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Preliminary Report | Regular Meeting of the ICANN Board | 26 October 2023

Formal Minutes are still to be approved by the ICANN Board.

Note: This Preliminary Report has not been approved by the Board and does not constitute minutes.  It does set forth the unapproved reporting of the resolutions from that meeting. Details on voting and abstentions will be provided in the Minutes, when approved at a future meeting.

NOTE ON ADDITIONAL INFORMATION INCLUDED WITHIN PRELIMINARY REPORT – ON RATIONALES – Where available, a draft Rationale for each of the Board's actions is presented under the associated Resolution. A draft Rationale is not final until approved with the minutes of the Board meeting.

A Regular Meeting of the ICANN Board of Directors was held in person in Hamburg, Germany, on 26 October 2023, at 16:00 local time.

Tripti Sinha, Chair, promptly called the meeting to order.

In addition to the Chair, the following Directors participated in all or part of the meeting: Alan Barrett, Maarten Botterman, Becky Burr, Chris Chapman, Sally Costerton (Sr. Advisor to President and SVP, Global Stakeholder Engagement & Interim President and CEO), Edmon Chung, Sarah Deutsch, Avri Doria, Danko Jevtović (Vice-Chair), Christian Kaufmann, Patricio Poblete, Sajid Rahman, Katrina Sataki, León Sánchez, and Matthew Shears.

The following Board Liaisons participated in all or part of the meeting: Harald Alvestrand (IETF Liaison), Nico Caballero (GAC Liaison), James Galvin (SSAC Liaison) and Wes Hardaker (RSSAC Liaison). 

Catherine Adeya and Chris Buckridge were in attendance as invited observers.

Secretary: John Jeffrey (General Counsel and Secretary).

1. Consent Agenda

The Chair opened the meeting and introduced the Consent Agenda. The Chair called for a vote and the Board took the following action:

a. Approval of Board Meeting Minutes

Resolved (2023.10.26.01), the Board approves the minutes of the 10 September 2023 Regular Meeting of the ICANN Board.

b. Revisions to Board Committee Charters

Whereas, the Board Governance Committee (BGC) is tasked with "periodically review[ing] the charters of the Board Committees, including its own charter and work with the members of the Board Committees to develop recommendations to the Board for any charter adjustments deemed advisable." (BGC Charter, Sec. II.C.2.)

Whereas, the BGC has recommended that the Board approve revisions to Sections I (Purpose) and II (Scope of Responsibilities) of the charters for the Accountability Mechanisms Committee, Governance Committee, and Organizational Effectiveness Committee.

Whereas, the BGC has further recommended that the Board approve revisions to certain standard provisions (Sections V, VI, VII, and VIII) of all Board Committee charters.

Resolved (2023.10.26.02), the Board hereby adopts the amendments to Sections I (Purpose) and II (Scope of Responsibilities) of the charters for the Accountability Mechanisms Committee, Governance Committee, and Organizational Effectiveness Committee.

Resolved (2023.10.26.03), the Board hereby adopts the amendments to the standard provisions (Sections V, VI, VII, and VIII) of the charters for the Accountability Mechanisms Committee, Audit Committee, Compensation Committee, Executive Committee, Finance Committee, Governance Committee, Organizational Effectiveness Committee, Risk Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, and Technical Committee.

Rationale for Resolutions 2023.10.26.02 – 2023.10.26.03

The Board is addressing this matter to ensure committee charters are up-to-date and reflect the most current governance requirements, the actual practices of each committee, and best practices.

As part of its responsibilities, the Board Governance Committee (BGC) is tasked with "periodically review[ing] the charters of the Board Committees, including its own charter and work with the members of the Board Committees to develop recommendations to the Board for any charter adjustments deemed advisable." (BGC Charter, Sec. II.C.2.) In this role, the BGC asked each committee to review its charter for the BGC's consideration, which has been done by most committees, not all of which have recommended specific changes. Accordingly, the BGC has recommended, and the Board has approved revisions to the charters to update the relevant sections of the charters to current practices.

Specifically, as it relates to the substantive amendments to Sections I (Purpose) and II (Scope of Responsibilities), the changes include: (i) incorporating into the Board Accountability Mechanisms Committee charter a reference to receiving reports on the status of outstanding accountability mechanisms and litigation that involves ICANN or is of interest to ICANN; (ii) incorporating into the BGC charter a reference to other Board groups; and (iii) adding a reference in the Organizational Effectiveness Committee charter to the oversight of the Generic Names Supporting Organization Stakeholder Groups/Constituencies Charter amendment processes. With respect to the standard provisions across all Committee charters, the amendments include: (i) adding language to Section V (Voting and Quorum) on the value that non-voting Board Liaisons bring to Committees on which they serve; (ii) in Section VI (Records of Proceedings), updating the timing for creation and distribution of preliminary reports to reflect current practices and targets; (iii) changing Section VII to reflect the need for a Committee Chair to select an alternate if the Chair is unavailable; and (iv) updating the process for Committee self-evaluation in Section VIII (Review).

This action is consistent with ICANN's Mission and is in the public interest as it is important to ensure that the Board Committees are properly tasked with responsibilities, and to ensure oversight over the ICANN organization, as the Board deems appropriate.

This action is not expected to have a direct fiscal impact on ICANN or on the security, stability or resiliency of the domain name system.

This decision is an Organizational Administrative Function that does not require public comment.

c. Transfer to the Supplemental Fund for Implementation of Community Recommendations

Whereas, the Operating Fund includes the funds used for ICANN's day-to-day operations and must contain enough funds to cover a minimum of three months of ICANN's operating expenses.

Whereas, a Supplemental Fund for Implementation of Community Recommendations (SFICR) allows ICANN to segregate resources in support of increasing the capacity of the organization to address projects that are multi-year and focus on community recommendations that are approved by the Board but do not fit within the annual budget.

Whereas, periodically, if excess funds exist in the Operating Fund after an allocation to the Reserve Fund has been considered or decided, an allocation to the SFICR will be considered based on the project needs identified.

Whereas, the Operating Fund as of 30 June 2023, contained excess funds.

Whereas, both ICANN organization and the Board Finance Committee have recommended that the Board approve a US$20,000,000 transfer to the SFICR from the Operating Fund excess for FY23.

Resolved (2023.10.26.04), the Board approves the transfer of US$20,000,000 from the Operating Fund to the SFICR.

Rationale for Resolution 2023.10.26.04

As part of ICANN's Investment Policy, the Operating Fund should be at a level of funds to cover a minimum of three months of ICANN organization's operating expenses.

The SFICR establishes segregated resources in support of increasing the capacity of ICANN to address activities and projects that are multi-year and focus on community recommendations that are approved by the Board but do not fit within the annual budget. If the Operating Fund contains excess after an allocation to the Reserve Fund has been considered or decided, an allocation to the SFICR will be determined based on the project needs identified.

As of 30 June 2023, there was excess in the Operating Fund of at least US$24,000,000, and both ICANN org and the Board Finance Committee recommended that US$20,000,000 should be transferred to the SFICR.

This action is consistent with ICANN's Mission and is in the public interest that ICANN uses the SFICR to fund projects, as approved by the Board, when the size, complexity, and length of the projects create a challenge to be solely funded by recurring funding.

This action will not have a direct financial impact on ICANN, and will not have an impact on the security, stability, or resiliency of the domain name system.

This is an Organizational Administrative function that does not require public comment.

d. Enterprise Resource Planning Provider Renewal

Whereas, ICANN has an established need to renew a contract with an enterprise resource planning (ERP) provider.

Whereas, the Board Finance Committee has reviewed the financial implications of contract renewal with ICANN's current ERP provider and has considered alternatives.

Whereas, both the organization and the Board Finance Committee have recommended that the Board authorize the Interim President and CEO, or her designee(s), to take all actions necessary to execute a new [Redacted – Confidential Negotiation Information] contract with ICANN's current ERP provider and make all necessary disbursements pursuant to that contract.

