The first ICANN ombudsman was Dr Frank Fowlie.
A native of Canada, Dr. Fowlie brought 20 years of experience to the position as an Ombudsman and conflict resolution specialist, having operated in various agencies of the Canadian government and the United Nations. Dr Fowlie established the office and set up the operating procedures, the case management system and worked with the board to establish the framework under which the ombudsman now operates. He was a pioneer in many ways because of the ICANN ombudsman role is unique. It is not an organisational ombudsman role, but an executive ombudsman role closer to that of a classical ombudsman. He stamped his mark on the office and his study of the operation of the ICANN ombudsman office earned him a doctorate with a dissertation on the evaluation of Ombudsman programs at La Trobe University Melbourne. Dr Fowlie concluded his term of office in 2011.
Chris LaHatte was appointed as the second ombudsman In July 2011.
Chris has been a lawyer for more than 34 years. He qualified at the University of Auckland, and was admitted to the Bar in 1978. He later obtained a Masters degree in Dispute Resolution from Massey University. He has practiced as a barrister in New Zealand and other countries.
Chris has a diverse legal background and has appeared in all levels of courts and tribunals in New Zealand. He has had cases reported in official law reports and published many articles in legal journals. He has also acted as a lawyer for clients in many mediations, and acted as a mediator.
As well as internet issues, he has a particular interest in construction and building law and is a member of the panel of Construction Adjudicators and he is also on the Panel of Mediators held by the Arbitrators and Mediators Institute of New Zealand. He is a Fellow of the Institute in Mediation and Arbitration. Chris has presented seminars for the New Zealand and Auckland Law Societies, AMINZ and for publishers such as LexisNexis. He is an editor for Brookers District Court Procedure in New Zealand. Chris is also a Costs Assessor and Mediator for the New Zealand Law Society.
Chris is a member of the International Ombudsman Association and an individual member of the International Ombudsman Institute. He has published papers on Ombudsman issues in New Zealand Lawyer and in the International Ombudsman Association Journal.