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Rod Beckstrom Named ICANN CEO | Global Entrepreneur, Analyst and Author

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Rod Beckstrom

Internet founders and leaders are joining industry executives and government officials in praising the selection of Rod Beckstrom as the new Chief Executive Officer and President of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

"Rod Beckstrom has exactly the sort of strong personal and technical background that ICANN needs, as we enter a period of unprecedented growth and change for the Internet," said ICANN's Board Chairman Peter Dengate Thrush, in announcing the appointment. "In addition to his cyber security expertise, he's been a successful CEO of a global enterprise, done NGO work and volunteer work and a bestselling author. It's an extreme understatement to say we are enthused."

Beckstrom is the former Director of the U.S. National Cybersecurity Center (NCSC), where he formed an effective working group of leaders from the nation's top six cybersecurity centers spanning the civilian, military and intelligence communities.

The announcement of Beckstrom's selection as CEO occurred at the conclusion of ICANN's 35th international meeting in Sydney, Australia.

"The importance of the Internet as a free flowing source of information is being underscored right now by the events in Iran," said Beckstrom. "It shows the power of human expression through a free and open Net."

Beckstrom's international perspectives and expertise in organizational analysis frame much of the praise surrounding his appointment as ICANN CEO:

  • "Rod's extensive technical and commercial expertise is world class, and I can think of no one better positioned to lead ICANN's critical mission as the Internet's role in society continues to increase in scope and importance." – Eric Schmidt, Google Chairman and CEO.
  • "Rod Beckstrom is strikingly well-prepared to undertake a new role as CEO of ICANN. His experience in industry and government equip him for this global and very challenging job." – Vint Cerf, considered the "Father" of the Internet.
  • "I am pleased that ICANN elected Rod Beckstrom to serve as its next CEO, and look forward to working with him in the years to come. He is an intelligent and thoughtful individual who will provide the right kind of leadership for the organization." – Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee.
  • "I can think of no one more prepared to take this role on than Rod Beckstrom." – David Dorman, Chairman of Motorola Inc.
  • "Rod has thought deeply about organizations and the Internet. He will bring experience, energy and ideas to a job at the center of the digital revolution." – James Lewis, Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC.
  • "Rod Beckstrom is an outstanding choice to head ICANN. He understands people, institutions, and technology. He can bring constituencies together and has inspired important collaborations around the world. He recognizes both the potential and the challenges for ICANN. And has stood up for the civil liberties of Internet users with courage and foresight." – Marc Rotenberg, Executive Director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
  • "Rod Beckstrom's unique blend of experience as a high-tech entrepreneur, public servant and leading international thinker are just what ICANN needs as it enters the next phase of its development. VeriSign looks forward to working with Mr. Beckstrom and his staff as they tackle the issues critical to the Internet community and Internet users." – Mark McLaughlin, President and Chief Operating Officer of VeriSign.
  • "I'd liked to extend my congratulations to Mr. Beckstrom for his appointment as President and CEO of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). His background as an Internet entrepreneur and in cyber security will be an asset for ICANN as it continues to promote competition and enhance the stability and security of the global Internet. I look forward to working with him, as we continue our efforts to make ICANN a more stable, accountable, transparent, and, most importantly, fully independent global organization." – U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine).

Beckstrom has been an active participant in the non-profit arena, serving on the board of trustees of the Environmental Defense Fund and the Jamii Bora Trust, a micro-lending group based in Nairobi, Kenya with more than 210,000 members.

A co-author of four books, Beckstrom's most recent, The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations, details how diverse and untraditional organizations, can become virtually selfperpetuating, regardless of the status of their respective leadership.

"The Internet has changed the way the world communicates and conducts commerce," said Beckstrom. "And in no small way, this multi-stakeholder, bottom-up organization has been and will continue to be at the core of the Internet's on-going evolution. Quite simply, the proof that ICANN works, is that the Internet works."


About ICANN:

To reach another person on the Internet you have to type an address into your computer - a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers across the world. Without that coordination we wouldn't have one global Internet. ICANN was formed in 1998. It is a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with participants from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet's unique identifiers. ICANN doesn't control content on the Internet. It cannot stop spam and it doesn't deal with access to the Internet. But through its coordination role of the Internet's naming system, it does have an important impact on the expansion and evolution of the Internet. For more information please visit:

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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."