Resolved (2023.10.26.05), the Board authorizes the Interim President and CEO, or her designee(s), to take all necessary actions to renew the contract with ICANN's current ERP provider and make all necessary disbursements pursuant to that contract.

Resolved (2023.10.26.06), specific items within this resolution shall remain confidential for negotiation purposes pursuant to Article 3, section 3.5(b) of the ICANN Bylaws until the Interim President and CEO, or her designee(s), determines that the confidential information may be released.

Rationale for Resolutions 2023.10.26.05 – 2023.10.26.06

ICANN's ERP provides an integrated solution under a single system of record improving systems capacity, global reporting and analysis capability, leading to improved productivity and cross-functional efficiencies, and enhanced internal controls. On average, the minimum time to get optimal value out of an ERP is considered to be 10 years. Currently, ICANN is at the seven year mark with its current ERP provider. At this point, a new ERP implementation would require significant cost and effort, and would be premature. Renewal with the current ERP provider will continue to provide a stable solution for the organization. Further, ICANN's current ERP Provider is a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in Cloud ERP.

After thorough analysis, negotiations, and an adjustment to the number of licenses with the supplier, the organization has negotiated a new, [Redacted – Confidential Negotiation Information] with the current ERP provider with a total cost of [Redacted – Confidential Negotiation Information].

The Board reviewed the organization's and the Board Finance Committee's recommendations for contracting and disbursement authority for the contract renewal with the current ERP provider.

Taking this action fits squarely within ICANN's Mission and the public interest in that it ensures that payments of large amounts for one invoice to one entity are reviewed and evaluated by the Board if they exceed a certain amount of delegated authority through ICANN's Contracting and Disbursement Policy. This ensures that the Board is overseeing large disbursements and acting as proper stewards of the funding ICANN receives from the public.

There will be a financial impact on ICANN to renew the Oracle Cloud ERP contract. This impact is currently included in the FY24 Operating Plan and Budget.

This action will not have a direct impact on the security, stability and resiliency of the domain name system.

This is an Organizational Administrative Function that does not require public comment.

All members of the Board approved Resolutions 2023.10.26.01, 2023.10.26.02, 2023.10.26.03, 2023.10.26.04, 2023.10.26.05, and 2023.10.26.06 by acclamation. The Resolutions carried.

2. Main Agenda

a. Security and Stability Advisory Committee Member Appointments

The SSAC Liaison introduced the agenda item and read the resolution into the record. Following discussion, the Chair called for a vote and the Board took the following action:

Whereas, Section 12.2(b)(ii) of the Bylaws states that the Board shall appoint the Chair and the members of the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC).

Whereas, the three-year term for Rod Rasmussen as SSAC Chair ends on 31 December 2023.

Whereas, the SSAC has completed its process of selecting a Chair and requests that the Board appoint Ram Mohan as SSAC Chair for a three-year term to begin on 01 January 2024 and end on 31 December 2026.

Whereas, the Board, at Resolution 2010.08.05.07 approved Bylaws revisions that created three-year terms for SSAC members, required staggering of terms, and obligated the SSAC Chair to recommend the reappointment of all current SSAC members to full or partial terms to implement the Bylaws revisions.

Whereas, in January 2023 the SSAC Membership Committee initiated an annual review of SSAC members whose terms are ending 31 December 2023 and submitted to the SSAC its recommendations for reappointments on 25 August 2023.

Whereas, on 19 September 2023, the SSAC members approved 12 reappointments.

Whereas, the SSAC recommends that the Board reappoint the following SSAC members to three-year terms: Greg Aaron, Benedict Addis, Tim April, Lyman Chapin, KC Claffy, Steve Crocker, Geoff Huston, Andrei Kolesnikov, Barry Leiba, Russ Mundy, Rod Rasmussen, and Matt Thomas.

Resolved (2023.10.26.07), the Board accepts the recommendation of the SSAC and appoints Ram Mohan as Chair of the SSAC for a three-year term beginning on 01 January 2024 and ending on 31 December 2026.

Resolved (2023.10.26.08), the Board accepts the recommendation of the SSAC and reappoints the following SSAC members to three-year terms beginning 01 January 2024 and ending 31 December 2026: Greg Aaron, Benedict Addis, Tim April, Lyman Chapin, KC Claffy, Steve Crocker, Geoff Huston, Andrei Kolesnikov, Barry Leiba, Russ Mundy, Rod Rasmussen, and Matt Thomas.

All members of the Board voted in favor of Resolutions 2023.10.26.07 and 2023.10.26.08. The Resolutions carried.

Rationale for Resolutions 2023.10.26.07 – 2023.10.26.08

The SSAC is a diverse group of individuals whose expertise in specific subject matters enables the SSAC to fulfill its role and execute its mission. Since its inception, the SSAC has invited to its membership individuals with deep knowledge and experience in technical and security areas that are critical to the security and stability of the Internet's naming and address allocation systems.

The SSAC's continued operation as a competent body is dependent on the accumulation of talented subject matter experts who have consented to volunteer their time and energies to the execution of the SSAC mission.

This resolution is an Organizational Administrative Function for which no public comment is required. The appointment of the SSAC Chair and SSAC members is in the public interest and in furtherance of ICANN's Mission as it contributes to the commitment of the ICANN to strengthen the security, stability, and resiliency of the DNS. The appointment of SSAC members is not anticipated to have any fiscal impact on ICANN org that has not already been accounted for in the budgeted resources necessary for ongoing support of the SSAC.

b. Internal Audit Function

The Chair of the Board Audit Committee introduced the agenda item and read the resolution into the record. The Chair stated that the Board’s action takes the organization towards its next step of maturity and thanked the Audit Committee for its work in this effort.

Following discussion, the Chair called for a vote and the Board took the following action:

Whereas, the organization recommends that the Board agree with and support the organization's establishment of an internal audit function, reporting to the Risk Committee of the Board and administratively supported by the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and the CFO's team, as applicable.

Resolved (2023.10.26.09), the Board agrees and supports the organization's establishment of an internal audit function, reporting to the Risk Committee of the Board and administratively supported by the CFO and the CFO's team, as applicable.

All members of the Board voted in favor of Resolution 2023.10.26.09. The Resolution carried.

Rationale for Resolution 2023.10.26.09

Developing the internal audit function is consistent with ICANN's Mission and is in the public interest because it helps to enhance risk management, while assessing the effectiveness of many different aspects of the organization. Benefits of internal audit include:

  • Strengthens compliance - internal audits are designed to check and ensure an organization is compliant with relevant laws, regulations, and industry standards.
  • Strengthens internal controls - internal audits are focused on reviewing internal controls in place to ensure they are well-designed, effective, and efficient.
  • Enhances efficiency - an internal audit can help identify process improvements.
  • Verifies the accuracy and integrity of financial statements - this can help reduce or streamline the external audit work.
  • Minimizes risk – this helps assess whether risk mitigation strategies are working as intended.

This action will have a financial impact on ICANN as there will be a cost that can be included in the Draft FY25 ICANN budget. Costs to be potentially incurred during FY24 would be unbudgeted, and subject to funding ability.

This action will not have an impact on the security, stability, or resiliency of the domain name system.

This is an Organizational Administrative Function that does not require public comment.

c. FY25 Strategic Outlook Trends Report

The Chair of the Board Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) introduced the agenda item. He noted that the strategic planning process is an important process to ensure that the Strategic Plan is up to date and reflects relevant trends and events that inform ICANN’s strategic and operational planning efforts.  He explained that the inputs from the 12 trend identification sessions held between March and April 2023 amongst the community, Board, and ICANN organization were considered by the SPC and that the SPC has recommended that the Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2021 – 2025 not be changed this year.

