The Gnome Foundation is a group of individuals and companies which strive to further to goals of the Gnome Project. That of creating a standard desktop interface for Unix and Unix Like Operating Systems. The Gnome foundation is headed by a Board of Directors, members of which are elected by the Gnome community. This board is currently made up of Miguel de Icaza, Bart Decrem, Jim Gettys, John Heard, Raph Levien, Federico Mena Quintero, Dan Mueth, Havoc Pennington, Maciej Stachowiak, Owen Taylor and Daniel Veillard.
In addition to the board of directors the Gnome Advisory Board is made up of representatives from several companies who have an interest in the Gnome Project. This body has no decision making power, but does offer advice and opinions of the Gnome Project as it progresses. Helping guide the project toward meeting the needs of corporate and general user environments. The advisory board has attracted representatives from such companies as Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard, Red Hat Linux and IBM. Also on the advisory board is a member of the Free Software Foundation and a member of the Debian Project, which helps ensure that Gnome stays true to it's Free Software roots.
Already the foundation has done much to advance the use and acceptance of Free Software in the corporate marketplace, even to the point of Having Sun adopt Gnome as the standard desktop in future versions of Solaris. Some people have expressed the Foundation as "the selling out of Gnome", however the foundation charter clearly states that this is not the case. in fact the Gnome Foundation is one of the key instruments toward the progression of free software into holding a dominant position amongst computing platforms. However opponents of the Foundation usually fall into an elitist category, something that the foundation has openly opposed. The entire text of the gnome foundation charter can be found here:
More information (including some of what is in this writeup) about the gnome foundation is available at:
mailing lists that can be subscribed to. As a member of the mailing lists you can also add to the discussion and ensure that your voice is heard in the creation of gnome's future.
As an advocate of Free Software it's encouraging to see a body like this. They further the ultimate goals of free software through practical means making it easy and accessible by the masses and keeping it free and open to the people.