ICANN Announcements

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New Chairman of ICANN Elected Unanimously | Handover represents organization's move from foundation to steady performance

2 November 2007

LOS ANGELES : Peter Dengate Thrush, a New Zealand lawyer, has been elected unanimously as the new Chairman of the Board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

"I am delighted that my colleagues have placed their confidence in me for this challenging and important role," Dengate Thrush said.

Peter practices civil litigation, specializing in intellectual property, competition, and Internet law. He has been involved in ICANN since its inception. As a member of the Boston Working Group, he provided comment in 1998 on the early drafts of the ICANN bylaws, and he co-chaired one of the pre-formation meetings of the Intellectual Property Constituency in Wellington, New Zealand.

He has been President of InternetNZ, a leader of the country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) community in the formation of the ccNSO, and was selected as a board member after an international vote of ccTLD managers in the ccNSO in December 2004. He is currently on the President’s Strategy, Board Finance, Board Governance, and Executive committees.

Vint Cerf hands over to Peter Dengate-Thrush
New chair Peter Dengate-Thrush with vice-chair Roberto Gaetano

Retiring Chair Dr Vint Cerf sees Dengate Thrush’s appointment as a clear signal that ICANN has matured.

"ICANN has moved from a foundation state to a steady state. Peter understands that and the Board’s role and is a great choice to keep the organization strong and focused," Dr Cerf said.

Dr Paul Twomey, ICANN’s President and CEO, also welcomed the appointment.

"This is great news. Peter’s long involvement in ICANN since before its incorporation means he knows the history as well as the current players and issues," Dr Twomey said. "His legal training gives him a strong understanding of contracts as a key mechanism in ICANN, and his networks within industry, particularly the ccTLD community helps ICANN with its global responsibilities."

Speaking after the vote, Dengate Thrush gave some perspectives on the organization and its future.

"ICANN is a unique model supporting a global community. The model works because it stands for one global Internet that is coordinated not controlled," Dengate Thrush said.

"After nine years ICANN is well placed to face the challenges of the future. The fact that it is so well positioned is a tribute to Vint and of course the staff led by Paul Twomey who have taken us out of foundation mode to become the right organization to meet future challenges," Dengate Thrush added.

"I think our biggest challenges are about serving the global audience. At a technical level there is the challenge of introducing international scripts at the top level for both gTLDS and ccTLDs, as well as new processes for introducing what may be a large number of generic top level domains," Dengate Thrush said.

"At the organizational level we need to expand our global activity and constantly increase international involvement, as well work on the completion of the Joint Project Agreement with the United States Government," Dengate Thrush added.

The Board also unanimously re-elected Roberto Gaetano as Deputy Chair. Gaetano was selected by the 2006 Nominating Committee to serve as a Board Member

"I look forward to supporting the Board and the community in this exciting period for ICANN," Gaetano said. "The Internet is constantly evolving and that means ICANN’s responsibility to ensure one stable foundation is all the more important."

Gaetano has a degree in Mathematics and an MBA. He has more than 30 years of experience in telecommunications and information technology, acquired working for different organizations in different countries and works for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) . He is fluent in five languages.

He has been an active participant in the Internet and the ICANN policy-making process since 1997. As a representative of ETSI (European Telecommunication Standards Institute), he played important roles in the formation of CORE (Council of Internet Registrars), the policy discussions around the U.S. Government's White Paper.

About ICANN:

ICANN is responsible for the global coordination of the Internet's system of unique identifiers like domain names (like .org, .museum and country codes like .uk) and the addresses used in a variety of Internet protocols that help computers reach each other over the Internet. Careful management of these resources is vital to the Internet's operation, so ICANN's global stakeholders meet regularly to develop policies that ensure the Internet's ongoing security and stability. ICANN is an internationally organized, public benefit non-profit company. For more information please visit: www.icann.org.

Media Contacts:

Jason Keenan
Media Adviser, ICANN (USA)
Ph: +1 310 382 4004
E: jason.keenan@icann.org

International: Andrew Robertson
Edelman (London)
Ph: +44 7921 588 770
E: andrew.robertson@edelman.com