Following discussion, the Chair called for a vote and the Board took the following action:

Whereas, as part of the ICANN Strategic Outlook Program, 12 trend identification sessions were held between March and April 2023 amongst the community, Board, and ICANN organization, with 207 participants total across those sessions. From those sessions, 1,048 data points were collected on key trends anticipated to impact ICANN in the coming years. ICANN org analyzed that trend data.

Whereas, the Board, through the Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) oversees the annual ICANN Strategic Outlook Program to identify relevant trends and events that inform ICANN's strategic and operational planning efforts. The SPC, as supported by the ICANN org, reviewed and analyzed the results of the trend data and the related opportunities, risks, and impacts on ICANN. The results are recorded within the ICANN Strategic Outlook: FY25 Trend Report.

Whereas, the SPC recommended to the Board, after review and analysis of the trend data, that ICANN's Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2021-2025 does not need to change at this time.

Whereas, members of the ICANN Board and ICANN org held a webinar with the community on 10 October 2023 to present an update on the ICANN Strategic Outlook Program.

Resolved (2023.10.26.10), the Board affirms that the ICANN Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2021 to 2025, as approved on 23 June 2019 shall remain in force and unchanged, with no restatement of the Strategic Plan needed at this time.

All members of the Board voted in favor of Resolution 2023.10.26.10. The Resolution carried.

Rationale for Resolution 2023.10.26.10

On 23 June 2019, the Board adopted the ICANN Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2021 to 2025 and directed that as part of the ongoing annual planning cycle with the community, new trends or shifts in existing trends be factored into the annual iteration of ICANN's plans as appropriate. These efforts are conducted through the ICANN Strategic Outlook Program

The ICANN Strategic Outlook Program is conducted annually to ensure ICANN has a consistent way to: identify and track trends; prepare for opportunities; mitigate or avoid challenges; and inform strategic and operational planning.

It is a joint effort between the ICANN organization, the community, and the ICANN Board to engage on emerging or evolving trends that affect ICANN. Trends indicate general directions in which things are developing or changing, that have or could have an impact on ICANN, its Mission, its operations, or its ecosystem. Trends can be internal or external, organization-specific, community-related, or go beyond ICANN's ecosystem.

Between March and April 2023, ICANN org convened 12 strategic outlook trends identification sessions with 207 participants from the community, Board, and the organization, resulting in 1,048 data points collected. Community sessions outputs have been published on the Strategic Planning page of the icann.org website.

The Board Strategic Planning Committee (SPC), as supported by ICANN org, conducted a thorough analysis of the trend session data inputs received, including assessing the trends, risks, opportunities, and potential impacts on ICANN. The details of this analysis and associated recommendations have been documented in the ICANN Strategic Outlook FY25 Trends Report.

On the basis of the analysis of the data collected in these trends identification sessions, the SPC recommends keeping the ICANN Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2021 to 2025 unchanged, with no restatement of the Strategic Plan needed at this time. Through this action, the Board accepts the SPC's recommendation.

Though the recommendation is for the Strategic Plan to remain unchanged, the items highlighted and reflected in the ICANN Strategic Outlook FY25 Trends Report are still of urgency within ICANN, and both the Board and the org are working diligently to address them from both strategic and operational lenses. Where appropriate, the ongoing efforts to address the trends are highlighted within the ICANN Strategic Outlook FY25 Trends Report.

This resolution is not expected to have a fiscal impact on ICANN, though the changes anticipated to ICANN's Operating Plan might have an impact once approved. This action is expected to have a positive impact on the security, stability and resiliency of the domain name system as it continues to support ICANN's strategic work in this area.

This resolution serves ICANN's Mission in ensuring a secure and stable operation of the Internet's unique identifier systems. The ICANN Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2021-2025 builds upon ICANN's Mission so that it may continue to effectively fulfill its aims and meet new and continuously evolving challenges and opportunities.

This resolution is in the public interest as the Strategic Plan guides ICANN's activities and informs ICANN's operating plans and budgets to fulfill its mission in fiscal years 2021 through 2025. The Strategic Plan serves the public interest by articulating the path towards a new vision to be a champion of the single, open, and globally interoperable Internet. The Strategic Plan complies with ICANN's Commitments and is guided by ICANN's Core Values.

This is an Organizational Administrative Function that has been subject to community consultation as noted above and is not requiring further public comment.

d. Revisiting Board Action on CCWG-AP Recommendation 7

The Chair of the Board Caucus on ICANN Grant Program introduced the agenda item. He commented that the first grant cycle will be implemented next year and that it will be limited to US$ 10 million. This would provide an opportunity to evaluate the Program’s effectiveness before moving further.

Becky Burr noted the community concerns that the Board will be limiting access to accountability mechanisms through the use of contractual terms and conditions. Accordingly, to address the community concerns, the Board will simultaneously pursue a fundamental Bylaws change with the launch of the Program. Becky noted that this approach has been reflected in the whereas clause and rationale in the proposed resolution. She further explained that while the Board has determined that a Bylaws amendment is not required to implement Recommendation 7, they are pursuing the amendment to be responsive to the concerns from the community.

Some Board members added that the underlying purpose is to launch the Grant Program while ensuring that the grant proceeds will not be used to resolve disputes about those grant decisions.

Following discussion, the Chair called for a vote and the Board took the following action:

Whereas, on 12 June 2022, the ICANN Board accepted all recommendations issued in the Final Report of the Cross-Community Working Group on New gTLD Auction Proceeds (CCWG-AP).

Whereas, the CCWG-AP's Recommendation 7 states in relevant part "Existing ICANN accountability mechanisms such as IRP or other appeal mechanisms cannot be used to challenge a decision from the Independent Project Applications Evaluation Panel to approve or not approve an application. Applicants not selected should receive further details about where information can be found about the next round of applications as well as any educational materials that may be available to assist applicants. The CCWG recognizes that there will need to be an amendment to the Fundamental Bylaws to eliminate the opportunity to use the Request for Reconsideration and Independent Review Panel to challenge grant decisions." The CCWG-AP also issued guidance to the Board that after reviewing how other entities dealt with appeals, that allowing appeals appeared to add too much complexity.

Whereas, the Board's June 2022 decision reflected the Board's initial agreement with the CCWG-AP's conclusion that a Fundamental Bylaws change was necessary to implement Recommendation 7 and identified such a Bylaws change as a dependency on the launch of the ICANN Grant Program.

Whereas, upon further consideration, the Board has determined that the CCWG-AP's recommendation to preserve the auction proceeds from being used to defend against usages of ICANN's accountability mechanisms for decisions on individual grant decisions can be implemented in alternative ways, including ways that do not require modification to ICANN's core Bylaws on accountability. As a result, the Board is updating its action on Recommendation 7 to reflect that ICANN org should implement this Recommendation 7 directly through the use of applicant terms and conditions rather than through a change to ICANN's Fundamental Bylaws.

Whereas, the Board has been further advised that the design of the ICANN Grant Program will include multiple decision points that could be determinative on applications in addition to the recommendations made by the Independent Application Assessment Panel, such as eligibility reviews. The proposed accountability carve-out from the CCWG-AP must be implemented in a manner that is sufficiently broad to address the CCWG-AP's intent and remove the ability for applicants to access ICANN's Independent Review Process and Reconsideration Process for any decisions on individual grant applications.

Whereas, the Board has been advised that it is possible to develop limited purpose-built review opportunities within the ICANN Grant Program that would give applicants meaningful ways to seek procedural review of certain decisions made on applications within the ICANN Grant Program, thereby increasing potential accountability to applicants even while the formal accountability mechanisms are not available for decisions on individual applications. The Board notes that it might be appropriate to evaluate the effectiveness of the terms and conditions within the first cycle of the ICANN Grant Program prior to implementing any limited review opportunities within the ICANN Grant Program.

