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Jonathan Robinson Recognized with 2014 ICANN Leadership Award

Jonathan Robinson

Jonathan Robinson has been awarded the 2014 ICANN Leadership Award for his contributions to the effectiveness of ICANN's multistakeholder model.

Robinson received the award in recognition of his devotion to the multistakeholder model, his extraordinary generosity of time, energy, knowledge and expertise, friendship and leadership, and his collegial leadership style that has increased civility and effectiveness within the community.

Assuming the role as Chair of the Generic Names Supporting Organization Council in 2012, Robinson has worked closely with the other 22 members of the Council to strengthen collaborative work within the GNSO and together with other ICANN bodies. These efforts to further open channels of communications between ICANN's diverse participants are critical to the effective functioning and development of the multistakeholder organization. Introducing innovations such as initiating the first induction and development session for the GNSO Council has helped to ensure the well-informed involvement and early success of others as leadership participants within the multistakeholder environment.

Robinson is an experienced company director and entrepreneur with a focus on business development in the domain name services and related sectors. He is co-founder of Group NBT (now NetNames) and served as a Board Director and Chief Operating Officer of the London listed Group for 10 years until 2009. Since 2010, he has continued to work actively in the domain name industry, including through his involvement and board position with domain registry operator, Afilias Ltd.

ICANN gave its first Leadership Award at ICANN's 48th Public Meeting in Buenos Aires in November 2013 to Lesley Cowley, then-CEO of Nominet, the .UK top-level domain registry.

The ICANN staff leadership team selects the winner of this annual award unanimously, based on an individual's leadership in protecting and promoting the multistakeholder model.


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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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."