ICANN Announcements

Read ICANN Announcements to stay informed of the latest policymaking activities, regional events, and more.

ICANN CEO Search Committee Announces CEO Candidate Criteria: Deadline for Application Submission is 20 September 2015

20 July 2015

In addition to the U.N. six languages, this content is also available in

Following the announcement by ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé, who has been CEO since 2012, that he will be departing ICANN after the ICANN Public Meeting in March 2016, the ICANN Board of Directors established a search committee to plan and execute a strategy to identify CEO candidates for submission to the Board. The committee was established at the Board's 21 June 2015 meeting, and its membership consists of George Sadowsky (chair), Rinalia Abdul Rahim, Cherine Chalaby, Steve Crocker, Chris Disspain, Markus Kummer, Ram Mohan and Ray Plzak.

All candidate inquiries must be directed to Odgers Berndtson (contact email below).

ICANN: The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers

ICANN's global public interest mission is to promote the stability and security of the global Internet through coordination of the unique identifiers that comprise its naming and addressing systems - numbers, names, and protocol parameters.

ICANN's mission touches all countries and it fulfills it by engaging with a large global community of actively participating stakeholders representing the domain name industry, governments, businesses, academia, NGOs and individuals, dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. ICANN has three meetings a year that gather about 1,500 participants each.

ICANN was formed in 1998 as a Californian public benefit not-for-profit corporation. ICANN's current baseline operating expense budget (excluding initiatives) is about US$113 million, mostly derived from fees levied on domain name registrations.

The past three years have been key in establishing ICANN as a global organization. In addition to the hub office in Los Angeles, USA, ICANN has hub offices in Istanbul, Turkey, and Singapore, and engagement offices in Beijing, Brussels, Geneva, Montevideo, Seoul and Washington. The organization currently has 325 staff spread across 30 countries.

In addition to the globalization of the organization, the new generic Top-Level Domain (gTLDs) Program was developed, which includes gTLDs in both Latin and non-Latin scripts such as Arabic, Chinese, and Cyrillic that allow people to use a domain name in their native language or script. More than 1,300 new gTLDs are expected to be delegated in total.

ICANN's multistakeholder model is essential to the organization's ability to serve the global public interest and to enhance its accountability and the trust in its work. The organization is currently undergoing substantial global community-led efforts to strengthen this model.

The ICANN website (http://www.icann.org) provides extensive information about the organization and the way it works.

Some key characteristics of ICANN's are:

ICANN as an Organization

  • ICANN is a unique not-for-profit organization that comprises and serves a broad, global group of stakeholders from across all sectors that work to develop its policies through an inclusive "bottom-up" process
  • Transparency, inclusion, and participation form the basis of its conduct of business and its accountability towards stakeholders and the larger public
  • ICANN's open and transparent policy development mechanisms promote well-informed decisions based on advice from a diversity of views. ICANN staff supports policy development processes by the community, the Board's steering/validation role, and executes the resulting policies
  • There is a delicate balance of distributed/shared responsibilities between the ICANN staff led by the CEO, the global volunteer community, the Board of Directors and the stakeholder constituencies

ICANN within the Internet Governance Ecosystem

  • ICANN is part of a broader, distributed Internet governance ecosystem with other major players including key partners in the technical community. These actors work together to preserve one single, interoperable and permissionless Internet
  • ICANN works closely with related technical organizations, and each performs their technical functions within their own well defined and limited remit.
  • ICANN also works with a growing number of non-technical players in the Internet governance ecosystem (including IGOs, NGOs, foundations, governments, associations, as well as private organizations) and participates within its specific remit and responsibilities for the Internet's system of unique identifiers

Candidate Profile

ICANN requires a public interest-minded leader with a combination of business, diplomatic and organizational skills to assume the leadership of a successful multi-stakeholder organization. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate to the highest degree possible the following experience and skills. These have been grouped in no particular order under several headings that embody the multi-faceted nature of the role:

ICANN seeks candidates motivated to increase the effectiveness of the global Internet for the benefit of all.