Whereas, the Board will simultaneously pursue a fundamental Bylaws change that will provide as follows: Where (1) the Final Report of a CCWG, approved by all chartering organizations, recommends that one or more Bylaws-defined accountability mechanisms should not be available to resolve disputes in specified circumstances; and (2) the Board agrees that the community recommendation is in the global interest, the Board shall then be authorized to direct ICANN Org to implement the CCWG recommendation that limits access to the Bylaws-defined accountability mechanism(s).

Resolved (2023.10.26.11), the ICANN Board revisits its 12 June 2022 decision on Recommendation 7 of the Cross-Community Working Group on New gTLD Auction Proceeds (CCWG-AP) and issues the Revised Scorecard - CCWG on Auction Proceeds Final Report Recommendations – Board Action ("Revised Scorecard"), removing the requirement and dependency that a Fundamental Bylaws Amendment is required prior to the launch of the ICANN Grant Cycle. The Board's action on all other Recommendations within the CCWG-AP's Final Report remains in place.

Resolved (2023.10.26.12), the ICANN Board directs ICANN's Interim President and CEO, or her designee(s), to evaluate the effectiveness of the limitation on access to ICANN's accountability mechanisms within the first grant cycle, and if it appears appropriate to support accountability of the Program, explore the development of limited purpose-built opportunities for applicants to seek procedural review of certain decisions made on applications within the ICANN Grant Program, as appropriate and supported by best practices in grant programs in future grant cycles.

All members of the Board voted in favor of Resolutions 2023.10.26.11 and 2023.10.26.12. The Resolutions carried.

Rationale for Resolutions 2023.10.26.11 – 2023.10.26.12

Today's Board action is an important step in streamlining the implementation of the ICANN Grant Program while upholding ICANN's accountability and ensuring that the Auction Proceeds funds are used towards grants. The Board is directing ICANN org to:

  • remove the dependency of the launch of the ICANN Grant Program on a Fundamental Bylaws Amendment Process that would restrict access to ICANN's accountability mechanisms;
  • implement the Cross-Community Working Group on New gTLD Auction Proceeds' (CCWG-AP) recommendation limiting applicant access to ICANN's accountability mechanisms through the use of terms and conditions to which applicants will be required to agree when submitting their applications within the ICANN Grant Program;
  • review and analyze the experience of the first cycle of the ICANN Grant Program to advise the Board on further ways to maintain ICANN's accountability for preserving the Auction Proceeds for grants while also remaining accountable to applicants, such as the use of meaningful opportunities for applicants to seek limited procedural review of certain decisions made when processing applications within the ICANN Grant Program.

The Board also notes below its intention to have a broader conversation with the ICANN community about whether and how the Bylaws could be updated to define how the community can limit access to ICANN's accountability mechanisms.

Today's action remains aligned with the purpose and intent of one of the recommendations of the CCWG-AP, removing a dependency on the Fundamental Bylaws Amendment Process. Notably, today's action does not change any other recommendation or characteristic of the ICANN Grant Program as envisioned by the CCWG-AP.

In June 2022, when the Board first approved of the recommendations within the CCWG-AP's Final Report, the Board acknowledged the balance that the CCWG-AP was trying to achieve between not allowing accountability mechanisms to be used to challenge decisions on individual applications, while still allowing for accountability challenges to the broader program. See, 12 June 2022 Scorecard, at https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/scorecard-ccwg-ap-final-recommendations-board-action-12jun22-en.pdf. This helped achieve a balance between two key aspects of accountability – accountability to applicants for broader challenges to ICANN's accountability, while maintaining accountability for ICANN using the auction proceeds for the public good and maximizing the funds available for grant making.

Today's action keeps the fundamental premise of the CCWG-AP's Recommendation 7 intact: that ICANN's accountability mechanisms remain unavailable for challenges of decisions on individual applications. What now changes is the manner in which this Recommendation will be implemented. The Board has concluded that it no longer concurs with the CCWG-AP's conclusion that the only mechanism for implementing Recommendation 7 is to modify ICANN's core accountability Bylaws. Rather, the Board identifies that the use of contractual terms and conditions with applicants can provide the appropriate limitations on access to the Independent Review Process (IRP) and the Reconsideration Process, and directs ICANN org to proceed in that manner. The Board's updated action and supporting rationale is reflected in the Revised Scorecard - CCWG on Auction Proceeds Final Report Recommendations – Board Action ("Revised Scorecard"). All other portions of the Board's June 2022 action remain untouched.

Today's decision supports the CCWG-AP's fundamental recommendation to protect against the use of potentially protracted accountability processes and the corresponding depletion of the funds available for award within the Grant Program. In order to account for the design work that has progressed since the Board's June 2022 action which defines different stages of assessment of individual applications, from admissibility to eligibility to substantive evaluation by an Independent Application Assessment Panel, the Board expects the limitation to restrict access to ICANN's accountability mechanisms for all decisions on those individual applications, not limited only to those made by the Independent Application Assessment Panel (as stated within the CCWG-AP recommendation). Anything short of this comprehensive view makes it possible that some applicants could have access to ICANN's accountability mechanisms for decisions on their individual applications as long as that action wasn't taken by the Independent Application Assessment Panel. If allowed, this uneven access to the accountability mechanisms still risks the use of auction proceeds to defend against accountability challenges on individual application decisions in a manner the CCWG-AP wished to protect against.

The limitation to "Independent Application Assessment Panel" decisions is not the only loophole that could be created through a strict adherence to the CCWG-AP's proposed Bylaws carve out. The "individual application decision" limitation, if built into the Bylaws, is also likely to create a significant loophole through which applicants or third parties could still maintain access to ICANN's accountability mechanisms for decisions within the ICANN Grant Program. If an IRP or Reconsideration Process were initiated on the premise that a decision that affected a singular application was actually a programmatic error, this would force protracted consideration within the IRP or Reconsideration Process of whether or not those claims were precluded by the "individual application decision" carve-out. This outcome could result in a more costly, longer accountability process than if the carve out were not in place. With today's action, the Board is fully effectuating the CCWG-AP's recommendation as it relates to applicants within the Grant Program and removing some loopholes that could have been in place for applicants under the Fundamental Bylaws amendment path.

The Board recognizes that if the scope of the accountability mechanisms themselves were narrowed through the Fundamental Bylaws change contemplated by the CCWG-AP, such an amendment would restrict not only applicants from use of accountability mechanisms, but also any third party that that might disagree with a decision made on an individual application by the Independent Application Assessment Panel. While it is impossible to foresee to what extent third parties may challenge the Grant Program processes and procedures, those challenges are not limited by today's Board decision and (if or when brought by persons or entities with proper standing to do so) are anticipated to be more straightforward than if a carve-out as discussed above was in force.

The direction to ICANN org to use terms and conditions as a means to restrict applicant usage of ICANN's accountability mechanisms does not signal a broader intention by the Board or the org to limit access to ICANN's accountability mechanism through contracts. This is a specific situation where the community clearly recommended, with the support of each Chartering Organization, that the ICANN's accountability mechanisms should not be available for application-specific decisions. The Board agreed with this recommendation in June 2022 and continues to agree that community position remains in the public interest. The Board would not be taking today's action absent the community's clear recommendation.

The Board's direction to use terms and conditions now also does not foreclose future exploration of an appropriately tailored Bylaws change. First, the Board is interested in discussing with the community how the Bylaws might be changed to support future community recommendations by clarifying within the Bylaws the potential for the community to recommend limitations of access to ICANN's accountability mechanisms and for the Board to accept and direct implementation of those recommendations. Therefore, the Board will simultaneously pursue a fundamental Bylaws change that will provide as follows: Where (1) the Final Report of a CCWG, approved by all chartering organizations, recommends that one or more Bylaws-defined accountability mechanisms should not be available to resolve disputes in specified circumstances; and (2) the Board agrees that the community recommendation is in the global interest, the Board shall then be authorized to direct ICANN Org to implement the CCWG recommendation that limits access to the Bylaws-defined accountability mechanism(s).

