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Cartagena Fellowship Program Reached Successful Conclusion

20 December 2010

The 39th ICANN International meeting marked the 11th round of the ICANN Fellowship Program. Chosen from a field of 96 applicants, there were 21 fellows from 15 countries participating in the Cartagena meeting last week. These individuals represented various sectors of the ICANN community including 2 from the ccTLD community, 8 from government (including 1 GAC member), 6 from civil society, 3 from academia and 2 from the private sector.

This round included 11 first time ICANN meeting participants and 3 individuals who had previously attended ICANN meetings, but were first time fellows. The feedback from the latter was that the fellowship experience was quite different from "going it alone" and provided insight into the community that they had not been privy to while attending the meetings without this type of support.

Seven of the fellows were alumni from at least one of the past 10 programs, who as past recipients were required to act as mentors to new fellows both prior to and during the meeting week, as well as themselves be mentored by selected senior community members in order to further their own growth and knowledge of the ICANN work.

All of the ICANN regions were represented, though the emphasis for Cartagena was on the Latin America region as required by the Fellowship program selection criteria. Fellows hailed from 14 countries: Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Haiti, Jordan, Mongolia, Nigeria, Paraguay, Peru, Romania, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay.

A note of thanks to all of those community members who provided support to the program and its candidates while in Cartagena, furthering the experience beyond the fellowship "classroom" and community sessions, to ensure that these new voices in our community understand the importance of their role in ICANN's future. Some of those individuals were past fellows and current working members of the community such as Victor Manuel Martinez Vanegas (GAC), Fahd Batayneh (ccNSO), Fouad Bajwa (ALAC), and Olga Cavalli (Vice Chair, gNSO). Other contributors are from various constituencies: Jayantha Fernando (GAC), Sebastian Bachollet (ALAC now appointed Board member), Dr. Olivier Crepin-Leblond (Chair, ALAC), Heather Dryden (Chair. GAC), Chris Disspain (Chair ccNSO), Cheryl Langdon-Orr (Vice Chair ALAC), Adam Peake (Chair NomCom), Marilyn Cade (gNSO/Business Constituency), Debbie Hughes (Non Commercial Stakeholder Group Board Appointee to the GNSO Council), Andrew Mack (JAS WG), as well as ICANN staff including Mandy Carver (Deputy General Mgr. Global Partnerships), Save Vocea and Shernon Osepa (Regional Mgrs, Global Partnerships), Elise Gerich (VP IANA), Naela Saras, (IANA), and Karla Valente (Director and member of JAS WG).

We look forward to seeing many of these fellowship names and faces at future ICANN meetings, contributing to decision-making processes, working as members of the supporting organizations, advisory committees, and working groups, making their voices heard in public comment and forum, and even perhaps as members of the ICANN Board.

To see the final participants' names and photo, and to learn more about the Fellowships Program, please visit http://www.icann.org/en/fellowships/.

Coming Up: The successful candidates who have been selected to participate in ICANN 40 in San Francisco, California will be announced on the ICANN home page 23 December. The next opportunity to apply online for possible selection to attend ICANN 41 in Amman, Jordan will start 17 January 2011, and the application round will remain open for 6 weeks following that announcement on the ICANN home page.