Open Knowledge

Defining Open in Open Data, Open Content and Open Knowledge

Advisory Council


The Advisory Council was created in the Autumn of 2007 as the body formally responsible for maintaining and developing the Definitions and associated material found on this site. Its mission is to take forward the ‘Open Definition’ work for the general benefit of the open knowledge community. In addition, it has specific responsibility for deciding on license conformance with the Definition.

It should be emphasized that it is the hope, and intention, that overall development continue in the same community based and collaborative manner used until now with the Council’s role being to provide oversight, guidance and input into this process, not to replace it.

See participate for information on joining the Council and contributing to Open Definition work in other ways.


  • Chair: Herb Lainchbury
  • Secretary: Daniel Dietrich

Baden Appleyard

Baden Appleyard is National Programme Director of AusGOAL, the Australian Governments’ Open Access and Licensing Framework, which provides support and guidance to all levels of Australian government, government agencies and the research sector to facilitate open access to publicly funded information. Baden is a Barrister of the Supreme Court of Queensland and Barrister of the High Court of Australia, and holds degrees in law and commerce, in addition to tertiary qualifications in management. Baden was a Principal Research Fellow with the Faculty of Law at the Queensland University of Technology from 2007–2008. During this time he managed Project 3.05, for the Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information. Project 3.05 provided assistance to develop the Queensland Government Information Licensing Framework (GILF), the predecessor of AusGOAL. Baden launched GILF in 2008 and lead the creation of AusGOAL for the Australian Governments’. He currently has responsibility for AusGOAL’s implementation and day to day management, and engages on a wide variety of related copyright, contractual and administrative law issues (e.g. FOI and Privacy).

Rachel Bruce

Rachel Bruce is JISC’s innovation director for digital infrastructure. She oversees JISC’s innovation and research programmes which relate to digital preservation, management of research data, resource discovery infrastructure, open access of scholarly communication, geospatial infrastructure and resources as well as open educational resources. This also includes activities which take place in partnership with JISC’s services UKOLN, JISC Observatory, Jorum and the Digital Curation.

Leigh Dodds

Leigh Dodds is a freelance consultant working on data-driven applications, Open Data and Linked Data projects. He has many years experience working with a range of web technologies and has spoken at a number of conferences on data publishing, open data and the semantic web. Leigh is also an associate at the UK Open Data Institute working on technical specifications in support of open data publishing.

Jordan Hatcher

Jordan Hatcher is a lawyer and consultant working on copyright and content issues. You can learn more about what he does (and has done) on his website.

Tariq Khokhar

Tariq Khokhar is the World Bank’s Open Data Evangelist. His interests lie where technology, transparency, poverty and data meet. He guides the World Bank’s Open Data Initiative and is responsible for internal and external strategy, outreach and communications, and supporting client countries with their own open data programs. Prior to joining the Bank, Tariq led innovation and community engagement work at Aidinfo and the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI). He was formerly a director of Bond UK and the Chief Development Officer of Aptivate. He holds degrees from the University of Cambridge, has close relationships in the global Open Data and Open Government communities and currently lives in Washington DC.

Herb Lainchbury

Herb Lainchbury is a consultant, a software developer and founder of the Open Data Society of British Columbia, Canada.  He holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Victoria.  He is a frequent speaker on open data and open government topics, is a member of the Government of Canada’s Advisory Panel on Open Government and blogs at

Mike Linksvayer

Mike Linksvayer writes about open matters on his blog.

Kent Mewhort

Kent is a lawyer and a software engineer, with interests in the intersections between law, policy and technology. He is the CTO of EtheloDecisions, a social enterprise developing collaborative and equality-focused alternatives to majority-vote decision making. He is also a consultant for the Samuelson Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC), where he develops and maintains the licensing information website He has previously worked as a public interest staff lawyer at this clinic, concentrating on client files and advocacy work in the area of open licensing. He is the legal project lead of Creative Commons Canada. Kent holds degrees in civil law and common law from McGill University and a computer science degree from the University of British Columbia.