Second, the Board expects ICANN org to evaluate the effectiveness of the use of terms and conditions within the first cycle of the Grant Program, and whether that remains a sufficient way to uphold ICANN's accountability for the use of the funds. Based on experience and information gathered during this first cycle, the Board, in consultation with the ICANN org and community, could then revisit whether a Bylaws change should be pursued to clarify that if (i) the community recommended that the Reconsideration and IRP mechanisms should not be available in particular situations and (ii) the Board agreed that the community's recommendation was in the global interest.

The Board notes that there could be alternative paths to enhancing accountability to applicants. The Board therefore directs ICANN org to review after the first grant cycle, the effectiveness of the limitation on access to ICANN's accountability mechanisms. At that time, ICANN org could consider whether it is necessary or appropriate to include other accountability opportunities for applicants, such as opportunities for applicants to seek appropriately limited procedural reviews of certain decisions on their applications outside of the accountability mechanisms. While the CCWG-AP noted that purpose-built mechanisms might introduce additional complexity into the Grant Program, the ICANN Board supports the balance achieved in exploring whether to provide such limited procedural reviews for certain decisions that remove applications from being selected as a funded project. The Board notes the caution advised by the CCWG-AP and expects ICANN org, if implemented in the future, to align any procedural reviews to those offered by other grant programs. Prior to taking this action, the Board and ICANN org conducted outreach to assure that those involved in the development of the recommendations understood the intended action. The ICANN Board Chair sent a note to the former members of the CCWG-AP informing them of the Board's intention. Given that some of the CCWG-AP membership is no longer active within ICANN, ICANN org also provided outreach to the heads of each of the entities within ICANN that were Chartering Organizations for the CCWG-AP. ICANN received varied feedback on the intended action, largely focusing on the question of whether ICANN was opening itself up to more challenges by taking this course of action, including a risk of challenges by third parties. As the Board explains above, taking this action today is expected to reduce the risk of complexity of challenges and actually make it less likely to impact the delivery of the Grant Program. The community also raised concerns on the precedential impact of the Board's use of contracts to restrict access to ICANN's accountability mechanisms. As discussed above, the Board carefully considered this issue and sees today's action as limited to situations where a cross-community group already recommended the restriction of access. Some former members also expressed support for moving forward with the Board's proposal, as the Grant Program's first cycle could be viewed as a pilot and future revisions to the implementation might be needed. The Board concurs with this view.

The Board's action upholds the ICANN Mission through the ability to fund more projects sooner through the ICANN Grant Program, and supports the public interest in balancing differing considerations of accountability.

This action is not anticipated to have any impact on the security, stability, or resiliency of the Internet's DNS.

e. Pending Recommendations of the new gTLD Subsequent Procedures Policy Development Process Final Report

Avri Doria introduced the agenda item. She explained that the Board’s action is the final step in its deliberations and resolution on the policy recommendations in the Final Report on the New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Policy Development Process.  She stated that the Board’s action is being undertaken following several rounds of consultation with the GNSO Council Small Team and that the Board has received and reviewed the GNSO Council-approved second Clarifying Statement.

Avri and Becky Burr expressed appreciation to the GNSO for maintaining a cooperative dialogue with the Board throughout the consultation process. Becky and the Chair thanked Avri for her work on the New gTLD Program: Next Round.

Following discussion, the Chair called for a vote and the Board took the following action:

Whereas, on 16 March 2023, the Board adopted the Scorecard: Subsequent Procedures (SubPro PDP) (the "March 2023 Scorecard") to respond to the recommendations, affirmations, affirmations with modification, and implementation guidance (collectively "Outputs") contained in the "Final Report on the New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Policy Development Process" (the "SubPro Final Report"). At that time, the Board designated a number of Outputs as "pending."

Whereas, on 10 September 2023 the Board adopted another iteration of the Scorecard (the "September 2023 Scorecard") to respond to certain pending Outputs. The Board has continued its deliberations on the remaining pending Outputs.

Whereas, on 21 October 2023, the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council (GNSO Council) transmitted to the Board the second "New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Pending Recommendations - GNSO Council Clarifying Statement" (second Clarifying Statement).

Whereas, the GNSO Council noted that the second Clarifying Statement should be read as complementary to Recommendations 9.1, 9.4, 9.8, 9.9, 9.10, 9.12, 9.13, 30.7, 31.16 and 31.17 as stated in the SubPro Final Report, and must be considered jointly with the Outputs for the purpose of implementation and operation of the New gTLD Program: Next Round.

Whereas, the Board has reviewed the second Clarifying Statement and finds it to be material to the Board's decision to adopt the relevant recommendations. The Board agrees with the GNSO Council that the second Clarifying Statement is material and must be considered jointly with the relevant recommendations for the purpose of implementation and operation of the New gTLD Program: Next Round.

Whereas, the Board has remaining concerns regarding Topic 32 of the SubPro Final Report: Limited Challenge/Appeal Mechanism, and previously noted such concerns in the "Issue Synopsis" of Section B of the March 2023 Scorecard. The Board also acknowledges the concerns raised in the SubPro Operational Design Assessment (ODA) regarding Limited Challenge/Appeal Mechanism.1

Whereas, the Board developed the October 2023 Scorecard to address all remaining pending recommendations from the SubPro Final Report,2 including a Board Statement, pursuant to Bylaws Annex A, Section 9, with a rationale for why the Board believes that Recommendations 32.1, 32.2 and 32.10 are not in the best interests of the ICANN community or ICANN.

Resolved (2023.10.26.13), the Board adopts the Scorecard: Subsequent Procedures dated 26 October 2023 (October 2023 Scorecard), consisting of:

  • Section A, which details the recommendations that the Board adopts with the second Clarifying Statement.
  • Section B, which details the recommendations that the Board does not adopt (Recommendations 32.1, 32.2 and 32.10) because they are not in the best interests of the ICANN community or ICANN, including a Board statement and rationale for each of the Outputs, per Bylaws Annex A, Section 9.

Resolved (2023.10.26.14), the Board directs the Interim President and CEO, or her designee(s), to commence the implementation work related to the recommendations adopted by the Board in Section A of the October 2023 Scorecard, and to consider the recommendations and the second Clarifying Statement jointly for the purpose of implementation and operation of the New gTLD Program: Next Round.

Resolved (2023.10.26.15), the Board finds that the Outputs identified in Section B of the October 2023 Scorecard are not in the best interests of the ICANN community or ICANN, and therefore does not adopt these Outputs. Section B of the October 2023 Scorecard includes the Board Statement to document the Board's rationale for why recommendations identified in Section B are not in the best interests of the ICANN community or ICANN, pursuant to Annex A, Section 9 of the ICANN Bylaws.

Resolved, (2023.10.26.16), the Board directs the Interim President and CEO, or her designee(s), to submit the Board Statement to the GNSO Council and to coordinate with the GNSO Council a time to discuss the Board Statement.

Resolved (2023.10.26.17), the Board extends its appreciation to the GNSO Council for drafting its second Clarifying Statement and maintaining cooperative dialogue with the Board to mitigate its concerns about the remaining Outputs.

All members of the Board voted in favor of Resolutions 2023.10.26.13, 2023.10.26.14, 2023.10.26.15, 2023.10.26.16, and 2023.10.26.17. The Resolutions carried.

Rationale for Resolutions 2023.10.26.13 – 2023.10.26.17

Why is the Board addressing the issue?

