Carolyn Doran

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Carolyn Doran, former COO of Wikimedia Foundation.  Source English Wikipedia, January 2007, public domain.
Carolyn Bothwell Doran[1]
Age: DoB: 7/12/1962
Gender: Female
Other names: born Carolyn Sue Bothwell[2]
Nationality: American
Language(s): English
Residence: Florida, United States
Home wiki(s): Wikimedia Foundation
Editing status: Resigned
Pers. website:
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Carolyn Bothwell Doran was the former chief operating officer (COO) of the then Florida-based Wikimedia Foundation (WMF).[1][3][4] Born Carolyn Sue Bothwell, Doran was COO of the WMF from January 2007 to July of the same year.[2] Although never officially confirmed by the Foundation as to the specific reason(s) for her departure following a noticeably short tenure in post, a British technology news and commentary website The Register broke the news that Doran had a criminal record in at least four states of America.[1]

At the time of her appointment in January 2007, Doron already had criminal records in three US states; those being Virginia, Maryland, and Texas, and furthermore, was also on parole for a motoring offence of a 'hit and run' whilst driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI).[1] The Register also revealed Doran's criminal record included convictions for theft, passing bad checks, petty larceny, additional DUIs, and causing unlawful wounding to her boyfriend by way of a gun shot to his chest.[1] When Doran left the Wikimedia Foundation in July 2007, it was discovered she had been recently arrested for a further DUI, and for a violation of her existing probation.[1]

Doran has never personally commented on her departure from the WMF, and her lawyer also declined to comment when requested by The Register.[1] Due to the lack of information from the WMF, the then chairman of the board Florence Devouard was questioned publicly why Doran had left her position; Devouard suggested that Doran herself decided to leave.[1] In an interview by The Register with Mike Godwin, the Foundation's lawyer, Godwin was adamant that Doran resigned her post.[1] Worryingly, Godwin admitted that both he and the Wikimedia Foundation were still unaware of Doran's criminal record, stating "We've never had any documentation of any criminal record on Carolyn Doran's part at all".[1]

It was noticed that there was a delay in publishing the audit of finances of the Wikimedia Foundation. Originally due for release in September, the Foundation website stated it was still pending. Speculation was raised that the delay was due to the discovery of criminal convictions of Doran, though WMF's lawyer Godwin stated "We've gone through a whole lot of growth over the last year, including staffing up, so our audit is in progress", and "It's very hard for us to give an exact ETA on it, but we expect it in a few weeks". As to further distance itself, Godwin additionally justified the delay to the Foundation's planned move to San Francisco.[1]

Doran started working for the Wikimedia Foundation as a part-time temporary bookkeeper, supplied from a 'temp' recruitment agency.[5] Her meteoric rise to COO came after just "a few months"[5] in her lowly position, and this promotion was approved at the highest level of the WMF board.[4] A mere four months following her official hiring, Doran was arrested whilst driving under the influence of alcohol and driving with a revoked driving license.[5] This was at least her fourth DUI, and being as she was arrested in Florida, that made it a third degree felony.[5] Doran's web of criminality eventually unravelled, and was subsequently incarcerated in a Florida jail.[5]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Cade Metz; Wikipedia COO was convicted felon;; The Register; 13 December 2007; retrieved 9 March 2018.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Former Chief Operating Officer of Wikimedia Foundation is convicted felon;, English Wikinews; 14 December 2007; retrieved 5 March 2018.
  3. Resolution: COO - Carolyn Doran;; Wikimedia Foundation; 24 January 2007; retrieved 9 March 2018.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Welcome to Carolyn Doran;; [Foundation-l] [Announcement]; 27 January 2007; retrieved 9 March 2018.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Cade Metz; Wikipedia COO was convicted felon (page 2);; The Register; 13 December 2007; retrieved 9 March 2018.
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