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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

ICANN appoints new CEO

The search for a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICAAN) would end on Friday June 26, as the body expects to be in a position to approve the selection of the new CEO at the Board Meeting in Sydney same day.

The position became vacant at the ICANN meeting in Mexico City in March 2009, when the current President and CEO, Dr Paul Twomey, announced that he would not seek renewal of his contract, which ends this year.

Since then the board has been engaged in the process of recruiting a new CEO for the global internet coordinating body.

The ICANN board hired Egon Zehnder International to conduct a world-wide search for the next CEO.

ITRealms Online recalls that Egon Zehnder received over 100 applications in response to the ICANN notice, reviewed approximately 1000 possible candidates on their databases, and from these lists approached over 300 potential candidates. There was significant diversity of gender, nationality, and country of residence amongst the candidates.

The board approved a Board Search Committee (BSC) comprised of Dennis Jennings (Chair, Board Governance Committee), Harald Alvestrand (Chair, Board IANA Committee), Rajasekhar Ramaraj (Chair, Board Finance Committee), Rita Rodin Johnston (Chair, Board Audit Committee), and Peter Dengate-Thrush (Chair, Board Compensation Committee and ICANN Board Chair).

The BSC reviewed the resumes of candidates recommended by Egon Zehnder and conducted interviews of a short list of eight (8) candidates via video conference, based on five broad areas of namely leadership, political, technical board and management skills respectively.

On the leadership, the committee looked at the demonstrated leadership skills, strategic thinking capability, demonstrated capacity to build trust and on political aspect, they examined diplomacy skills at an international level with heads of state among others, international expertise and experience - sensitivity to multiple cultures, work experience in several countries, Internet community credibility - sense of history of Internet – and an ability to listen to and appreciate different points of view, and to work with the diverse stakeholder groups within ICANN – GNSO, ccNSO, ASO, ALAC, GAC, IETF to name a few.

Also on the technical skills, the committee looked at the technical understanding based on the ability to listen and interact with the Internet technical community, presentation skills, making it possible to give interviews, speeches and so on as well as on highly complex topics such as International Domain Names (IDN) like the Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs), policy development skills - ability to motivate and support ICANN volunteer organisations and build consensus around a plan despite obstacles.

While on board skills, applicants were engaged on their experience on dealing with a large and diverse board,

Other areas were management skills, which encompassed their ability to manage staff, planning and budgeting, team building, and experience of managing a global not-for-profit, for-profit, or governmental organisation of approximately the present size of ICANN.

The BSC was particularly pleased to hear from Egon Zehnder that several candidates from within the ICANN community had applied for the role, and that these candidates had great strengths in several of the criteria considered above.

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