The actions taken by the Board are the final step in its deliberations and resolution on the policy recommendations in the Final Report on the New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Policy Development Process (SubPro Final Report). The Board took initial action on the SubPro Final Report during ICANN76 in Cancun by adopting the March 2023 Scorecard to document its actions. Since then, the Board adopted another iteration of the Scorecard in September 2023. Today, the Board is taking action to address the remaining pending recommendations in the SubPro Final Report. Resolving on the remaining recommendations now means that the ICANN Board can finalize its decision on the SubPro Final Report and provide clarity on these recommendations, ensuring the implementation process can proceed in a timely and effective manner, in accordance with the Implementation Plan and the IRT Work Plan.

Board action on these recommendations also provides the GNSO Council with a rationale for why the Board believes that some recommendations are not in the best interests of the ICANN community or ICANN, allowing the GNSO Council to decide whether it would like to draft supplemental recommendations, per Bylaws Annex A, Section 9.

What are the proposals being considered?

The Board is taking action to accept the October 2023 Scorecard, which includes: the adoption of ten (10) recommendations for which the second GNSO Council-approved Clarifying Statement addresses some of the concerns raised in the March 2023 Scorecard (Section A); and the determination that three (3) recommendations are not in the best interests of the ICANN community or ICANN, including a rationale for the Board's action (Section B).

Which stakeholders or others were consulted?

Please refer to the rationale of the 10 September 2023 Board Resolution for a summary of stakeholder engagement undertaken by the Board in regards to the SubPro Final Report Outputs, which is incorporated herein by reference.

Additionally, the Board has also undertaken consultation with the GNSO Council Small Team and has received and reviewed the GNSO Council-approved second Clarifying Statement.

What concerns or issues were raised by the community?

No additional or new concerns or issues were raised since the Board adopted the March 2023 and September 2023 scorecards.

What significant materials did the Board review?

The Board took into account conversations and materials as detailed in the March 2023 and September 2023 resolutions on the respective scorecards, including the SubPro Final Report and the Operational Design Assessment (ODA), as well as the second iteration of the GNSO Council-approved Clarifying Statement.

Are there positive or negative community impacts?

Please refer to the rationale of the 16 March 2023 Board Resolution for the anticipated impact of the New gTLD Program, which is incorporated herein by reference.

Are there fiscal impacts or ramifications on ICANN (strategic plan, operating plan, budget); the community; and/or the public?

A financial assessment of the costs relating to implementing the SubPro Final Report was provided to the Board as part of its resolution on the SubPro Final Report on 16 March 2023. A further assessment of implementation costs was also supplied to the Board as part of the New gTLD Program: Next Round Implementation Plan on 27 July 2023.

Are there any security, stability or resiliency issues relating to the DNS?

There are no anticipated security, stability or resiliency issues relating to the DNS as a result of today's Board action to adopt the October 2023 Scorecard, but the Board refers to its rationale to its 16 March 2023 action to adopt the March 2023 Scorecard where such SSR issues are discussed more generally about the New gTLD Program: Next Round.

Is this decision in the public interest and within ICANN's mission?

This action is within ICANN's Mission and is in the public interest as it is important to ensure that, in carrying out its Mission, ICANN's decisions and actions are guided by the following Core Values: "where feasible and appropriate, depending on market mechanisms to promote and sustain a competitive environment in the DNS market" and "[i]ntroduc[e] and promot[e] competition in the registration of domain names where practicable and beneficial to the public interest as identified through the bottom-up, multistakeholder policy development process." (See ICANN Bylaws at 1.2 (b) (iv)).

Under the ICANN Bylaws, the Board is obligated to consider and adopt all policy recommendations formally approved by the GNSO Council "unless, by a vote of more than two-thirds (2/3) of the Board, the Board determines that such policy is not in the best interests of the ICANN community or ICANN". However, the Board's interest in the expansion of the gTLD namespace is also consistent with ICANN's role, as defined in the Bylaws, to coordinate the development and implementation of policies relating to "the allocation and assignment of names in the root zone of the Domain Name System ("DNS")" and promote competition in the DNS marketplace.

Is this either a defined policy process within ICANN's Supporting Organizations or ICANN's Organizational Administrative Function decision requiring public comment or not requiring public comment?

This action by the Board fits under its fiduciary duty and oversight role of the organization, and is a necessary step in carrying out the Board's previous commitment to opening subsequent rounds of the New gTLD Program. It should be noted that the Outputs were the subject of public comment, and that the SubPro Final Report was developed by the ICANN multistakeholder community, in accordance with the GNSO PDP Manual.

f. Next Round Funding Request

The Chair of the Board Finance Committee introduced the agenda item and read the resolution into the record. Following discussion, the Chair called for a vote and the Board took the following action:

Whereas, on 27 July 2023, ICANN organization (org) delivered the implementation plan for the New gTLD Program: Next Round to the ICANN Board. The Board acknowledged receipt of the plan in a resolution and directed ICANN org to provide the Board with periodic updates on its progress, as well as to continue to prepare information to coordinate with the Board Finance Committee (BFC) on periodic requests for implementation funding as work progresses.

Whereas, the BFC has recommended that the Board approve funding from the Supplemental Fund for Implementation of Community Recommendations (SFICR) up to US$13 million to cover further implementation costs for the New gTLD Program: Next Round through 30 June 2024.

Whereas, the BFC is recommending the use of the SFICR rather than the remaining funds of the 2012 round of the New gTLD Program, since the SFICR has the available funds and this will preserve the remaining 2012 funds for ongoing 2012 round expenses.

Resolved (2023.10.26.18), the Board authorizes the ICANN Interim President and CEO, or her designee(s), to spend up to US$13 million from the SFICR to fund the implementation work of the New gTLD Program: Next Round through 30 June 2024.

Resolved (2023.10.26.19), the Board directs the ICANN Interim President and CEO, or her designee(s), to prepare any request for implementation funding beyond 30 June 2024 to be submitted to the BFC in a timely manner, so that the committee can make a recommendation to the Board for consideration at or before the ICANN80 Public Meeting.

All members of the Board voted in favor of Resolutions 2023.10.26.18, and 2023.10.26.19. The Resolutions carried.

Rationale for Resolutions 2023.10.26.18 – 2023.10.26.19

On 27 July 2023, ICANN org delivered to the Board a comprehensive implementation plan (the Implementation Plan) containing a work plan that includes relevant information for infrastructure development, timelines, and anticipated resource requirements for implementation of the next round of the New gTLD Program. Execution of the Implementation Plan has and will continue to require significant resources to develop and construct the essential program infrastructure, including IT systems, operational processes, and applicant procedures required to ensure the successful launch of the New gTLD Program Next Round and its continued operability.

As of August 2023, US$6.5 million of the previously Board-approved US$9 million implementation funds have been spent and ICANN org estimates the remaining US$2.5 million of approved funds will be utilized by 31 October 2023. In order for ICANN org to continue implementation work as directed by the Board, ICANN org has requested, and the Board Finance Committee (BFC) has recommended that the Board approve an additional US$13 million of funding through 30 June 2024.

The table below shows a breakdown of the estimated implementation costs from 1 November 2023 through 30 June 2024.

Next Round Implementation Costs November 2023 - June 2024
(in millions)
Notes
Personnel US$5.2 ICANN org staff costs for implementation, IT Systems, research, community engagement
External Costs US$5.0 Vendor costs: IT System Development, research, process design, Communications Outreach
Shared Services & Org Support US$1.6 Support functions: Communications, Language Services, Human Resources, Finance, Legal, Facilities
Contingency US$1.2 Placeholder for unknown and hard to predict costs
Total US$13.0  

The org and the BFC have recommended that this tranche of funding for the New gTLD Program: Next Round of US$13 million through 30 June 2024 be sourced through the Supplemental Fund for Implementation of Community Recommendations (SFICR). Utilization of the SFICR is appropriate, as approved by the Board, when the size, complexity, and length of the project create a challenge to be solely funded by annual budgeted funding.

