The new ICANN Washington, D.C. Engagement Center is now open! Earlier this week, Interim President and Chief Executive Officer Sally Costerton, ICANN Board Chair Tripti Sinha, local ICANN Board members, and ICANN organization executives participated in a hybrid ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the occasion.
Having an office in Washington, D.C., is a priority for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). When we implemented the international office strategy, Washington, D.C., served as a model for other engagement centers. Washington, D.C., is the seat of government in the United States and the headquarters of several international organizations. The city has a vibrant civil society sector, including non-governmental organizations and major universities. There is also a robust private sector, from local small businesses to large global corporations.
ICANN Interim President and Chief Executive Officer Sally Costerton said it best: "Our presence is a commitment to engage with our stakeholders, and this new office sustains that commitment."
As managing director, I am proud to note that thirteen ICANN organization teams have members in this office, providing cross-functional expertise in support of our work. I would like to especially thank the many teams that coordinated this opening.
The Washington, D.C., area has been a major hub of Internet activity and a backbone of Internet infrastructure for decades. There is a strong technical community here, which provides incredible opportunities for partnership and collaboration.
ICANN Board Chair Tripti Sinha noted, "This office elevates our profile and serves as a convening space for stakeholders, thought leaders, and practitioners at the intersection of technology and policy." ICANN's mission is at the center of this work, especially as regulatory pressures increase and as technologies evolve.
We have already leveraged the office to host the Root Server System Governance Working Group and the Closed Generic Facilitated Dialogue—two important ICANN community initiatives—since December 2022. In the coming months, we will host more events to engage our stakeholders, including ICANN77, the first ICANN Public Meeting in Washington, D.C., and the first Policy Forum in North America. I look forward to welcoming you soon.