematic and to take the time to make sure that financial reports matched tax accounts. In case of time constraints, it would have been possible to ask somebody like me (that already reached the Board to ask financial matters) to double-check the financial reports to make sure numbers matched before they were public. It would have also been better to let the community know when were expenses planned to be cut, so that people would be prepared. Instead, the foundation published financial reports with numbers that did not match (including for years where taxes had already been filled) and only communicated to the community that expenses had to be drastically cut after the reserves had been hit, providing a feeling of unreliability. This behavior is the opposite of what I believe as “caring”, and I would certainly consider them within “damaging of the public perception”.

I of course understand that conflicts and problems are not to be aired at the heat of the moment, and board members should not go by themselves making public statements without previous discussion. But I believe that when problems exist, the foundation should be clear about then, and have a strong communication strategy around them. Expressing issues in public can be seen damaging, but also as a strength. Identifying issues, communicating them and working together to fix them is something that empowers not only the board, but also our members and our community. I believe a leadership in 2024 is one that has the emotional courage to admit mistakes, reflect on them, make them public, ask for help, and involve the community on helping solve our faults and differences. And I believe I have the skills to tackle this problem.

I hope it answers your question, but I’m happy to clarify anything else

Update 28th May: A previous version of this comment stated that the foundation should have communicated that there was no time to do proper accounting. That is not correct, as I have no reason to doubt the actual accounting. My problem is that those financial reports are inconsistent way, for which I’m offering my help. I thank Rob for a useful discussion on this topic


Thank you for running for the board!

Two questions which I’d be interested in your thoughts about:

  • What are your thoughts about the Foundation’s draft five year plan? Is this something you’d enthusiastically ratify and work on implementing in its current proposed form?
  • What do you think the Foundation’s responsibilities to the environment (for example, concerning climate change and carbon emissions) are?

Edit: To make it easier for all candidates to answer, I’ve moved these two questions out to separate topics. Sorry for the confusion!

Thank you for running, Pablo. +1

Hi Pablo,

Thanks so much for your candidacy and your engagement in the Foundation. I wish you the very best of luck with the elections and should you have the opportunity, I look forwards to having your engagement and perspectives on the board.

I have quite a strong reaction to something you said here which I would like to respond to:

This confuses and conflates two very different things - one is “input” about choosing how to spend money, essentially a board + ED function to agree and reflect the strategy and objectives in the approved budgets, and the other is about “output” - the accounting processes, essentially an operational/staff function to ensure the money is controlled, spent and accounted for in line with those budgets.

From my perspective as a director who has reviewed and approved the 990s filings each year for several years, I don’t believe that it’s fair or accurate to suggest that the accounting has been improper. The necessary 990s filings and disclosures have been made, and have at each point been prepared and reviewed by the Foundation’s accountants, and then reviewed and approved by the board.

Generally speaking it’s completely typical in any company or nonprofit for adjustments to be made between internal reporting (eg management/board reports, annual reports, etc) and the final official filings. This isn’t indicative of any kind of financial mismanagement, it’s just that the tax codes are extremely complex and intricate. The purpose of having external tax preparers is they can review and check the decisions made by the bookkeepers and maybe suggest a few changes. It’s like code review, somebody else has a different and possibly better opinion on how to approach something. Nothing “wrong” has happened, it’s just the tax preparers making minor adjustments to how things are declared.

Update 28th May: The most common adjustments which I’ve seen occur, and can introduce a large difference between the interim/internal reports and the final 990 filing, are to do with revenue recognition and accrual of expenses, ie which financial periods things fall into, because the rules for nonprofits are a bit odd/surprising. we often have many receivables/dues outstanding across our year end because it’s quite soon after GUADEC, so things get recorded on a cash basis and then are moved back and forth between financial years. The 990 accounts, after these adjustments, are always the final/canonical ones - any revenue or expenditure not reflected in them will almost certainly have been moved to the following period.

We have been working with professional external nonprofit bookkeepers for almost a year which has improved the timeliness and accuracy of this internal recording and reporting, and surely also reduced the chance that such adjustments will need to be made in future. We will pass over a legally required audit threshold next year (due to the money moving in and out of the foundation in connection with the STF project) and so in readiness for this, Holly commissioned an in-depth financial review - basically a “light audit” to examine our processes and records, checking our readiness for a full audit, which we also passed. In other words: external neutral third-party auditors (our regular accountants, Crosby & Kaneda) checked through our books and confirmed everything is in order as recently as this February/March.

Regarding the deficits, I don’t think this has been hidden or misled at all - we’ve shown and discussed this in the AGM and it’s been a recurring topic for many years that we must increase funding for the Foundation. The board have at each stage (annually, around September and October) considered an operating budget proposed by the ED explaining the expected revenue, intended costs/expenditures, and have considered, discussed, and approved those each year.

You may agree or disagree about how this has been approached and whether it’s been done successfully, whether the objectives have been aligned with what you would prioritise, etc but there is no line connecting small 5-10k adjustments in our 990s to some kind of larger scale financial mismanagement or integrity problem. If you don’t like the objectives, or think they have not been set correctly or achieved, let’s talk about that! But this is a question of setting objectives and allocating resources to deliver on them, not that the financial processes themselves have not been properly followed.

Many Thanks,

(Updated 28th May after some clarifying discussions with Pablo - thanks for the very positive engagement - I appreciate the opportunity to work with somebody with such an enthusiasm for financial reporting. :star_struck: )


Hi Rob,

Thanks a lot for your reply. I certainly made the mistake of confusing accounting with transparency regarding it. I have no reason to believe that accounting has not been proper. What I meant to say was that the lack of communication, tied with some mistakes in the annual reports, can easily provide a feeling that things are not correct. I apologize and edited my previous answer to reflect that, keeping the previous record to not remove the context of your answer.

I am very pleased to hear that the foundation has hired professional external bookkeepers, a financial review and a full-audit. I believe this is exactly what we need. As a candidate for the board, I would like to make sure that we continue in that path. However, I believe that such information needs to be timely and regularly reported to the foundation membership, and presented in the foundation website. A good example of the additional benefits this could bring, is making sure that Charity Navigator gives the GNOME Foundation a rating of 100%.

As of the deficits and the communication, this is certainly a matter of personal perspective. If I get elected and the board approves deficits, I would like to make sure that the board communicates to the membership the following information:

  • Why using the savings is appropriate and necessary
  • What are the additional funds going to be used for, and what justifies that
  • For how long is the foundation expected to be able to run like that
  • What is the plan that the foundation has to come back to a stable budget

I am sure the boards that oversaw such deficits discussed about those topics. But I believe it is as important to clearly communicate it to the membership, the ultimate foundation stakeholders. I would be very pleased to ensure this transparency in the communication.


This thread is an exemple of very positive interactions from both parties. Thanks Pablo for raising issues and offering to help, and Rob for the detailed responses :clap:


Thanks, Pablo. I appreciated this frank answer and the subsequent discussion with Rob.

I hope you don’t think my question is any sort of promotion for this view at all or its inherent criticism of your actions. I’m sorry that you’ve heard this attitude from others. Like I said, I respect the dedication you put into your blog post, even if I’d have published it differently.

This is a good point, and it is something I did not realize during my time on the board that this was the public perception that would arise. For sure, this was also exploited as fuel for controversy by certain YouTubers.