The funding for this stage of implementation of the next round is being requested through the SFICR since it requires additional effort and resources above and beyond the annual plan and budget. Further, the org and the BFC are recommending the use of the SFICR rather than the remaining funds of the 2012 round of the New gTLD Program, since the SFICR has the available funds and this will preserve the remaining 2012 funds for ongoing 2012 round expenses. The Board agrees.

This action is within ICANN's Mission and is in the public interest as it is important to ensure that, in carrying out its Mission, ICANN utilizes available funding in the most effective and efficient manner so as to be in the best interests of ICANN and the global Internet community.

This action will not have a negative financial impact on ICANN, as funding has already been accounted for with the establishment of the SFICR. In addition, this action is intended to have a positive impact on the security, stability, or resiliency of the domain name system.

This is an Organizational Administrative Function that does not require public comment.

g. Thank You to Avri Doria for her service to the ICANN Board

The Chair introduced the agenda item and expressed thanks to Avri Doria for her work on the Board.

Whereas, Avri Doria was nominated by the Nominating Committee to serve as a member of the ICANN Board, with a term starting on 2 November 2017.

Whereas, Avri concludes her term on the ICANN Board on 26 October 2023.

Whereas, Avri served as a member of the following Board Committees, Working Groups and Caucuses:

  • Board Technical Committee – Chair
  • Board Organizational Effectiveness Committee – Chair
  • Board Accountability Mechanisms Committee
  • Board Audit Committee
  • Board Finance Committee
  • Board Governance Committee
  • Board Strategic Planning Committee
  • Board Internet Governance Working Group
  • Board Caucus on Budget and Prioritization of Community Recommendations (BPCR) – Chair
  • Board Caucus on CCWG-Accountability Work Stream (WS2) – Chair
  • Board Caucus on New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Policy Development Process (SubPro) – Co-Chair
  • Board Caucus on Root Server System (RSS) Governance – Chair
  • Board Caucus on Accountability and Transparency Reviews 3 (ATRT3)
  • Board Caucus on ccPDP3 Review mechanism
  • Board Caucus on DNS Abuse
  • Board Caucus on International Governmental Organization (IGO) Issues
  • Board Caucus on Registration Directory Services (RDS) Review
  • Ad Hoc Board Group on the ccTLD Retirement Process

Resolved (2023.10.26.20), Avri Doria has earned the deep appreciation of the Board for her term of service, and the Board wishes her well in her future endeavors within the ICANN community and beyond.

All members of the Board approved Resolution 2023.10.26.20 by acclamation. The Resolution carried.

h. Thank You to Matthew Shears for his service to the ICANN Board

The Chair introduced the agenda item and expressed thanks to Matthew Shears for his work on the Board.

Whereas, Matthew Shears was nominated by the Generic Names Supporting Organization to serve as a member of the ICANN Board, with a term starting on 2 November 2017.

Whereas, Matthew concludes his term on the ICANN Board on 26 October 2023.

Whereas, Matthew served as a member of the following Board Committees, Working Groups and Caucuses:

  • Board Strategic Planning Committee – Chair
  • Board Governance Committee
  • Board Risk Committee
  • Board Organizational Effectiveness Committee
  • Board Internet Governance Working Group – Chair
  • Board GDPR / ePDP Working Group
  • Strategic Planning Working Group
  • Board Internationalized Domain Names-Universal Acceptance (IDN-UA) Working Group
  • Board Caucus on Budget and Prioritization of Community Recommendations (BPCR) – Chair
  • Board Caucus on Accountability and Transparency Reviews 3 (ATRT3)
  • Board Caucus on CCWG-Accountability Work Stream (WS2)
  • Board Caucus on Competition, Consumer Trust, and Consumer Choice Review (CCT) Review
  • Board Caucus on Data Protection/Privacy
  • Board Caucus on DNS Abuse
  • Board Caucus on New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Policy Development Process (SubPro)

Resolved (2023.10.26.21), Matthew Shears has earned the deep appreciation of the Board for his term of service, and the Board wishes him well in his future endeavors within the ICANN community and beyond.

All members of the Board approved Resolution 2023.10.26.21 by acclamation. The Resolution carried.

i. Thank You to the local government and supporting organizations of ICANN78 Meeting

The Board wishes to extend its thanks to Dr. Volker Wissing, Federal Minister for Digital and Transport; Dr. Carsten Brosda, Senator for Cultural Affairs and Media, the City of Hamburg; Oliver Süme, Chair of the Board, eco Association; Andreas Musielak, Member of the Executive Board, DENIC; and their teams for their great support. The Board also extends its thanks to ICANN78 Local Host Committee members, eco Association, DENIC, and the City of Hamburg for their great support.

j. Thank you to Sponsors of ICANN78 Meeting

The Board wishes to thank the following sponsors: Dataprovider, CleanDNS Inc, DNS Research Federation, Verisign, Core Association, Public Interest Registry, CentralNic Group PLC, Markmonitor, Intis Telecom Inc, ICANNWiki, Vercara, Actalis spa, Aruba PEC S.p.A., and Wedos Internet s.a.

k. Thank You to Interpreters, Staff, Event and Hotel Teams of the ICANN78 Meeting

The Board expresses its deepest appreciation to the scribes, interpreters, audiovisual team, technical teams, and the entire ICANN staff for their efforts in facilitating the smooth operation of the meeting. The Board would also like to thank the management and staff of the Congress Center Hamburg for providing a wonderful facility to hold this event.

l. Thank you to Community Members

Whereas, ICANN wishes to acknowledge the considerable effort, skills, and time that members of the stakeholder community contribute to ICANN.

Whereas, in recognition of these contributions, ICANN wishes to express appreciation for and thank members of the community when their terms of service end in relation to our Supporting Organizations, Advisory Committees, Nominating Committee, and the Public Technical Identifiers Board.

Whereas, the following members of the Address Supporting Organization are concluding their terms of service:

  • Kevin Blumberg, Address Supporting Organization Address Council Chair
  • Martin Hannigan, Address Supporting Organization Address Councilor
  • Shubham Saran, Address Supporting Organization Address Councilor
  • Mike Silber, Address Supporting Organization Address Council Vice Chair

Resolved (2023.10.26.22), Kevin Blumberg, Martin Hannigan, Shubham Saran, and Mike Silber have earned the deep appreciation of the ICANN Board of Directors for their terms of service, and the ICANN Board of Directors wishes them well in their future endeavors within the ICANN community and beyond.

Whereas, the following members of the Country Code Names Supporting Organization are concluding their terms of service:

  • Souleymane Oumtanaga, Country Code Names Supporting Organization Councilor
  • Javier Rúa-Jovet, Country Code Names Supporting Organization Councilor

Resolved (2023.10.26.23), Souleymane Oumtanaga and Javier Rúa-Jovet have earned the deep appreciation of the ICANN Board of Directors for their terms of service. The ICANN Board of Directors wishes them well in their future endeavors within the ICANN community and beyond.

Whereas, the following members of the Generic Names Supporting Organization are concluding their terms of service:

  • Sebastien Ducos, Generic Names Supporting Organization Chair
  • Farell Folly, Generic Names Supporting Organization Councilor
  • John McElwaine, Generic Names Supporting Organization Council Vice Chair
  • Marie Patullo, Generic Names Supporting Organization Councilor
  • Raoul Plommer, Not-for-Profit Operational Concerns Constituency Chair
  • Bikram Shrestha, Not-for-Profit Operational Concerns Constituency Vice Chair

Resolved (2023.10.26.24), Sebastien Ducos, Farell Folly, John McElwaine, Marie Patullo, Raoul Plommer, and Bikram Shrestha have earned the deep appreciation of the ICANN Board of Directors for their terms of service. The ICANN Board of Directors wishes them well in their future endeavors within the ICANN community and beyond.

Resolved (2023.10.26.25), the ICANN Board of Directors joins the ICANN community in celebrating the legacy of Olévié Kouami.

