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An ending … and a new beginning!

As some of you may have heard I am leaving ICANN next month. An opportunity came my way which will take me “back to my roots” in international intellectual property policy, and as great a job as Senior Director for Participation and Engagement is (and it is a great job!), I feel that that this opportunity is simply too compelling to let it pass me by.

ICANN’s commitment to Participation and Engagement predated my tenure, and it will continue on for as long as there is an ICANN. If you would like to apply to fill the post I’ve had the honour to fill, the door is most definitely open; you can find more information and apply at

Whomever is selected for this role, I wish them all the best – from leading the charge to bring further improvements to remote participation at meetings, to helping the community make choices about the future of ICANN’s meetings, to engaging new communities – there’s a lot to be done,  and the job is very rewarding.  You can find more information on the core of the programme for the next year at

It has been a privilege and an honour to serve the Internet community for the past three and a half years. I’ve met amazing people, with a real passion for the future of the Internet and an unshakeable commitment to building a better future for everyone. Whilst I’m going to a very different area of international policy, as an Internet user myself I believe my interests are in great hands – yours. I will enjoy watching the future unfold as all of you create it!


    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."