As ICANN66 comes to an end, so does an era. Nearly a decade ago, the Nominating Committee appointed Cherine Chalaby to serve on the ICANN Board of Directors. Since that time, ICANN has changed tremendously, becoming a trusted partner in the Internet governance ecosystem and bringing new stakeholders into our global community. Throughout it all, Cherine has stood with all of us – the community, the Board, and the org – to demonstrate a quality that many understand, but only a few can demonstrate: leadership.
A leader is many things. A leader is someone who inspires us to come together and find creative solutions to unique challenges, listens to our needs, and understands our differences. They guide us, even when the path ahead is clouded and unclear. They show compassion and understanding even in the face of adversity. And above all, a leader has both a vision and the ability to motivate others to bring that vision to culmination. Cherine has done all of those things, and so much more.
We have all borne witness to Cherine’s passion and dedication. He understands the importance of seeing both the big picture and the impact that even the tiniest detail might have. When you speak with Cherine, you can rest assured that every word he speaks has been carefully considered. Few speak with the same level of conviction that he does.
Cherine’s vision has always been clear. He has worked tirelessly to evolve ICANN and its Board, to ensure that we have the tools necessary to serve the global Internet community in the best way possible. The Board stands ready to carry on his legacy of openness and transparency. As we work together to solve some of the most-pressing issues facing ICANN and the Domain Name System (DNS), we can all be inspired by his unwavering belief in the power of collaboration and the multistakeholder model.
The future ahead of us is bright, and we all have Cherine to thank for that. Throughout his time on the Board, he always stressed the need to look forward, so that ICANN is never caught unprepared. Today, we stand on solid ground, prepared for whatever lies ahead because of the foundation we have forged under his watch and direction.
On behalf of the ICANN community, Board, and org, we extend our most sincere and heartfelt appreciation to Cherine for his leadership, his dedication, and his friendship. We thank his family for sharing Cherine with us over the past nine years, and we wish him great success in his future endeavors.