Management and Operational Experience

  • Solid record of achievement in respected public, corporate, academic service, NGOs, foundations, and/or other public service institutions
  • Proven record of strengthening, fostering and consolidating operational excellence
  • Previous experience working with and/or on Boards of non-profit and/or profit organizations
  • Ability to foster consensus-building
  • Significant experience of, and achievements in, a multi-stakeholder environment, and an understanding of policy development processes.
  • Experience in fostering diversity
  • Strong operational experience running an established organization of substantial size, with ultimate responsibility for all key functions
  • Success in managing the continued evolution of a dynamic organization, with complex legal issues and significant contractual relationships
  • Experience in resource allocation and the management of competing priorities
  • Experience in establishing, strengthening and consolidating business systems and processes
  • Good negotiator who would be able to represent ICANN and present it well in potentially adversarial environments

Global Experience

  • Understanding of relevant political and policy processes, with awareness of current Internet issues around the world
  • Global exposure: experience working in leadership roles in different countries and with different cultures
  • Experienced leadership of dispersed international teams of significant size and active and diverse stakeholders
  • Experience managing complex and global process work flows and an ability to anticipate issues and advance pre-emptive action
  • Strong diplomatic skills, ability to balance between all facets of a complex ecosystem, including technical, business, and political aspect
  • Significant experience interacting and engaging with media
  • Close familiarity with the ways in which governments, the Internet technical community, civil society, business sector interests and regulatory authorities interact

Leadership Style

  • Intellectually engaging, contributes to 'thought leadership,' helps to define vision and strategy, and leverages the organization's competencies
  • Appreciates the aspects of multilingualism and how this affects many players in the developed and the developing world
  • Appreciates and handles the geopolitical currents and pressures that will affect the future of a global organization
  • Understands and demonstrates empathy, and instills that quality throughout the organization as a core part of the values and mode of operation.
  • Thrives on motivating a high level team of functioning specialists
  • A consensus builder, catalyst and motivator, who is practiced at, and enjoys, working in partnership and persuading others
  • Embodies and practices the inclusive and empowering multistakeholder approach and encourages significant volunteer involvement

Personal Characteristics

  • Aligns with ICANN's values: integrity, trust, humility, technical excellence, and public service
  • Multicultural with language skills, practiced communicator and public speaker
  • Strong belief in the value of the Internet: conscious of its role and complexity, fully embraces ICANN's mission, its accountability requirements, and its bottom-up process
  • Relishes work within a community empowered organization, while taking into account the different interests of the different communities in a balanced and fair way
  • Excellent interpersonal skills at all levels
  • Committed to strengthening diversity
  • Ability to generate trust with all stakeholders and respect their input
  • Adept at rapid assimilation and adjustment to new environments

Understanding of Internet technology and the Domain Name Industry

  • Able to work within ICANN's technical remit in a rapidly evolving Internet governance ecosystem, ensuring the evolution of the organization within such a framework
  • Familiarity with /understanding of Internet technologies and, in particular, an understanding of the global Internet's systems of unique identifiers, including domain names, protocol parameters and addresses, and the functioning of domain name registries and registrars
  • Understanding of the domain name industry and its market structure and dynamics, including issues of competition, privacy, intellectual property, consumer protection and branding
  • Understanding of Internet addressing challenges and opportunities, including deployment of IPv6, exhaustion of IPv4, and the implications of IPv4 scarcity on the fundamental Internet architecture

Understanding of the Internet Governance Ecosystem

  • Understand the institutional environment of the Internet and its administrative governance systems, such as RIRs, IETF, IAB, ISOC, W3C, and other organizations
  • Awareness of the international dimensions, and the ability to interact with government and intergovernmental stakeholders
  • Knowledge of the UN system and other international organizations and processes

Candidates may not match every single criterion listed above, but those who reach the final shortlist will satisfy many of them.

The candidate will be expected to work at ICANN's United States headquarters in Los Angeles, California. Substantial travel will be required.


Applicants should submit a current curriculum vitae and a cover letter specifically linking their background and abilities to the candidate profile above. Applications should be submitted by e-mail to:


Attachments should be submitted in RTF, Word, or PDF format.

The period for acceptance of applications closes on 20 September 2015.

ICANN is an equal opportunity employer. Employment selection and related decisions are made without regard to sex, race, age, disability, religion, national origin, color or any other protected class.

ICANN values applications from candidates with demonstrated skills in languages in addition to proficient written and spoken English.

Odgers Berndtson Assignment Team
Bernard Tobin, Senior Partner, bernard.tobin@odgersberndtson.com
David Webber, Partner, david.webber@odgersberndtson.com