Strength in Numbers: An Onion Blooms
Today I step down from the role of Executive Director of the Tor Project. I joined the organization three years ago, and I've had the privilege of being part of this special community as it has grown from its teenage years to full adulthood. We have become an important leader in the Internet Freedom space, and Tor Project employees, contractors, and volunteers are respected and sought after for their technical expertise and community organizing skills. I am so proud of all that we have accomplished in my short tenure.
Three years ago, when I started as Executive Director, the Tor Project employed nine people and retained another nine as full-time contractors. All of these people lived in North America or Europe. The organization's yearly budget was around $2.5 million USD, and almost all of that money came from various U.S. government contracts and grants.
Today, the Tor Project is an embodiment of the theme of our year-end fundraising campaign, "Strength in Numbers.” The organization now has 35 employees and 14 contractors across five continents. We have employees in South America and Africa, and more women have stepped into positions of leadership. Last fiscal year (July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018), our yearly budget was $4.5 million USD, and nearly half of that money came from non-U.S. government sources.
The Tor technology has matured, as well. Tor Browser has become easier to use and is translated into more languages. We now have a Tor Browser for Android. We have optimized our core Tor software for mobile devices and for connecting from low-bandwidth environments. The Tor Network has become faster and more efficient.
Most of all, the Tor community has expanded and matured. We have a vibrant community of contributors who run the network, ponder hard problems, and embody the open source movement. We’ve established teams that work with one another on a daily basis. Our teams include the network and browser teams, as well as new teams for fundraising and usability and half a dozen others. Everyone is part of a larger group, all working to achieve common goals.
I’m so proud of the what the organization has become. But let’s be clear; we didn't do it alone. Nonprofit organizations depend on the support of individuals like you, and an open source project like the Tor Project cannot survive without our contributors.
I've just donated $3,000, a thousand dollars for each of my years as ED. Won't you join me? There’s Strength in Numbers! If you donate before the end of 2018, Mozilla will match your donation (thank you, Mozilla!), and we'll send you some cool swag with our amazing "Anonymity Loves Company" design.
While this is a bit of a farewell, I’m not going very far; I will be joining the Tor Project’s Board of Directors starting in January. I look forward to supporting the Tor Project’s new Executive Director, Isabela Bagueros, as she continues to help the organization grow and thrive.
Yours in Freedom,
Outgoing Executive Director
The Tor Project, Inc.