Fedora gets new leader

New Fedora leader, Jared Smith, hopes to bring higher visibility to the Linux distribution

The Fedora Project will be getting a new leader next month, as Jared Smith takes over the helm from current head Paul Frields, Frields announced Tuesday on the Fedora mailing list.

Smith, who will become a Red Hat employee next month, has participated in the Fedora community since 2007, primarily devoting time to the project's infrastructure and documentation teams. He also helped build a free Voice Over IP-based audio conference system for Fedora developers, called Fedora Talk, and participated in Fedora-themed conferences.

Before signing on to Red Hat, Smith worked as community relations manager for Digium, the commercial sponsor of the open source Asterisk telephone private branch exchange software. He also worked as a network operations manager for Web analytics company Omniture, overseeing more than 6,500 Linux servers.

According to Frields, the Fedora Board of managers oversaw the selection process for a new leader, which is a Red Hat-paid full-time position.

"At every juncture during that process, the panels were focused on the needs of the Fedora Project, to ensure the next [Fedora Project Leader] would be a good listener, speaker, and writer; thoughtfully consider solutions to difficult problems; and most importantly, lead effectively," he wrote.

Frields, himself a founding member of the Fedora Board, will continue to work at Red Hat, though also plans to contribute to Fedora as well.

Sponsored by Red Hat, Fedora is an open source Linux-based OS. Many of the new features and applications tested on Fedora later go on to be implemented in Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The latest version of Fedora, Fedora 13, was released in May.

Smith will make his first official appearance at the Fedora Users and Developers Conference (FUDCon), to be held in Santiago, Chile, the week of July 15.

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