Fadi Chehadé, CEO of the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), compares ICANN’s reorganization efforts to a climber at basecamp: ICANN has climbed a pretty major hill, is now taking a breather, but has a ways to go towards its peak of better professional and operational management.
That “breather” of course is hardly a breather since ICANN continues its gTLD policy work. At a U.S. Chamber of Commerce meeting on June 13, Mr. Chehadé touched on several upcoming milestones of the New gTLD Program:
- The New gTLD Program Committee (NGCP) will wrap up its work on the GAC Communiqué by ICANN’s 47th Public Meeting in Durban, South Africa
- The first new gTLD recommended for delegation (at which point it will be sent to the team at the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) for technical preparation) will likely come in late September or early October
Mr. Chehadé expressed optimism about the reorganization of ICANN (the organization has been “decalcified,” he said) and New gTLD Program (it’s taking “carefully agile” steps forward). He emphasized ICANN’s attempts to “change its DNA” by becoming truly international and spoke of his internationalizing efforts as taking the Los Angeles headquarters “and spreading it like butter” in Istanbul and Singapore – meaning those cities will not be home to mere engagement centers but will be home to offices that duplicate the systems in the Los Angeles office. Cheadé said he would split his year evenly between Los Angeles, Istanbul, and Singapore, and he hopes each new ICANN office will have 50-60 individuals on staff.
And what of the climbing ahead? One hill to climb will be clarifying the distinction between policy matters and implementation matters to help frame future discussions of Internet governance. The ICANN community will have to work to define that distinction, Mr. Chehadé said. Fortunately, he believes the community environment is more cooperative than the combative one he encountered when he joined ICANN as CEO.
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