Whereas, the following members of the At-Large community are concluding their terms of service:

  • Carlos Aguirre, At-Large Advisory Committee Member
  • Gunela Astbrink, Asian, Australasian and Pacific Islands Regional At-Large Organization Vice Chair
  • Naveed Bin Rais, At-Large Advisory Committee Member
  • Claire Craig, Latin American and Caribbean Islands Regional At-Large Organization Secretary
  • Lianna Galstyan, At-Large Advisory Committee Liaison to the Country Code Names Supporting Organization
  • Aziz Hilali, African Regional At-Large Organization Vice Chair
  • Maureen Hilyard, At-Large Advisory Committee Vice Chair
  • Augusto Ho, Latin American and Caribbean Islands Regional At-Large Organization Chair
  • Matthias Hudobnik, At-Large Advisory Committee Member
  • Sarah Kiden, At-Large Advisory Committee Member
  • Dave Kissoondoyal, At-Large Advisory Committee Member
  • Andrei Kolesnikov, At-Large Advisory Committee Liaison to the Security and Stability Advisory Committee
  • Raymond Mamattah, At-Large Advisory Committee Member
  • Laura Margolis, At-Large Advisory Committee Member
  • Glenn McKnight, North American Regional At-Large Organization Secretary
  • Seun Ojedeji, African Regional At-Large Organization Chair

Resolved (2023.10.26.26), Carlos Aguirre, Gunela Astbrink, Naveed Bin Rais, Claire Craig, Lianna Galstyan, Aziz Hilali, Maureen Hilyard, Augusto Ho, Matthias Hudobnik, Sarah Kiden, Dave Kissoondoyal, Andrei Kolesnikov, Raymond Mamattah, Laura Margolis, Glenn McKnight, and Seun Ojedeji have earned the deep appreciation of the ICANN Board of Directors for their terms of service, and the ICANN Board of Directors wishes them well in their future endeavors within the ICANN community and beyond.

Whereas, the following members of the Governmental Advisory Committee are concluding their terms of service:

  • Pär Brumark, Governmental Advisory Committee Vice Chair
  • Shi Young Chang, Governmental Advisory Committee Vice Chair
  • Manal Ismail, Governmental Advisory Committee Chair
  • Jaideep Kumar Mishra, Governmental Advisory Committee Vice Chair

Resolved (2023.10.26.27), Pär Brumark, Shi Young Chang, Manal Ismail, and Jaideep Kumar Mishra have earned the deep appreciation of the ICANN Board of Directors for their terms of service, and the ICANN Board of Directors wishes them well in their future endeavors within the ICANN community and beyond.

Whereas, the following members of the Root Server System Advisory Committee have concluded their terms of service:

  • Fred Baker, Root Server System Advisory Committee Chair
  • Tom Miglin, Root Server System Advisory Committee Alternate Representative
  • Razvan Oprea, Root Server System Advisory Committee Alternate Representative
  • Kaveh Ranjbar, Root Server System Advisory Committee Representative
  • Barbara Schleckser, Root Server System Advisory Committee Representative
  • Ryan Stephenson, Root Server System Advisory Committee Representative

Resolved (2023.10.26.28), Fred Baker, Tom Miglin, Razvan Opera, Kaveh Ranjbar, Barbara Schleckser, and Ryan Stephenson have earned the deep appreciation of the ICANN Board of Directors for their terms of service, and the ICANN Board of Directors wishes them well in their future endeavors within the ICANN community and beyond.

Whereas, the following members of the Security and Stability Advisory Committee have concluded their terms of service:

  • Julie Hammer, Security and Stability Advisory Committee Vice Chair
  • Rod Rasmussen, Security and Stability Advisory Committee Chair
  • Chris Roosenraad, Security and Stability Advisory Committee Member
  • Mark Seiden, Security and Stability Advisory Committee Member

Resolved (2023.10.26.29), Julie Hammer, Rod Rasmussen, Chris Roosenraad, and Mark Seiden have earned the deep appreciation of the ICANN Board of Directors for their terms of service, and the ICANN Board of Directors wishes them well in their future endeavors within the ICANN community and beyond.

Whereas, the following member of the Public Technical Identifiers Board is concluding his term of service:

  • James Gannon, Public Technical Identifiers Board Chair

Resolved (2023.10.26.30), James Gannon has earned the deep appreciation of the ICANN Board of Directors for his term of service, and the ICANN Board of Directors wishes him well in his future endeavors within the ICANN community and beyond.

Whereas, the following members of the Nominating Committee are concluding their terms of service:

  • Alvaro Aguilar, Nominating Committee Delegate
  • Taiwo Peter Akinremi, Nominating Committee Delegate
  • Ali AlMeshal, Nominating Committee Delegate
  • Tijani Ben Jemaa, Nominating Committee Delegate
  • Vittorio Bertola, Nominating Committee Delegate
  • Jordyn Buchanan, Nominating Committee Delegate
  • Michael R. Graham, Nominating Committee Associate Chair
  • Judith Hellerstein, Nominating Committee Delegate
  • Hiro Hotta, Nominating Committee Delegate
  • Brajesh Jain, Nominating Committee Delegate
  • Yrjö Länsipuro, Nominating Committee Delegate
  • Ram Mohan, Nominating Committee Delegate
  • Vicky Sheckler, Nominating Committee Delegate
  • John Woodworth, Nominating Committee Delegate

Resolved (2023.10.26.31), Alvaro Aguilar, Taiwo Peter Akinremi, Ali AlMeshal, Tijani Ben Jemaa, Vittorio Bertola, Jordyn Buchanan, Michael R. Graham, Judith Hellerstein, Hiro Hotta, Brajesh Jain, Yrjö Länsipuro, Ram Mohan, Vicky Sheckler, and John Woodworth have earned the deep appreciation of the ICANN Board of Directors for their terms of service, and the ICANN Board of Directors wishes them well in their future endeavors within the ICANN community and beyond.

Resolved (2023.10.26.32), The ICANN Board of Directors joins the ICANN community in celebrating the legacy of Pam Little.

Whereas, Donna Austin received the 2023 ICANN Community Excellence Award.

Resolved (2023.10.26.33), Donna Austin has earned the deep appreciation of the ICANN Board of Directors for her dedication to ICANN's multistakeholder model, and the ICANN Board of Directors wishes her well in her future endeavors within the ICANN community and beyond.

Whereas, Margarita Valdés Cortés received the 2023 Dr. Tarek Kamel Award for Capacity Building.

Resolved (2023.10.26.34), Margarita Valdés Cortés has earned the deep appreciation of the ICANN Board of Directors for her contributions over decades to local, regional, and global capacity-building programs and her contributions to the online arbitration system at NIC Chile, and the ICANN Board of Directors wishes her well in her future endeavors within the ICANN community and beyond.

All members of the Board approved Resolutions 2023.10.26.22, 2023.10.26.23, 2023.10.26.24, 2023.10.26.25, 2023.10.26.26, 2023.10.26.27, 2023.10.26.28, 2023.10.26.29, 2023.10.26.30, 2023.10.26.31, 2023.10.26.32, 2023.10.26.33, and 2023.10.26.34 by acclamation. The Resolutions carried.

Rationale for Resolutions 2023.10.26.22 – 2023.10.26.34

Community-driven work is at the core of ICANN's mission. Countless hours are spent in working groups across the Supporting Organizations, Advisory Committees, and other groups, including the Customer Standing Committee, Empowered Community Administration, Nominating Committee, and the Public Technical Identifiers Board. Together, these community groups develop and refine policies that ensure the security, stability, and resiliency of the global Internet. The Board is grateful for the community's tireless efforts and cooperative spirit shown over the last year.

The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 6 November 2023

Footnotes

[1] See ODA pages 169-176.

[2] See September 2023 Scorecard