We are happy to mark the 15th anniversary of the ICANN Fellowship Program, ICANN's oldest global capacity-development program. Launched in 2007 at ICANN29 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the Fellowship Program was created to provide a gateway for individuals from underserved and underrepresented communities from around the world to become active members of the ICANN community.
Fifteen years later, the numbers speak for themselves: 813 fellows representing 160 countries have participated in the program. Currently, 119 former fellows hold positions across the ICANN community and on the Board of Directors. We also have 13 former fellows working in the ICANN organization. Below is a detailed breakdown of these numbers:
The high rate of successful transition from fellowship participation to active community involvement was most recently reflected in a 2021 survey. Ninety-five percent of the fellows who responded said they continued to participate in ICANN global or regional events. Eighty-four percent of respondents said that they are currently involved in the ICANN community, and 86 percent said they would be very likely to recommend the Fellowship.
"That many former fellows, all across the world, remain active members of the ICANN community speaks to the success of the Fellowship Program," said Göran Marby, ICANN President and CEO. "Their dedication to ICANN's mission of preserving an Internet that is stable, secure, and global enhances and invigorates the ICANN community."
While numbers can help us try to quantify the program's positive impact on the ICANN community, it is the individual fellows who bring to ICANN many intangibles like their fresh perspectives and diverse backgrounds. By joining the ICANN community, fellows have helped to strengthen, broaden, and evolve ICANN's multistakeholder model. Former fellows now serve in various community roles, contribute to working groups, and help shape and advance ICANN's policies. In the process, they have championed ICANN's mission, built strong professional networks, and contributed to their personal and professional development.
"As the ICANN Fellowship Program turns 15, I am delighted that it has achieved the goals set a decade and a half ago," said Maarten Botterman, ICANN Board Chair. "As it continues to evolve to meet future needs, I am confident that the program will keep providing opportunities for individuals from underserved and underrepresented communities to join the ICANN community, thereby expanding and strengthening the multistakeholder model."
As we mark the important milestone of the Fellowship Program's anniversary, I want to express my gratitude to the fellows and all others across the ICANN ecosystem who through their dedication over the past 15 years have enriched and inspired the ICANN multistakeholder model and the ICANN community. We look forward to the opportunities the next 15 years will present in building an even more robust program that addresses future challenges.
For more information on the Fellowship Program and how to apply, visit the program website.