ICANN ICANN Email List Archives

[At-Large Advisory Committee]

<<< Chronological Index >>>    <<< Thread Index >>>

[alac] Fwd: [cctld-discuss] paul twomey is next head of icann?

  • To: "Interim ALAC" <alac@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: [alac] Fwd: [cctld-discuss] paul twomey is next head of icann?
  • From: Erick Iriarte Ahon <faia@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2003 04:52:09 -0500



To: cctld-discuss@xxxxxxxxx
From: "joel disini" <jed@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [cctld-discuss] paul twomey is next head of icann?
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2003 17:26:31 +0800

[ http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A58264-2003Mar7.html
]Australian Top Pick For Global Internet Body (TechNews.com).url

Australian Top Pick For Global Internet Body

For the first time in its short history, the organization that manages the
Internet's global domain-name system may soon be headed by a non-U.S.
Paul Twomey, a former Australian government official, is the top pick to
become the next president of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names
and Numbers (ICANN), according to two sources familiar with the
decision-making process.
ICANN's role as administrator of the domain-name system (DNS) puts it at
the heart of many important decisions impacting users worldwide, with
authority to decide which Internet domains (such as dot-com, dot-org and
dot-net) exist, who can sell those addresses and how much it costs to buy
Although no deal has been reached, the sources said ICANN's board has
given an internal search committee the green light to negotiate an
employment contract with Twomey.
If he takes the job, the 41-year-old Sydney resident would succeed Stuart
Lynn to become the third person to lead ICANN in its five-year history.
Twomey declined to comment on whether he has been offered the ICANN post.
In February, ICANN announced that it had narrowed its executive search to
one candidate, but the organization has yet to reveal the candidate's
"As you know, we do not have an official ICANN announcement at this time
and the final negotiation process is still underway," spokeswoman Mary
Hewitt said.
Hewitt said ICANN anticipates making an announcement before its next board
meeting, which is scheduled to take place in Rio de Janeiro starting March
One source close to the process said that if ICANN fails to reach an
agreement with Twomey, the group would likely focus its attention on
another Australian, Chris Disspain, the chief executive officer of .au
Domain Administration Ltd., the private company that operates Australia's
sovereign ".au" Internet domain.
ICANN was formed in 1998 when the U.S. government formally ceded much of
its authority over the day-to-day management of the DNS. Its decisions
have been frequently criticized by foreign governments, public interest
groups and technologists, many of whom contend ICANN has failed to
sufficiently involve the Internet public in its decisions.
ICANN Chairman Vinton Cerf would not comment on whom the board was
considering for the presidency, saying only that Lynn's successor would
have to stay cool under fire.
"A thick skin helps," Cerf said, adding that an ICANN President can't
afford to "react with a flamethrower" to criticism.
In his two years as ICANN President, Lynn has publicly jousted with
several of ICANN's more vocal critics, as he defended himself against
charges that the policies he championed weakened ordinary Internet users'
voice within ICANN.
Twomey is familiar with the inner workings of ICANN, having served from
1999 to 2002 as chair of ICANN's Government Advisory Committee, which
serves as the principal emissary between world governments and the ICANN
Unlike Lynn and founding ICANN President Mike Roberts, who came to their
posts from backgrounds in technology and education, Twomey has had
extensive experience in government. He served as Australia's Special
Adviser for the Information Economy and as the Executive General Manager
of the Australian Trade Commission. From 1998 until 2000, he headed
Australia's National Office for the Information Economy, a cabinet-level
agency that had a say in all Australian technology-policy matters.
Twomey left his government post to form Argo Pacific, a consulting firm
and IT incubator based in Sydney. Twomey formed Argo Pacific in
association with Ira Magaziner, the former Clinton administration health
care and high-tech adviser credited helping create ICANN.
Marilyn Cade, director of Internet and e-commerce for AT&T's government
relations office, worked with Twomey in her role as an elected officer on
one of the internal committees that advise the ICANN board, and said he'd
make a good leader. "He's already demonstrated a strong commitment to
ICANN's success. He doesn't overreact. He doesn't take criticism
personally and that continues to be one of the important criteria for the
president of ICANN."
University of Miami law professor and longtime ICANN critic Michael
Froomkin said Twomey's governmental background could give him an advantage
to the extent it taught him political skills.
But Froomkin said Twomey's history with ICANN's Governmental Advisory
Committee could be a cause for concern. Unlike ICANN itself, the GAC met
in private often raising the hackles of ICANN critics, who accused the
organization of attempting to wield undue influence over the body.
"It meets in secret. The procedures by which countries pick their
representatives tend to be pretty opaque," Froomkin said.
A spokesman for the U.S. Commerce Department, which has veto power over
some of the decisions ICANN makes affecting the "root" servers at the
heart of the DNS, had no comment about the organization's hunt for a
ICANN is headquartered in Marina del Rey, Calif., and is governed by an
international board. Last year, the ICANN board approved a plan to
completely rework the group's governance structure. With that vote, the
group officially abandoned the system under which ordinary Internet users
were permitted to elect a portion of its ruling board. ICANN has yet to
complete that transition, and the new president will play a role in
overseeing the reforms.

cctld-discuss mailing list

<<< Chronological Index >>>    <<< Thread Index >>>

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Cookies Policy