Oracle's open source advocate

What is an open source evangelist, in a corporate setting?

What is an open source evangelist in a corporate setting? (NOTE: Oracle has informed us the picture we originally ran, of Omar Tazi, was not correct. The picture has been changed.) 

Omar Tazi

I decided to ask this question after learning that Oracle has named Omar Tazi (left) as its "open source evangelist," as reported by News.Com's Martin Lamonica. (Tazi spoke at Eclipseworld with his Oracle title last month.)

"Oracle is behind on the giving side" and "we are working on that" Tazi wrote LaMonica. That's news, and good news at that.

In most corporations, software evangelists advocate among users and developers on behalf of specific technologies. So Tazi's job is to advocate within Oracle on behalf of letting stuff go open source?

I don't think that's evangelism. Evangelism traditionally looks outward, not inward. Perhaps the word "minister" might be more appropriate in this case (but wait, that's already used by governments). How about "priest?" (Too Catholic.) Deacon? (Too Protestant.) Lama? (Too obscure.)

Tazi, on the surface, also doesn't appear to be the type for the saffron robes or the ecstatic look. He actually looks more like the guy you appoint to head the United Way drive. He joined Sourceforge just a year ago. The biography at his last job, at Orbeon, where he was President, which is still in Google's cache, lists a lot of work on Java and a past stint at Oracle, as well as Symantec and WebGain.

So I prefer the more neutral word of advocate for Mr. Tazi. And I will hold on the saffron robes until I hear his model for what Oracle means by open source.

Still, I'm very glad he's here. Welcome.