en

We Lost Rob Blokzijl This Week

2 December 2015
By Steve Crocker

In addition to the U.N. six languages, this content is also available in

Robert "Rob" Blokzijl passed away yesterday. He was a gentle man who radiated warmth and optimism, while working constructively in the Netherlands, in Europe and, indeed, throughout the world to foster the development of the Internet. He served on the ICANN Board in our early days (1999-2002), and is best remembered as the chair of RIPE for an astonishing 25 years.

He started his career as a physicist and, through his work in physics, became interested and active in helping scientists collaborate. The combination of his deep technical background and his attention to the collaborative aspects of research, combined with the happy accident of being in the right place at the right time, naturally led him to jump into the development of the nascent Internet. His combination of principle, pragmatism and positive attitude was the perfect balance and served all of us well.

He was honored with the Jonathan B. Postel Service Award this year, richly deserved as much for embodying Jon's characteristics of service and humility as for his particular contributions. He was also honored with the title Officer in the Order of Oranje-Nassau in 2010, and was given the honorific title of RIPE Chair Emeritus since standing down in 2013.

For those of us who were privileged to have known him, we note his passing with sadness but remember the twinkle in his eye.

If you would like to leave your own tribute to Rob, please go to https://labs.ripe.net/Members/mirjam/tribute-to-dr-robert-blokzij-1943-2015.

Authors

Steve Crocker

Former ICANN Board Chair