ICANN appoints kiwi as Vint Cerf successor

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ICANN appoints kiwi as Vint Cerf successor

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has replaced its charismatic chairman of the board, Vint Cerf, with the unanimously elected Peter Dengate Thrush, a New Zealand lawyer.

"I am delighted that my colleagues have placed their confidence in me for this challenging and important role," Dengate Thrush said.

It’s the first time for ICANN, a nonprofit organisation that handles Internet management functions and coordinates domain names, that the chairman of the board has been drawn from someplace other than the US.

Dengate Thrush practices civil litigation, specialising in intellectual property, competition, and Internet law. He has been involved in ICANN since its inception. As a member of the Boston Working Group, he provided comment in 1998 on the early drafts of the ICANN bylaws, and he co-chaired one of the pre-formation meetings of the Intellectual Property Constituency in Wellington, New Zealand.

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 organisation strong and focused," Cerf said.

Dr Paul Twomey, ICANN’s President and CEO, also welcomed the appointment.

"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," Twomey said. “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 organisation 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.

"I think our biggest challenges are about serving the global audience. At a technical level there is the challenge of introducing international scripts at the top level for both gTLDS and ccTLDs, as well as new processes for introducing what may be a large number of generic top level domains."

The Board also unanimously re-elected Roberto Gaetano as Deputy Chair. Gaetano was selected by the 2006 Nominating Committee to serve as a Board Member.
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