William John Sullivan


William John Sullivan (more commonly known as John Sullivan;[2] born December 6, 1976) is a software freedom activist, hacker, and writer. John was formerly executive director[3][4] of the Free Software Foundation (FSF), where he has worked since early 2003. He is also a speaker and webmaster for the GNU Project. He also maintains the Plannermode and delicious-el packages for the GNU Emacs text editor.

John Sullivan
Sullivan at Free Software Foundation event, June 2006.
Born (1976-12-06) December 6, 1976 (age 45)
EmployerFree Software Foundation[1]


Active in both the free software and free culture communities, Sullivan has a BA in philosophy from Michigan State University and an MFA in Writing and Poetics. In college, Sullivan was a successful policy debater, reaching finals of CEDA Nationals and the semifinals of the National Debate Tournament.[5]

Until 2007, John was the main contact behind the Defective by Design, BadVista and Play Ogg campaigns. He also served as the chief-webmaster for the GNU Project, until July 2006.[6]

He served as Executive Director of the Free Software Foundation from 2011 to 2022.

As a speaker for the GNU ProjectEdit

Matthew Garrett and John Sullivan at LibrePlanet 2016

John has delivered speeches on the following topics,[7] in English:


  1. ^ Contacting the Free Software Foundation
  2. ^ John Sullivan's home page
  3. ^ FSF announces new executive director
  4. ^ Free Software Foundation announces new executive director, Zoë Kooyman
  5. ^ "NDT Results 1997-2005" (PDF). American Forensic Association. Retrieved 9 March 2011.
  6. ^ GNU's Webmasters - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation (FSF)
  7. ^ GNU and Free Software Speakers - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation (FSF)
  8. ^ Confusing Words and Phrases that are Worth Avoiding - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation (FSF)
  9. ^ High Priority Free Software Projects - Free Software Foundation Archived 2007-08-10 at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit

  • Personal homepage