Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

ICANN's Nomination Committee has begun their process to nominate more members to various boards, councils and committees of ICANN. This is the process by which I was elected to the board last year. Contrary to what some people may think, these positions should not be taken to try to gain some privilege or power. These are positions of responsibility and require a lot of work for no tangible return except possibly the opportunity to meet other very interesting people. (OK. They MIGHT give you a t-shirt.) I think about my role at ICANN like I would think about jury duty. We have all benefited from the proper functioning of the Internet for the last decade. If you've benefited in the past and care about the future of the Internet, it is a great opportunity to give back to the community by applying for one of these positions. We are at a crucial turning point in Internet governance. Governments and other organizations are seriously questioning the continuing ability for the Internet to be governed in a bottom up, consensus driven and open manner. I believe it is literally "all hands on deck" to keep things running and further improve the process that is currently in place. PLEASE. If you believe you can fulfill one of the critical roles or know someone who can, please contact ICANN and file a submission of interest.

ANNOUNCEMENT: ICANN Call for Submissions of Interest for Leadership
Positions is issued; submission deadline is 15 June 2005.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has posted a call for recommendations and statements of interest for leadership positions on its Board of Directors and its Supporting Organizations. Additional details, including the URL of the complete details and the application form, are contained below.

I encourage you all to read the material below and to consider who might be appropriate and strong candidates for such submissions, and to make recommendations of suitable individuals. Interested individuals may also submit a statement of interest directly.

If any of you have any questions, comments or recommendations that you would like to discuss with me directly please contact me directly.

Please feel free to redistribute this message to any and all relevant individuals and groups. Thank you.


Elliot Noss
Member, ICANN Nominating Committee


The ICANN Nominating Committee invites Recommendations and Statements of Interest from the community as it seeks qualified candidates for the following positions:

- two members of the ICANN Board of Directors;

- two members of the Council of the Generic Names Supporting
Organization (GNSO);

- one member of the Council of the Country-Code Names
Supporting Organization (ccNSO); and

- three members of the At Large Advisory Committee (ALAC).

Those individuals selected by the Nominating Committee will have a unique opportunity to work with accomplished colleagues from around the globe, address intriguing technical coordination problems and related policy development challenges with diverse functional, cultural, and geographic dimensions, and gain valuable insights and experience from working across these boundaries of knowledge, responsibility and perspective.

Additionally, those selected will gain the satisfaction of making a valuable public service contribution. Placing the broad public interest ahead of any particular interests, they will help ensure the stability and security of the Internet for critically important societal functions.

These voluntary positions are not remunerated, although direct expenses incurred in the course of duty may be reimbursed. These positions may involve significant international travel, including personal presence at periodic ICANN meetings, as well as regular telephone and Internet communications.

Candidates should be women and men with a high level of qualifications and experience with an international outlook including some familiarity with the Internet. They should be prepared to contribute to the collective decision-making process among ICANN's constituencies, supporting organizations and advisory bodies.

Selection criteria, eligibility factors, roles of each position, application procedure, and contacts are posted at:

Applications will be handled confidentially and should be received by 12:00 GMT on 15 June 2005 for full consideration. Selections will be made in October with service beginning in December 2005.

UPDATE: I just remembered it was Elliot Noss who first talked to me about the ICANN board at the Future in Review conference several years ago. I remember laughing at him at the time. ;-) Things have come full circle I guess.


I'm a little confused as to the actual skills they want from applicants... Could you expand on that perhaps?


Uhm, why don't they just re-enable public elections to fill those two vacant Board seats? Scared to get another Auerbach, uh?
The current board has no accountability, and it's still not clear what ICANN represents (apart from the need of filling a power vacuum). If this body really wants to move away from governments, it has to find some other way to justify its powers and be accountable; the argument that "ITU is worse" won't hold for long.
This would be yet another opportunity for ICANN to open up and sidestep governments, having a direct relationship with the internet citizenry; then it could stand against ITU and similar unaccountable government-emanated entities much better than now. Tell me Joi, why it won't happen?

Michael, I've asked Elliot to try to answer your question since he will have a better answer than me.

Giacomo, I have talked to a number of people about elections. One of the problems is that with a completely open election, it's very very difficult to make sure that it won't be captured by special interests. Unlike elections for a membership organization or a region, "everyone can vote" is very difficult to manage. I don't think the nomcom system is perfect either, but I haven't yet seen a plan for a general election that was convincing to me.

I agree, "ITU is worse" is not a very good defense, and it is not the only issue. It is one of the issues though. I think more generally, more and more people are becoming stakeholders in the Internet and a consensus based open governance model will become exceedingly important. ICANN has the right architecture and if we can make it work, I think it will represent the optimal solution.

Michael, I have had a few similar questions and am checking in with the rest of the committee as there was going to be an FAQ prepared.

The simplest answer would be to say people who combine an understanding of the Internet with a love for the Internet and bring credibility, intelligence and integrity to anything they do.

For me, Joi is the role model for what the nominating committee is looking for.

I would also note that this year there is probably more need to bring depth to the positions other than the board (gnso, alac).

The gnso is the policy-making committee for all gTLDs. Alac is the group that is intended to represent user interests. It is an interesting creature in that it seems that users are more interested in the issue of having a vote than in actually participating in the governing process. Alac needs credible people who will represent the interests of users and help to bring additional participants into the process. An uphill battle and a thankless one, but absolutely important and necessary.

More to follow.

Yes, I feel a little bit confuse, what the actual skills they want from applicants. I took a look at requirement, But seems do not find the relevant information so far. Please clarify as details.

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