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A Message from Buenos Aires

20 June 2015
By Fadi Chehadé

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As you know, I have made the difficult decision to leave ICANN in March of 2016. While it was not an easy decision, it was the right one. In keeping with our shared commitment to clarity and transparency, I would like to take a moment to share some thoughts behind my decision and reassure you of my dedication on the road ahead.

As a community, we are on the verge of accomplishing something truly remarkable. We made a commitment to transition ICANN to a global, independent, and accountable institution and to deliver a proposal to the U.S. government on how to do it. We faced extraordinary skepticism, pressure and criticism at the outset, but we as a community rose above it, joined together and exceeded all expectations. The ICANN community will now fulfill that promise and present a comprehensive framework that will establish ICANN as an independent and reliable global organization that coordinates the unique identifiers for one Internet. Seventeen years on, we will continue to fulfill our duty based on the same common principles and mutual commitments that have steadily interconnected us with our technical community partners - the IETF, the Regional Internet Registries, and Top Level Domain Operators around the world.

One of the reasons we are in a position to make this transition is because ICANN itself has also undergone an extraordinary professional transformation to become a more stable, professional and global organization.

Now more than 300 people strong, with full gender and cultural diversity, ICANN has operational hubs in Istanbul, Singapore and Los Angeles and staff working across 28 locations that regularly engage with governments, companies, end users and civil society. We have improved accountability, transparency and technical competence, adding systems and processes that ensure a reliable infrastructure. Perhaps most importantly, we have exceptional leadership from a community of people dedicated to ensuring the success of ICANN and global multi-stakeholder collaboration. ICANN is well beyond one person or one executive. It now rests on the strength and integrity of the community itself and the institution that supports it.

After three years of intense work and extensive time away from my family, it is time to make way for new leadership. Leadership that can take ICANN into this historic future. I remain profoundly committed to the operational excellence of ICANN and all for which it stands, culminating in our successful transition to a truly global, independent, and accountable institution.

On the transition, let's continue steadily - stakeholders, board, and staff in lockstep - to review, complete and deliver our community's proposal to the U.S. Government around ICANN's meeting in Dublin this October; then let's work diligently and respectfully with members of the U.S. government to secure NTIA's review and sign-off; and from now until that sign-off, let's commit ourselves to the careful and deliberate operationalization of the community's proposals. The road towards the final sunset of the U.S. stewardship of ICANN is clear and I know each of you will join me in remaining focused on the tasks that lie ahead of us in the coming months.

I am confident that our community's ethos and unequalled commitment will continue to guide us, one step at a time, without missing a beat, to carry on together on this remarkable mission. I look forward to a productive time together with many of you in Buenos Aires for the next week.



Fadi Chehadé

Former President & CEO