Meet the ambassadors

Meet the Open Organization Ambassadors

Open Organization book spines

The Open Organization Ambassadors Program identifies and spotlights members of the community who are exceptionally engaged in discussions regarding the management philosophy Jim Whitehurst outlines in his book, The Open Organization.

Interested in becoming an ambassador? Read more about the program and get in touch!

The ambassadors

Jono Bacon


Jono Bacon is a leading community manager, speaker, and author, and was formerly the Ubuntu Community Manager at Canonical, optimizing and growing the global Ubuntu community. He is a prominent author and speaker on community management and best practice, and wrote the best-selling The Art of Community (O’Reilly), is the founder of the primary annual conference for community managers and leaders, the Community Leadership Summit, founder of the Community Leadership Forum, and is a regular keynote speaker at events about community management, leadership, and best practice.

Rebecca Fernandez

Rebecca Fernandez

Rebecca Fernandez is a Principal Employment Branding + Communications Specialist at Red Hat. Before that, she was a freelance business writer for five years, and before that, a copy writer at Red Hat. (They just couldn't be rid of her.) Rebecca is interested in open source and the intersection of the open source way with business management models.

Laura Hilliger

Laura Hilliger

Laura Hilliger is an artist, educator, writer and technologist. She's a multimedia designer and developer, a technical liaison, a project manager, an Open Web hacktivist who is happiest in collaborative environments. She's an advocate for change and believe that the Internet has more power than any other medium to create real change in the world. She believes that the new media is changing the philosophical self and that reflection on that "Self" is needed. Laura taught at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism and was the lead mentor at the Bay Area Video Coalitions Producer's Institute. She developed curriculum for the Adobe T3 project, has mentored at film labs in various countries and spent five years as the Training and Education Lead at Mozilla. She has a Masters in Media and Education and is an active participant in open learning discussions at a global scale.

Sam Knuth

Sam Knuth

Sam Knuth has the privilege to lead the Customer Content Services team at Red Hat, which produces all of the documentation we provide for our customers. Our goal is to provide customers with the insights they need to be successful with open source technology in the enterprise.

Robin Muilwijk

Robin Muilwijk

Robin Muilwijk is Advisor Internet and e-Government. He also serves as a community moderator for, an online publication by Red Hat, and serves on the board for the eZ Publish community. Robin writes and is active on social media to promote and advocate for open source in our businesses and lives.

Philip Foster


Dr. Philip A. Foster is a leadership/business coach and consultant and adjunct professor. He is a noted thought leader in Business Operations, Organizational Development, Foresight, and Strategic Leadership. Dr. Foster facilitates change through the design and implementation of strategies, strategic foresight, and planning. He holds a Masters in Organizational Leadership and a Doctorate of Strategic Leadership. He has published scholarly articles and is the bestselling author of The Open Organization: A New Era of Leadership and Organizational Development and Organization 3.0–The Evolution of Leadership and Organizational Theories Toward an Open System for the 21st Century. His experience includes over twenty-five years in both public and the private sector including Tier 1 consulting, media, high-tech and public relations.

Ron McFarland


Ron McFarland has been working in Japan for 40 years, and he's spent more than 30 of them in international sales, sales management training, and expanding sales worldwide. He's worked in or been to more than 80 countries. Over the past 14 years, Ron has established distributors in the United States and throughout Europe for a Tokyo-headquartered, Japanese hardware cutting tool manufacturer. More recently, he's begun giving seminars in Japanese to small Japanese companies wishing to expand both their exports and overseas investments. Also, he has been involved in supporting foreign companies interested in entering the Japanese market. You can find him on LinkedIn.

Allison Matlack


Allison Matlack has been a member of the Red Hat Customer Portal team since 2011. She believes the most important thing leaders can do is create an environment that enables their teams to do their best work, and she's dedicated to fostering that type of open environment in her current role as a program manager. She spends most her time designing and running an engagement program focused on helping each associate see how his or her daily work contributes to Red Hat's success. She's honored to have been an Open Organization Ambassador since 2016 and loves helping others find ways to put open principles into practice.

Chad Whitacre


Chad Whitacre is the founder of Gratipay, an open organization with a mission to cultivate an economy of gratitude, generosity, and love. We offer business-grade crowdfunding for open source—and we're funded on our own platform. Offline, I live outside Pittsburgh, PA, USA, and online, I live on Slack, IRC, and GitHub.

Jen Kelchner


 Jen Kelchner is the founder and leader of LDR21, a consulting agency who is leading the way into the future of work and open org models for mainstream business. As a SME in organizational cultures and leadership models, she solves workplace dysfunction and aids in organizational transformation by leveraging generational literacy and open models. Jen is a Deloitte alum, a founding member of the Forbes Coaches Council and a Forbes contributor on leadership and the workplace. She writes a monthly column on open organization challenges for Jen has been in the workplace for over 20 years, in leadership roles for more than 15 years, and in management consulting and coaching for the last decade.

Lauri Apple


Lauri Apple develops and evangelizes Zalando’s open source efforts. She's also a producer/agile project manager for the company's core search engineering team and co-leads Zalando’s InnerSource initiative. Before joining Zalando, Lauri was the tech evangelist at Gilt Groupe in New York City. Her life before technology included stints as a journalist, blogger and media strategist. She graduated from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, focusing on IP.

Jimmy Sjölund


Jimmy Sjölund is a senior IT service manager and innovation coach at Telia Company, focusing on organisation development, exploring agile and lean workflows and is a visualisation enthusiast. He's also an open source evangelist, previously engaged in Ubuntu Studio and Plume Creator.

Ambassador alumni

Huiren Woo

hui_rens_portrait-smaller.png Huiren Woo wants to transform Singapore's proprietary landscape to an open source garden filled with flowers. He's currently studying Information Technology in a local polytechnic. He's also a fullstack PHP and NodeJS developer, loves freedom, and enjoys helping others.