Presented by

  • Karen Sandler

    Karen Sandler

    Karen M. Sandler is the executive director of the Software Freedom Conservancy, which is the nonprofit home of many projects, including Git, Samba, QEMU, Selenium and Inkscape (to name a few). She is known as a cyborg lawyer for her advocacy for free software as a life-or-death issue, particularly in relation to the software on medical devices. Prior to joining Conservancy, she was the executive director of the GNOME Foundation. Before that, she was the general counsel of the Software Freedom Law Center. Karen co-organizes Outreachy, the award-winning outreach program for people who face under-representation, systemic bias, or discrimination in tech . Karen is an adjunct Lecturer-In-Law at Columbia Law School. She is the recipient of the Free Software Foundation's 2017 Award for the Advancement of Free Software as well as an O'Reilly Open Source Award.


Outreachy, a diversity initiative that provides remote paid internships to work on critical free software projects, is entering the tenth year of its current incarnation! While the free software community has had to make conferences like LCA and other activities remote during the pandemic, Outreachy was poised to expand to provide much needed opportunities to people who need them most. This talk will share the origins of the program and how it has changed over the years. We'll look at what's happened with the program over the years and feature our lessons learned.