Wednesday, November 07, 2007

ICANN gets new chairman

A New Zealander lawyer, Mr. Peter Dengate Thrush, has emerged unanimously, the new chairman, board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

His election took place at the just concluded 30th international session of ICANN held in Los Angeles, United States.

Mr. Thrush took over from Dr. Vint Cerf, renowned for his contributions towards the evolution of the Internet.

Commenting after his election, Mr. Thrush said he was delighted that his colleagues find confidence in him to preside over the board.

“I am delighted that my colleagues have placed their confidence in me for this challenging and important role,” excited Mr. Thrush declared.

Confirming this development, a press statement endorsed by ICANN media advisor, Jason Keenan, informed that Mr. Thrush practices civil litigation, specializing in intellectual property, competition, and Internet law.

Mr. Thrush is reported to have been involved in ICANN since its inception and as a member of the Boston Working Group, he provided comment in 1998 on the early drafts of the ICANN bylaws, and co-chaired one of the pre-formation meetings of the Intellectual Property Constituency in Wellington, New Zealand.

He has been President of InternetNZ, a leader of the country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) community in the formation of the Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO), and was selected as a board member after an international vote of ccTLD managers in the ccNSO in December 2004.

He is currently on the President’s Strategy, Board Finance, Board Governance, and Executive committees.

Speaking at the ceremony, retiring chairman, Dr. Vint Cerf, sees Dengate Thrush’s appointment as a clear signal that ICANN has matured.

“ICANN has moved from a foundation state to a steady state. Peter understands that and the Board’s role and is a great choice to keep the organization strong and focused,” Dr Cerf said.

For the ICANN President, Dr. Paul Twomey, it’s a welcomed development.

“This is great news. Peter’s long involvement in ICANN since before its incorporation means he knows the history as well as the current players and issues,” Dr Twomey said, adding that his legal training gives him a strong understanding of contracts as a key mechanism in ICANN, and his networks within industry, particularly the ccTLD community helps ICANN with its global responsibilities.”

Speaking after the vote, Dengate Thrush gave some perspectives on the organization and its future.

“ICANN is a unique model supporting a global community. The model works because it stands for one global Internet that is coordinated not controlled,” Dengate Thrush said.

“After nine years ICANN is well placed to face the challenges of the future. The fact that it is so well positioned is a tribute to Vint and of course the staff led by Paul Twomey who have taken us out of foundation mode to become the right organization to meet future challenges,” Dengate Thrush asserted.

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