Summary of comments NomCom Review
- To: nomcom-review@xxxxxxxxx
- Subject: Summary of comments NomCom Review
- From: Donna Austin
- Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2008 17:07:17 -0700
Summary of public comments for:
REVIEW OF NOMINATING COMMITTEE
Comment period ended: 11 April 2008
Summary published: 14 April 2008
ICANN has been provided with the Interisle Consulting Group's review of ICANN's
Nominating Committee (NomCom). This report will be used to inform ICANN's
effort to develop detailed proposals for improving the way ICANN fills
leadership positions. ICANN's Board will work with the ICANN community to
consider this report, along with public input, in a collaborative process to
strengthen this element of ICANN. This independent review of the NomCom is the
second in a series of such reviews mandated in ICANN's bylaws as part of
ICANN's ongoing commitment to evolve and improve its operations.
There have been six respondents to the comment period covering a wide range of
issues associated with the review.
GS's submission specifically covered the issue of shortening the time between
nominee selection and the subsequent announcement of appointees with a view to
reducing the window during which leaks can occur and generally improving the
actual and perceived 'crispness' of the whole process. GS submission outlined
possible ways in which the time period could be shortened, focusing
specifically on the due diligence process.
SR's submission addressed five of the recommendations from the Interisle report.
III.1 Balance confidentiality and transparency-he considers confidentiality
should prevail and the need not be undermined by efforts to provide
III.2 Treat candidates more respectfully-agreed that this is very desirable.
Unsuccessful candidates should be advised at the earliest possible time.
III.3 Recruit and select based on requirements-considered this recommendation
could be unfair and does not understand why it is a specific recommendation if
the process is working fine.
III.11 Hold NomCom appointees accountable-agreed and considered there should be
a mechanism to assure that NomCom appointees performance is measured and their
performance evaluated, possibly including peer evaluations.
III.12 Transform the NomCom process-cautioned against implementation of
recommendations before carefully considering options, particularly the
recommendations advocating a 'pool of candidates' and 'lottery' selection of
SR also expressed reservations about the suggestion that the NomCom no longer
be involved in the selection of ALAC members.
EP provided a statistical analysis of the 47 persons interviewed as part of
AD, noting a bias as a NomCom appointee to the GNSO, considered it appropriate
for the NomCom to continue making selections to the GNSO and ccNSO Councils and
ALAC because even within a constituency structure it is critical to have some
participants whose goals are the general welfare of ICANN, including the
importance of the constituency/shareholder bottom up process. If the ALAC,
ccNSO or GNSO is responsible for selecting their own outside influences, these
influences will always tend toward similarity with the insiders.
AD does not support the idea of an Administrative Director on the basis that
while the intention is that it not be a staff position, she does consider that
the person would absorb ICANN corporate thinking patterns from permanent
association and identification with the staff. Also does not support the
notion of separating the Board into two roles.
AD endorses the idea of including next year's Chair as a member of the NomCom.
AD does not consider the lack of consistent thinking to be a detriment to the
work of the group, rather the goal of making everyone see the world in a
homogeneous way seems not only futile but counter productive.
AD raised concerns about the 'due diligence' background check requirements
noting that the checks resemble security checks more than they do fiduciary
background checks. Also noted there is a disparity between the checks required
for NomCom appointments and those Directors elected by constituencies. AD
recommended that ICANN's practices in doing background checks on all candidates
be the subject of a separate, transparent and independent study.
AD recommended, in the interests of transparency, that candidate names be
published with an invitation of confidential public comment on them. AD
heartily endorses the recommendation to treat candidates more respectfully.
TR considered that the NomCom performs a small miracle each year by achieving
agreement on appointees in a group that is as diverse as the ICANN community
overall. Great care should be taken to not endanger the committee's ability to
perform this miracle. A significant part of the secret sauce that makes this
success possible is the NomCom's secrecy and, yes, the unaccountabilty of
individual members. Changes to these points are extremely risky, and should
only be made with utmost care.
TR noted that he strongly agreed with a number of the recommendations, namely:
* The incoming chair should serve as chair-elect for one year before taking
* Devolve responsibility for the selection of At-Large Advisory Committee
members to the ALAC.
* Introduce a formal short-list process (with due care and attention to avoid
overconstraining the nominating committee)
* Seek better candidate information, from many sources.
TR strongly disagreed with a number of other findings and recommendations,
On specific recommendations:
* The associate chair's position should not be abolished; indeed, the report
suggests a need for a co-chair. That position's tasks cannot be performed by a
* Formal requirements processes are not obviously better than the (possibly
messy) social process that is used today, as the ultimate decision is a social
* The Nominating Committee should keep its responsibility for appointing some
individuals to SO Councils. The place to fix the issues with this approach is
in the SO Council reviews, not in the NomCom review.
* The recommendations on the enforcement of participation rules seem to mostly
address a non-issue; however, there's potential for damage by implementing
these recommendations. Don't.
* Explicit design of the process is valuable to some extent. However, that
process is not mechanic, so the benefit might turn out to be less than
expected. Quite possibly, it's not worth spending resources on this.
* Revoking NomCom appointees is a thorny issue; it is not evident why limited
terms (in combination with NomCom's ability not to reappoint incumbents) aren't
* The audit requirement seems inconsistent with real-life time lines for NomCom
work and succession.
* The fiduciary / policy board proposal oversteps the bounds of the Nominating
Committee review's mandate.
* The lottery process for selecting members of the Nominating Committee aims to
cure a disease for which no evidence beyond vague hearsay and innuendo is
PS comments related to the NomCom appointees to the GNSO Council and
recommended that the NomCom appointments from the GNSO be removed in favour of
staff finding adhoc experts to participate in GNSO policy working groups.
The summary of comments will be provided to the Board Governance Committee
NomCom Review Working Group comprising Alejandro Pisanty (Chair), Peter
Dengate-Thrush, Njeri Rionge, Mouhamet Diop, Jonathan Cohen and Steve Goldstein.
The Working Group will consider these comments in the context of their
consideration of the Interisle Report and comments received during the workshop
at the Los Angeles meeting in November 2007. The Working Group will prepare a
comprehensive proposal, including specific recommendations address all
improvements and changes deemed necessary for the effectiveness of the NomCom
and ICANN's process for selecting individuals to serve on the Board and in
other leadership positions.
A draft report will be provided to the BGC for consideration, prior to being
posted for public comment. The comments received will assist the Working Group
in refining the report to a final version.
AD Avri Doria
GS George Sadowsky
PS Philip Sheppard
EP Elisabeth Porteneuve
SR Sebastien Ricciardi
TR Thomas Roessler