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We need a translation expert – do you know one?

27 August 2008
By Kieren McCarthy

ICANN is becoming a more multilingual organization and in doing so has spent a year, with some expert help and plenty of useful feedback from the community, developing and implementing a translation programme.

We have now reached the stage where we need someone with sufficient expertise and experience to be able to oversee that programme as ICANN moves to making translation a part of its everyday processes and systems.

The job of “Translation Coordinator” was first recommended by our two independent experts over six months ago and we are now ready to hire for the position, initially on a six-month consultancy contract. However, this is a specialist job so we are appealing far and wide for applicants.

If any in the ICANN community know of someone with the right expertise and experience, and if you wish to aid ICANN in becoming a multilingual organization, please past on the details of the job to them.

The job description is online at http://icann.org/en/general/jobs.htm#transcoord, and is also posted below.


Translation Coordinator

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has an immediate opportunity for a Translation Coordinator. The position will act as a consultant to the organization on a renewable contract for approximately 40 hours/week.

Working within a dynamic and fast-growing organisation, this position reports to the Corporate Affairs department.


* Provide effective administrative and supervisory services in the implementation of multilingualism at ICANN, by managing and using resources efficiently, ensuring an optimal mix of outsourcing and internal capacity.

* Plan and manage the provision of translation and manage external translation resources. In general, handle the day-to-day operation as well as the process of implementation of a translation program for the organisation.

* Supervise and monitor the performance of all vendors of translation and interpretation services.

* Monitor budgets and vendor relationships.

* Plan and oversee all resources committed to the process of implementing the translation policy, including a tender process for the provision of translation services, guided by best practices.

* Ensure that the translation, revision, editing, report writing, document referencing, text processing and related activities related to translation are carried out with utmost efficiency, within the specified deadlines and according to high standards.

* With respect to multilingualism, make long-term and short-term work projections based on the calendar of conferences and meetings. Develops and maintains, in a cost-effective manner, an efficient network of skilled external staff to ensure adequate capacity at all times of the year.

* Make recommendations to Senior Management on policy with respect of recruitment, training, contractual status, and all other administrative and operational matters affecting the translation function and – in coordination with those designated to represent each department as regards translation – of linguistic standards.

* Establish and/or advise on training courses and/or other resources required to ensure staff capacity to transition from working in a monolingual to a multilingual environment, including computer training, with special attention to translation-related software. Establish terminology standards in coordination with the staff and in consultation and coordination with languages services provided by vendors.

* Hold regular meetings with the designated representatives of each department with respect to translation, as well as senior staff as necessary, to improve efficiency and identify problem areas, if any, before they develop.

* Ensure the smooth functioning of the translation function, advising on and helping to implement technological measures to promote access to information such as document management systems, document workflow process, and the like.

* Establish quality control guidelines and continually evaluate their efficacy. Ensure quality control of individual translation projects.


Professionalism -­Thorough knowledge of language issues; ability tooperate in a cost-effective manner ensuring an optimal mix of outsourcing and internal resources and to serve as final arbiter on technical issues arising in the translation function; and analytical skills.

Performance Management – Strong managerial/supervisory skills; tact andnegotiating skills, good judgment and decision-making skills. Ability to establish priorities and to plan, coordinate and monitor the work of others; ability to make timely decisions; ability to coach, mentor and develop staff and encourage good performance.

Communication-­ Excellent drafting ability and communication skills,

both oral and written; ability to defend and explain difficult issues with respect to key decisions.

Teamwork – Good interpersonal skills; demonstrated ability in amulticultural, multi-ethnic environment to maintain effective working relations with people of different national and professional backgrounds; ability to organize and motivate those under her/his supervision.

Computer skills – Strong knowledge of the provision of contractual services in translation. Knowledge of a documentation and staff monitoring system preferred.


Advanced degree in Translation, Social Sciences, Finance, Business Administration, Management or a related field.

Bachelor’s Degree with a relevant combinationof academic and professional qualifications.

8- 10 years of progressively responsible translation experience, of which at least five years in an international organisation (public or private) and three years of demonstrated, successful supervisory or managerial experience, or a combination of language-related experience and equivalent knowledge and experience in business administration and management in international organizations, may be accepted.


English is the working language of ICANN. Fluency in English, both written and oral, to a high standard is required. Working knowledge of one additional UN official language is desired. Knowledge of additional UN official languages would be an asset.


ICANN is responsible for the global coordination of the Internet’s system of unique identifiers. These include domain names (like .org, .com), as well as the addresses used in a variety of Internet protocols. Computers use these identifiers to reach each other over the Internet. Careful management of these resources is vital to the Internet’s operation, so ICANN’s global stakeholders meet regularly to develop policies that ensure the Internet’s ongoing security and stability. For further information on ICANN, see http://www.icann.org.


This is an exciting opportunity to create and manage, from the ground up, a translation system that will encourage participation from a global audience in the organization¹s processes.
If you are interested in this position, please send a cover letter and complete curriculum vitae to opportunities@icann.org referencing JOB CA 0806.All statements of interest or inquiries about this position will be kept in confidence.


Kieren McCarthy