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ICANN Announces Dr. Paul Twomey as New President/CEO | Twomey is first non-US citizen to head ICANN

Marina del Rey, California USA (19 March 2003) Australian Dr. Paul Twomey has been appointed by the Board of Directors as the new President and CEO of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). On 27 March, Dr. Twomey will replace retiring President/CEO Stuart Lynn, who has served for the past two years.

"I am very pleased that Paul will be the next ICANN President, following a thorough and global search process" noted Vint Cerf, ICANN Board Chairman. "His strong background in the private and government sectors, coupled with his extensive experience with ICANN, provides a solid foundation for his leadership. He will hit the ground running."

In a statement issued this morning, Dr. Twomey stated: "I am honored to accept this important position at a key time in the maturation of ICANN. I am impressed with ICANN's overall strengths. I look forward to enriching its global relationships and completing its reform efforts. I plan to consult with all sectors of ICANN's communities to learn how we can work together for the good of the Internet."

Dr. Twomey is currently Managing Director of Argo P@cific, an Australian Internet consulting and incubator corporation. From 1989 through 1994 he worked for the global consulting firm, McKinsey & Company. Specializing in telecommunications and financial services, he consulted for clients in Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney, and New York.

Between 1994 and 1997, he gained further international experience as Executive General Manager of the Australian Trade Commission. From 1997-2000, he headed Australia's National Office for the Information Economy (NOIE). As Special Adviser, he coordinated the government's National Strategy for the Information Economy. In 2000, the Australian government appointed him its Special Representative for the Internet and ICANN.

Twomey's considerable background with ICANN dates back to his involvement with the original White Paper process that led to ICANN's founding. For the three years ending November 2002, he served as the first chair of the ICANN Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC), a global forum of governmental representatives that provides advice to the ICANN Board on public policy issues. In his GAC role, Twomey has worked with global constituencies in arriving at consensus on broad policy issues.

Dr. Twomey holds a Bachelor of Arts (First Class Honors) from the University of Queensland, a Master of Arts (Political Science and International Relations) from Pennsylvania State University and a PhD in International Relations from the University of Cambridge.

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Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."