Board Liaison compensation
I am a member of the ALAC and the ALAC Liaison to the GNSO, but I am making this comment purely in my own capacity.
I believe that, subject to a number of related considerations, it is reasonable to compensate Board members, including Liaisons, and the level of compensation suggested is reasonable.
I do note that in the name of simplification, the report suggests an increase for Board members who are not Board Committee Chairs by as much as 29%.
However, the related considerations mentioned above, in my mind, cannot be ignored.
- One of the reasons always sited for such compensation is that having no compensation limits the available candidates who will make themselves available for the ICANN Board. Given that there has never been an AC/SO seat vacant due to lack of candidates, there is often competition for such seats, and the Nominating Committee regularly says that it has had to make very difficult decisions in selecting Board members since there was a surplus of eminently qualified candidates, in the name of transparency and accountability, it would be good to see hard evidence of the rationale.
- The introduction of Board compensation widened the gulf between Board members and other volunteers within ICANN. The proposed change widens that gulf further. There is no question that many Board members work very hard on behalf of ICANN, and that dedication eats into their other professional activities and personal life. However, the same can be said for many ICANN volunteers. There are many in the community who work equally hard and dedicate the same kind of hours as Board members. Indeed, it has been claimed that many in the community put in far more time and effort than some Board members. I believe that this claim is accurate.
SO and AC Chairs have been identified as meeting the above levels of commitment, and indeed many or perhaps all do. However, there are others who do not receive the existing benefits given to Board members and AC/SO Chairs who also dedicate unending hours and effort to ICANN.
Board and now Liaison compensation without any new consideration of the contributions of others denigrates the efforts of the rest of the ICANN volunteers. Such acknowledgment need not be financial compensation - there are a host of other benefits that Board members get that other volunteers (and Chairs) would really appreciate.
Although I understand the difficulty of identifying those who put Herculean efforts into ICANN from those who are lower level contributors, we cannot continue to widen the gulf between the privileged few and the rest of volunteers and expect there not to be repercussions.