Part Two of a Four-Part Blog Series (Read Part One)
FY18 Budget and Fellowship … is that a weird way to start this second blog on the Fellowship spirit? As the ICANN community, organization and Board prepare to finalize the budget for the next fiscal year, the Fellowship Program stands out as a unique investment. All three parts of ICANN have grown to understand how the program has made a positive impact on ICANN over these past 10 years. But what exactly is the investment? Why is it important that we continue funding the program?
Within the next two months, the ICANN organization will share the results of a recent survey, coinciding with the ten-year anniversary of the Fellowship Program. Our goal is to provide real-time statistics and to better understand the program's impact. Where are these individuals today in the Internet ecosystem compared with where they were before the Fellowship Program? Are they engaged in regional or community work within ICANN? If not, how can we bring them back to volunteer today?
We're waiting for the survey results to be compiled. But we already know that over 600 individuals participated in the program – in its various stages of evolution and growth – since its inception in 2007 at ICANN29 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Then, 33 candidates were selected out of 125 applicants from developing nations around the world. Today, up to 60 individuals may be selected for each meeting. We are still committed to supporting those with financial challenges, but today's selection process also focuses on diversity and on bridging gaps in sector or community representation.
We'd like to highlight just a few of our alumni who have been contributing to the ICANN community since their Fellowship experience:
- Gao Moseau, Botswana, ICANN29
Member of Consumer Choice, Competition and Consumer Trust Review Team, Fellowship Selection Committee member
- Tracy Hackshaw, Trinidad and Tobago, ICANN35
Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) representative (later GAC Vice Chair), Community Onboarding Pilot member
- Maureen Hilyard, Pacific Islands, ICANN39
At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) member, ALAC liaison in Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO)
- Alejandra Reynoso Barral, Guatemala, ICANN41
ccNSO Secretariat/ccNSO Council member; Community Onboarding Pilot member
- Amrita Choudhury, India, ICANN41
Alumna of several Fellowships, civil society activist within the Internet Society (ISOC) India Chapter, supporter of ICANN's Global Stakeholder Engagement team (including partnering with Head of India at ICANN57 Hyderabad)
- Beran Dondeh Gillen, Gambia, ICANN44
Nominating Committee (NomCom) appointee to ALAC, Community Onboarding Pilot member
- Lianna Galstyan, ICANN48
ISOC Armenia member, At-Large Structure (ALS) representative in Asian, Australasian and Pacific Islands Regional At-Large Organization (APRALO), leader of Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) initiative in Armenia
- Marilia Maciel, Brazil, ICANN48
Member of Noncommercial Users Constituency (NCUC); Non Commercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG) representative in Generic Names Supporting Organization (gNSO) Council, currently at DIPLOFoundation and previous NetMundial
- Dusan Popovic, Serbia, ICANN50
Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC) member; created yearly conference around Intellectual Property at University in Belgrade with ICANN speakers; Community Onboarding Pilot member, NextGen Selection Committee member
- Nadira Al-Araj, Palestine, ICANN53
Founder of the first ALS in Palestine, APRALO member, community member working with ICANN's regional team since ICANN53, active member of Arab IGF MAG
These Fellowship Alumni, now established ICANN community members, are proof that the program works. By investing resources and guidance during a newcomer's journey, the ICANN organization and community have benefited from the continued participation of these talented and committed individuals.
We invite you to be a part of the Fellowship Program. If you'd like information about how to apply or have any feedback or comments, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.