I’m a huge fan of the work and the leadership that current Fedora Project Leader Paul Frields has done since 2008. Frields has always been one of the most articulate, honest and insightful Linux community leaders that I have ever had the pleasure of working with.
As the saying goes though, all good things must come to an end and so does Frields’ time as Fedora Project Leader. Starting in July, Jared Smith will become the new Fedora Project Leader. I personally don’t know Smith, though according to Red Hat’s announcement on Smith’s appointment, he’s been an active contributor since 2007. Smith’s interest is in VoIP and he previously worked at Digium, the lead commercial sponsor behind the open source Asterisk project.
The process of how Fedora’s leadership is chosen is different than other distributions. It’s not a totally democratic process like the one that Debian has. On the other hand it’s not totally autocratic like Ubuntu. In a mailing list posting announcing the transition, Frields explained the process.
“One of the hallmarks of Fedora leadership is that it’s open to change,” Frields wrote. “The FPL is not a semi-benevolent dictator for life, but rather a position to which new people can regularly bring their passion for making Fedora better…The FPL job is a salaried position at Red Hat, and the Fedora Board members as well as many other stakeholders have been informed and involved with the process of selecting a new FPL.”
I wish the best of luck to the new leader and of course the best of success to Frields as he moves on within Fedora and Red Hat. As is the case with Frields Fedora Project Leader predecessor Max Spevack, I’d expect to continue to see Frields as an active member of the Fedora community.