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Chair’s Blog: Preview of the October Board Workshop and ICANN78

17 October 2023

The upcoming ICANN78 Annual General Meeting marks the end of our program year at ICANN. It is a time for us to take stock of all that we have accomplished over the past year, and to collectively plan for the year ahead. It is also a time of transition, with new people stepping into leadership roles across the ICANN community. And, at the end of this meeting, two new members of the ICANN Board will take their seats.

At this meeting, ICANN will be celebrating its 25th anniversary, but that is not the only milestone we are recognizing this week. The At-Large Advisory Committee, Country Code Names Supporting Organization, and Generic Names Supporting Organization are all celebrating their 20th anniversaries at ICANN78. And, 1 October marked seven years since the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority stewardship transition formalized in 2016.

Before the meeting, the Board will hold a three-day workshop in Hamburg, Germany, to prepare for the meeting and advance our work. Here is an overview of the agenda for the workshop, taking place 20–22 October:

Global Public Interest Framework: The ICANN Board developed the Global Public Interest Framework to evaluate a given issue's public interest considerations. The Board then directed the ICANN organization to test the framework on the System for Standardized Access/Disclosure recommendations and the New Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) Subsequent Procedures recommendations. With the pilot now complete, the Board will discuss the results and consider the next steps.

Next Round: The Board will continue its deliberations of the pending policy recommendations for the New gTLD Program: Next Round, primarily around the role of Public Interest Commitments and Registry Voluntary Commitments. The Board will also discuss funding for the continuing implementation work.

Risk Assessment: The Board Risk Committee will deliver its semiannual report to the Board

per the Risk Management Framework.

Staff Engagement Survey: ICANN's interim head of human resources, Henry Meyer, Senior Director, Global HR Operations, will give an overview of the results of the ICANN organization's annual staff engagement survey.

Policy Implementation: ICANN organization staff will update the Board on the Registration Data Request Service, which is now available for ICANN-accredited registrars. The Board also will discuss the proposed Registration Data Policy for gTLDs and the Governmental Advisory Committee's recent letter regarding urgent requests. Additionally, the Board will consider implementation of the Privacy and Proxy Services Accreditation ahead of discussions of the matter with the community during ICANN78.

Strategic Planning: The Board will participate in an environmental scan session as part of the strategic planning process for fiscal years 2026–30. During this session, we will identify the external opportunities and threats, and internal strengths and weaknesses, that will inform the next five-year plan. If you want to help shape ICANN's future, be sure to attend the two-part community session on Tuesday, 24 October.

Delegation of Authority: ICANN's Delegation of Authority Guidelines detail specific lines of authority as delegated between the Board, CEO, and Executive team. The Board Governance Committee will provide an overview of the current guidelines and recommend updates.

Internal Audit Function: The Board will continue its discussion about establishing an internal audit function at ICANN. The role of internal audit is to provide independent assurance that an organization's risk management, governance, and internal control processes are operating effectively.

Financial Reports: We will review ICANN's audited financial statements and the Board expenses report for fiscal year 2023, which are available in the FY23 Annual Report.

We will spend much of Sunday, 22 October, preparing for ICANN78 activities, including the Public Forum and Annual General Meeting on Thursday, 26 October.

I look forward to engaging with community groups at the 10 bilateral meetings the Board has scheduled, as well as at other sessions throughout the week. I am also eager to welcome the ICANN78 Fellowship Program and NextGen@ICANN Program participants at a session on Thursday.

As we come together next week to commemorate 25 years of ICANN, let us also celebrate the many exciting opportunities ahead.


Tripti Sinha

Tripti Sinha

ICANN Board Chair