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Leadership Transition – Thank You to Catherine Stihler

Today Creative Commons CEO Catherine Stihler is announcing the conclusion of her time leading the organization. We are grateful to Catherine for over three years of leadership at CC. 

During her tenure as CEO, Catherine demonstrated tremendous energy. Joining as a leader in August 2020, in the middle of a global pandemic, meant navigating challenging times. Like many nonprofits during that time, the organization struggled financially. Under Catherine’s leadership the organization recovered from that. A successful 20th Anniversary Campaign that concluded in December 2022 led to more predictability for some of CC’s core program areas, due to multi-year funding commitments.

Organizational highlights from Catherine’s tenure at CC include a year-long campaign of thought leadership and community consultation on AI & the commons, which culminated in the 2023 CC Global Summit. This was CC’s first in-person community gathering since 2019. We also launched the Open Climate Campaign in partnership with SPARC and EIFL, and the organization has invested deeply in the Open Culture sector. Both initiatives are the result of generous funding from Arcadia. These are achievements that we can all be proud of.

The Creative Commons Board of Directors remains as committed as ever to CC’s mission of empowering individuals and communities around the world by equipping them with technical, legal, and policy solutions to enable sharing of knowledge and culture in the public interest.

On behalf of the board, I want to express our thanks for Catherine’s service to the organization. During this transition period, Anna Tumadóttir will serve as Interim CEO. As we look to the future, we are excited to come together with CC’s staff, global network, and broader community, to interrogate what our role is in protecting the commons in a very different world than the one we lived in 20+ years ago, when the CC licenses first came into existence.

New challenges lie ahead, and we are grateful to have the privilege of working on public interest solutions together with our dedicated staff and community.


Delia Browne, Chair of the Creative Commons Board of Directors

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