Federico Morando

Federico Morando is an economist, with interdisciplinary research interests focused on the intersection between law, economics and technology. His research activity at the Nexa Center mainly concerns new models of production and sharing of digital contents. He also taught intellectual property and competition law at Bocconi University in Milan and he is an associate editor of the IJCLP. He has an undergraduate degree in Economics from Bocconi Univ. and a master’s degree in Economic theory and econometrics from the Univ. of Toulouse. He holds a Ph.D. in Institutions, Economics and Law from the Univ. of Turin and Ghent with a dissertation about software interoperability. He joined the working group of the Nexa Center at the beginning of its first year of formal activity. From Dec. 2012, he leads the Creative Commons Italy project and he is a member of the Open Team of Regione Piemonte that launched and steers the development of the first Italian open government data portal. From Dec. 2008, in his position as the first Managing Director of the Center, he works closely with the Directors to define staff and project goals and to coordinate the Center’s fellows.

Peter Murray-Rust

Peter Murray-Rust leads a research group in the Department of Chemistry at Cambridge University. Co-creator of the Chemical Markup Language (CML), he has long been a pioneer of data exchange and information-mining in the chemical sciences. Firmly committed to promoting openness and data availability throughout the discipline, he recently started the world-wide molecular matrix, the largest open online repository of molecular information in the world.

Rufus Pollock

Rufus Pollock is a Founder of the Open Knowledge Foundation and has continued as a Director ever since. He has worked extensively both at a practical and academic level on open knowledge issues.

Andrew Stott

Andrew Stott was the UK’s first Director for Transparency and Digital Engagement. He led the work to open government data and create “”; and after the 2010 Election he led the policy development and implementation of the new Government’s commitments on Transparency of central and local government. Following his formal retirement in December 2010 he was appointed to the UK Transparency Board to continue to advise UK Ministers on open data and e-government policy. He also advises other governments on Open Data both bilaterally and through the World Bank and the World Wide Web Foundation. He is an expert adviser on Open Data strategy to the EU Citadel On The Move programme and co-chairs the OKFN Open Government Data Working Group.

Peter Suber

Peter Suber is the Director of the Harvard Open Access Project, Faculty Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Senior Researcher at the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), Research Professor of Philosophy at Earlham College, and a non-practicing lawyer. For more details, see his home page.

Luis Villa

Luis Villa is Deputy General Counsel at the Wikimedia Foundation. Previously he was an associate in the Palo Alto office of the Greenberg Traurig law firm, where his practice focused on counseling companies on intellectual property, technology licensing and related matters, with a particular focus on open source licensing. His clients were both for-profits and non-profits, including Mozilla, the Wikimedia Foundation, Amazon, and Facebook. He also advised Google in the Oracle v. Google trial, and led the first revision of the Mozilla Public License in a decade. Luis is a director of the Open Source Initiative, and serves as an invited expert on the World Wide Web Consortium’s Patents and Standards Interest Group. Before law school, Luis worked in software, including several years working on the GNOME Linux desktop at a small startup.

Timothy Vollmer

Timothy Vollmer is Public Policy Manager at Creative Commons. He coordinates public policy positions in collaboration with CC staff, international affiliate network, and a broad community of copyright experts. Timothy helps educate policymakers at all levels and across various disciplines such as education, data, science, culture, and government about copyright licensing, the public domain, and the adoption of open policies. Prior to CC, Timothy worked on information policy issues for the American Library Association in Washington, D.C. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Information, and helped establish the Open.Michigan initiative.

Jo Walsh

Jo Walsh has been hacking for more than ten years and working with geodata for for more than five. As well as her involvement with the OKF she is also on the board of the Open Source Geo-Spatial Foundation and is one of the authors of O’Reilly’s Mapping Hacks. As one of those people who still think that the semantic web will save the world she gets very excited about metadata standards and data sharing..

Aaron Wolf

Aaron Wolf is co-founder of, an in-progress fundraising system working to address the collective-action dilemmas that affect the funding of the public commons. Otherwise, Aaron is a professional music teacher, an amateur scholar, and a social activist. He holds the distinction of producing the internet’s most popular video for songs that teach brain anatomy. His website includes several articles about Open Knowledge and related topics, particularly pertaining to music.


Thanks to all who have previously served on the Advisory Council.