Dr. Dennis Jennings has a wide and varied career.
It has spanned venture capital, where he is the co-founder of 4th Level Ventures (2002 to present) - an Irish Venture Capital company whose primary objective is to invest in companies commercialising the business opportunities that arise from university research in Ireland (www.4lv.ie). He is also an "Angel" investor, investing in early stage technology companies.
In terms of board membership, he is currently chairman and/or board member of a small number of small technology companies, and has a wide experience of the issues relating to the start-up, funding, supervision and governance, and survival of early stage technology companies.
In regard to university/research IT management, Dr Jennings was the director of University College Dublin (UCD — www.ucd.ie) Computing Services from 1977 to 1999, where he was responsible for the university IT infrastructure and a staff of over 90 people. He was interim President of the Consortium for Scientific Computing at the John von Neumann Centre (JvNC) in Princeton, New Jersey, responsible for the start-up of the supercomputer centre (1986, on leave from UCD). He is currently Chairman of the Oversight Board of the Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC â€“ www.ichec.ie).
He is also an Internet pioneer, having been responsible for the decisions that created NSFNET (1985/86) - the network that became the Internet - while working for the US Federal Government (on leave from UCD). He was actively involved in the start-up of research networks in the Europe (EARN - President; Ebone - Board member) and Ireland (HEAnet - initial proposal and later Board member. www.heanet.ie). He chaired the Board and General Assembly of the Council for European Top level domain Registries (CENTR) from 1999 to early 2001 - www.centr.org - and was actively involved in the start-up of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) - www.icann.org - during that period.
Dr Jennings holds a 1st Class honours physics BSc degree from University College Dublin (1967), and a PhD degree obtained for a search for high-energy gamma radiation from pulsars (neutron stars) (1972). He is an opera and classical music enthusiast, and is the chairman of the UCD Choral Scholars Board of Management.
Dennis Jennings was selected for the ICANN Board by the Nominating Committee. His current term, which started after the 2007 annual meeting, will end after the conclusion of ICANN's annual meeting in 2010.
At the organizational meeting following the Annual General Meeting on 30 October 2009, Dennis was elected Vice-Chair of the ICANN Board.