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The Linux Foundation Appoints Three Tech Industry Leaders to its Board of Directors

By 2016-11-028月 22nd, 2017Press Release

Erica Brescia, Jeff Garzik and Nithya Ruff bring a breadth of expertise and insight to the organization creating the largest shared technology investment in history

SAN FRANCISCO, November 2, 2016 – The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced the appointment of Erica Brescia, co-founder and COO of Bitnami; Jeff Garzik, co-founder of Bloq; and Nithya A. Ruff, director of Western Digital’s Open Source Strategy Office, to its Board of Directors. Ms. Ruff and Ms. Brescia join as At-Large Directors, and Mr. Garzik comes on board as the representative of Linux Foundation Silver members.

Ms. Brescia and Ms. Ruff will take the place of Larry Augustin and Bdale Garbee as At-Large Directors. Mr. Garzik replaces Matt Jones of Jaguar Land Rover.

“The Board of Directors and the entire Linux Foundation organization are delighted to welcome Nithya, Erica and Jeff,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director. “They will help guide the strategy of The Linux Foundation, the home to some of the most successful open source projects and largest shared technology investment in history. The open source community at large and our nearly 800 members will benefit from the insight and expertise each of these individuals brings. We thank Larry, Bdale and Matt for their long and faithful service on the Board and look forward to their continued participation in the community.”

New Directors Bring Diversity of Perspectives

Erica Brescia

Ms. Brescia is the co-founder and chief operating officer of Bitnami. With more than one million deployments per month, Bitnami provides the largest source of applications and development environments to the world’s leading cloud service providers, such as Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Compute Platform and Oracle Cloud Platform. Prior to co-founding Bitnami, Ms. Brescia held various sales and management positions at T-Mobile, as well as working as a consultant with Chekiang First Bank in Hong Kong. She holds a B.S. in business administration from the University of Southern California.

Ms. Brescia has been a dedicated builder of diverse, globally distributed technology and business teams, and has been featured as a keynote speaker at OpenStack Summit and OSCON.

To further those goals, Bitnami founded the Bitnami Bootcamp, which provides free education and training on cloud, open source and containers, for recent college graduates and self-taught technologists living in southern Spain.

As a YC Founder, Ms. Brescia is also an active mentor of aspiring entrepreneurs in the technology and related industries, as well as being an angel investor in a number of early stage startups.

“Open source technologies make possible the incredibly rapid innovation that we see in tech-driven sectors today,” Ms. Brescia commented. “Shared R&D in the form of open source helps companies like Bitnami thrive, while creating value for others. I’m proud to be a part of the organization that’s propelling that collaboration.”  

Jeff Garzik

Mr. Garzik has long been at the center of developing and commercializing open source software surrounding bitcoin and blockchain. Before co-founding Bloq to develop enterprise-grade blockchain solutions, he spent five years as a Bitcoin core developer, and 10 years at Red Hat. His work with the Linux kernel is now found in every Android phone and data center running Linux today.

Mr. Garzik serves on the board of Coin Center and the advisory boards of BitPay, Chain, Netki and WayPaver Labs. He was also recently appointed to the World Economic Forum Expert Network as an expert in Information Technology.

“I’m excited to bring Bloq’s expertise in developing blockchain software to The Linux Foundation,” Mr. Garzik said. “Projects like Hyperledger are emblematic of the future of open source: bringing together the efforts of developers to fundamentally alter global finance, digital identity and beyond.”

Nithya Ruff

Ms. Ruff first glimpsed the power of open source while at SGI in the 1990s and has been building bridges between hardware developers and the open source community ever since. She’s also held leadership positions at Wind River (an Intel Company), Synopsys, Avaya, Tripwire and Eastman Kodak.

Ms. Ruff has been a passionate advocate and a speaker for opening doors to new people in open source for many years. She has also been a promoter of valuing diverse ways of contributing to open source, such as in marketing, legal and community. She is co-leader of the Women of OpenStack group and a liaison into the OpenStack Foundation, as well as a sponsor of the Women in Open Source (WIOS) Lunch at Linux Foundation events and an active leader of WIOS advocating for reducing barriers for women and underrepresented minorities. In 2015, Ms. Ruff was invited by Red Hat to be on a diversity leaders’ panel at the “All Things Open” conference.

In recognition of her work in open source both on the business and community side, Ms. Ruff was named to CIO magazine’s most influential women in open source list. Ms Ruff was also the founding president of the Women’s Innovation Network at Western Digital, which is dedicated to the development of women’s highest potential in the workplace.

Ms. Ruff said: “I’ve been fortunate to work in an environment at Western Digital that values the contributions of every individual and that encourages diversity in open source communities. Through its training, events and now projects, The Linux Foundation is working to create an inclusive open source culture that stretches across organizations. I anticipate being able to help deepen that work as more industry professionals of all backgrounds get involved in open source.”

About The Linux Foundation

The Linux Foundation is the organization of choice for the world’s top developers and companies to build ecosystems that accelerate open technology development and commercial adoption. Together with the worldwide open source community, it is solving the hardest technology problems by creating the largest shared technology investment in history. Founded in 2000, The Linux Foundation today provides tools, training and events to scale any open source project, which together deliver an economic impact not achievable by any one company. More information can be found at

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