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Naela Sarras Appointed ICANN Vice President of Stakeholder Engagement in North America

Naela Sarras

LOS ANGELES – 17 September 2020 – Today, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced that Naela Sarras has been appointed Vice President of Stakeholder Engagement, North America. She is based in Los Angeles and reports to Sally Costerton, Senior Vice President of Global Stakeholder Engagement.

"ICANN's North America region is home to many ICANN-accredited registries and registrars, established civil society organizations, and members of the technical community who participate in Internet standards organizations," Costerton said, "These stakeholders will benefit from the remarkable depth of Naela's experience."

Sarras joined ICANN org in 2005 and is currently the Director of IANA Operations, overseeing many of the most important technical functions that ICANN facilitates. She is a highly respected member of and key liaison to ICANN's technical community. Sarras has been instrumental in many projects, such as the Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) program, which is helping build a multilingual Internet for the next generation of Internet users across the globe. Sarras is fluent in English and Arabic, and has a degree in Computer Information Systems and Business Administration.

She will transition to her new role in November, where she will help build and diversify ICANN's multistakeholder base across North America. ICANN org is recruiting for an operations director to fill her IANA position.


ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure, and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with a community of participants from all over the world.

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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."