Read ICANN Blogs to stay informed of the latest policymaking activities, regional events, and more.

The Fellowship Spirit

27 July 2017
By Janice Douma Lange

In addition to the ICANN Languages, this content is also available in


On 25 June 2017, ICANN59 Fellowship Alumni gathered in Johannesburg, South Africa, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the program.

Finale of a Four-Part Blog Series (Read Part One, Part Two, and Part Three)

Laughter, song, and conversation filled the air on a Sunday night in Johannesburg when over 100 Program Alumni and other members of ICANN's community, Board, and organization gathered to celebrate 10 successful years of the Fellowship Program at ICANN. As we look forward, it's time to act on the key outcomes and action items garnered from the Fellowship Survey. Our focus will be on bringing even more diversity to the ICANN community by identifying the gaps existing in our multistakeholder model related to regions, sector, gender, professional services, and underserved communities.

But it's more than just filling seats. We need volunteers who can advance ICANN's work. Who are these special individuals? They are experts in their fields and understand their community, regional needs, and challenges. They share a passion for continued improvements in the Internet governance space in matters related to policy, technical, and security – within ICANN's remit. Perhaps most importantly, they'll understand the hard work that lies ahead – and will still want to be part of the solution.

A key piece of attracting and retaining volunteers is onboarding, mentoring, and coaching them – a focus of the last four years of the Fellowship Program. We've matched experienced Fellowship Alumni with participants who are new to the program, and sometimes, new to the ICANN space. They work in teams for six weeks before a meeting, receive guidance at the meeting, and follow up and support each other after the meeting. And it's working – we've seen a definite increase in the number of individuals who join, stay, and actively engage in ICANN's communities, working groups, or review teams.

As we conclude this four-part series celebrating the real spirit that is the Fellowship Program, we'd like to highlight Fellowship Alumni who have gone on to join the ICANN organization, supporting the work of the ICANN community.

  • Mario Aleman (2014/ICANN49 Fellow) – Secretariat Operations Coordinator, Policy Development Support
  • Yaovi Atohoun (2009/ICANN36 Fellow) – Stakeholder Engagement and Operations Manager, Africa
  • Fahd Batayneh (2008/ ICANN32 Fellow) – Stakeholder Engagement Manager, Middle East
  • Albert Daniels (2007/ICANN29 Fellow) – Stakeholder Engagement Senior Manager, Caribbean
  • Amr Elsadr (2009/ICANN36 Fellow) – Policy Manager, Policy Development Support
  • Sarmad Hussain (2008/ICANN31 Fellow) – IDN Programs Director
  • Rodrigo de la Parra (2007/ICANN29 Fellow) – VP, Global Stakeholder Engagement, Latin America and Caribbean / Managing Director for Montevideo, serving the Latin American and Caribbean region
  • Rodrigo Saucedo Linares (2010/ICANN37 Fellow) – Strategic Initiatives – Latin America and Caribbean Senior Manager
  • Siranush Vardanyan (2008/ICANN31 Fellow) – Fellowship Program Manager, Public Responsibility Support

If you'd like information about how to apply to the Fellowship Program or have any feedback or comments, please email us at fellowships@icann.org.


Janice Douma Lange