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ICANN President & CEO Goals for Fiscal Year 2021

20 July 2020
By Göran Marby

The world around ICANN is changing, and ICANN needs to evolve with it. Each year, I work with the ICANN Board to develop my goals for the next fiscal year, and then work with the Executive team to build a plan to achieve them. We set goals to help the entire ICANN organization prioritize, address new challenges, and execute on existing projects with a new strategic focus. These goals help ensure that we are working together in the public interest and fulfilling our mission.

As part of our commitment to accountability and transparency, I am sharing my goals for the 2021 fiscal year (FY21), which runs from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021.  I developed six of these goals and the Board developed four of them.

FY21 Annual Goals I developed

Goal #1

Work with Supporting Organization and Advisory Committee leaders, community members, and the Board to define and implement a phased plan to return to face-to-face meetings. This plan will ensure the provision of safe and effective meeting formats that support the ongoing work of the community as well as allow robust remote participation options for anyone unable to attend in person. The final plan will be integrated with regional and global engagement activities.

Background: Face-to-face meetings have always been an important part of ICANN’s DNA. Despite the current pandemic-related restrictions, the Board, community, and org must ensure that we remain able to collaborate, and that we are still able to attract new participants into ICANN.

Goal #2

a. Implement a common strategy for Internet governance (IG) and technical Internet governance (TIG). We will begin by identifying the most important issues we need to address, followed by an assessment of where and how we can intervene, the venues we should use, and the resources required to be effective.

b. ICANN as an institution needs to be better known and understood in new venues. To implement on the IG and TIG strategy, we must develop targeted communication and a communication strategy to create greater awareness.

Background: Over the last few years, we have seen an increase in legislative proposals that affect ICANN´s ability to form policies and take decisions. We are also seeing proposals through standardization forums that can have absolute effects on how the Internet is technically operated.

Goal #3

Develop a framework to determine what tools, such as Domain Name System Security Extensions, the Domain Abuse Activity Reporting project, and the Identifier Technology Health Indicators initiative, might help the community with its decision-making process, provide input to the Compliance team, or provide stakeholders with relevant information.

Background: As part of the framework, for each tool, we will evaluate the benefits to the community, ensure legal compliance and financial viability, and design a development and implementation plan.

Goal #4

a. Progress the plan to minimize the number of external ICANN-related web services.

b. Develop a plan for the next generation IANA administration systems.

Background: Now that a preview of the new icann.org is available, the next stage of the Information Transparency Initiative (ITI) is to make sure we utilize this platform to incorporate as many web services as possible and give users a single source for information.

Goal #5

Develop a plan for the potential economist function within ICANN org to follow and evaluate Domain Name System (DNS) market trends.

Background: I’ve heard the question asked, “Is the DNS market changing?” My answer is yes, probably. The questions we need to ask now are, what’s good for the end user, and what will be bad?

Goal #6

Work with stakeholders to investigate mechanisms to strengthen collaboration and communication on security and stability issues through the DNS Security Facilitation Initiative Technical Study Group.

Background: One of the most positive trends over the last few years has been the increased interest in security, both from an end-user perspective and a system perspective.

FY21 Annual Goals – developed by the Board

Goal #7

Create an interface with the community for effective interaction on ICANN-related relevant regulatory developments with potential global impact.

Background: During FY20, the organization enhanced its ability to detect relevant regulatory initiatives that may affect ICANN’s mission and community. The focus for FY21 is to create an effective interface with the community on these issues, both for informing and being informed by the community.

Goal #8

Report back on regional developments to the ICANN Board.

Background: ICANN must strike a balance between operating effectively and serving a global community.

Goal #9

Develop and implement a plan to ensure continued financial stability in a world affected by COVID-19.

Background: While ICANN’s financial situation is sound at the moment, the impact of the unprecedented effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world economy is still unknown.

Goal #10

Implement the outcome of the Enhancing the Effectiveness of ICANN’s Multistakeholder Model initiative.

Background: As ICANN continues to evolve and our environment becomes more complex, our governance must also evolve without compromising our deeply valued bottom-up, decision-making process. ICANN org should step up and work with the community to help ICANN move forward.

You can stay up-to-date on our progress toward these goals by reading our quarterly CEO Reports the Board found on the President’s Corner of https://www.icann.org. I look forward to tackling these challenges with you and please share your feedback in the comment section below.


Göran Marby

Göran Marby

Former President & CEO