Jimmy Wales

Jimmy Wales

Co-founder - Wikipedia

Jimmy Wales is an American digital entrepreneur, best known for founding Wikipedia.org, the platform which has fundamentally changed information is consumed globally.


Wales was born in Huntsville, Alabama. He received his Bachelor’s degree in finance from Auburn University and his Master’s in finance from the University of Alabama. He was appointed a fellow of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School 2005- 2006, and he joined the Board of Directors of the for-profit organisation Creative Commons in 2006.


In January of 2001, Wales started Wikipedia.org, the free online encyclopedia created by the public. Today, Wikipedia and its sister projects are among the top-five most visited websites on the internet. In mid-2003, Wales set up the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organisation based in St. Petersburg, Florida, to support Wikipedia.org. The Foundation is now based in downtown San Francisco and boasts a staff of close to 200, focusing on fundraising, technology and programming of Wikipedia.


Wales now sits on the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation, and as its original innovator, continues to act as its key spokesperson. In 2004, Wales co-founded Wikia.com, which enables groups of people to share information and opinions that fall outside the scope of an encyclopedia. Wikia’s community-created wikis range from video games, movies, finance and environmental issues.


In 2007, the World Economic Forum named Wales one of its Young Global Leaders. The award acknowledges the top 250 young leaders for their professional accomplishments, their commitment to society, and their potential to contribute to shaping the future of the world.