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Chair’s Blog: A Preview of the Los Angeles Board Workshop

The ICANN Board will meet for its fifth workshop of the calendar year on 6-8 September in Los Angeles, California. At this workshop we will welcome the three 2019 Nominating Committee selected Board members: Mandla Msimang (new), Ihab Osman (new) and Maarten Botterman (returning). Mandla and Ihab represent the Africa region, and Maarten represents the European region. Congratulations to all three.

As you’ll recall, the Board last met just ahead of ICANN65 in Marrakech, Morocco, where we covered quite a lot of ground, including the adoption of the ICANN Strategic Plan for Fiscal years 2021-2025. This upcoming workshop will be an opportunity to continue where we left off, with important topics such as ICANN reviews, the Fiscal Years (FY) 2021–2025 Operating & Financial Plan, and new generic top-level domain (gTLD) auction proceeds on the agenda for discussion. We also will discuss the future leadership of the Board.

During the workshop, we will hold a public Board meeting, which I encourage you to join. Information on how to dial-in to this listen-only session is available here.

On Friday, 6 September, I’ll kick off the day with introductory remarks ahead of two sessions regarding ICANN’s bylaws-mandated reviews that Avri Doria is leading. The first will address the timing and effectiveness of reviews, and the second will cover the prioritization and affordability of review recommendations. Next, Becky Burr will lead a follow-up discussion from the Marrakech workshop regarding ICANN’s (Board, community and org) readiness for the successful implementation of our three major plans, commencing 1 July 2020. These three plans are: FY21-25 Strategic Plan, FY21–25 Operating & Financial Plan, and the plan to improve the effectiveness of ICANN’s multistakeholder model of governance.

After lunch, we will hear from Brian Cute, facilitator, with an update on the community’s work to develop the plan to improve the effectiveness of ICANN’s multistakeholder model of governance.

The rest of the day will be used for meetings of the Board Governance Committee, Board Accountability Mechanisms Committee, and Board Technical Committee.

Saturday, 7 September, will begin with my opening remarks. Then Göran Marby, ICANN’s President and CEO, will update the Board on the progress he’s made toward his goals and priorities for ICANN org. Akinori Maemura will then present the Board Technical Committee’s draft report on DNS ecosystem security risks and the proposed next steps.

After lunch, Maarten Botterman will host a session where the Board will finalize its FY20 Operational Priorities, followed by a discussion, led by Ron da Silva, on the status of the FY21–25 Operating & Financial Plan. The final session of the day will be an update on the ongoing work being conducted related to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, led by Göran and Becky.

Sunday, 8 September, will start with time set aside to review Board resolutions, and then we will host a public Board Meeting, which I hope you attend. Maarten and Becky will then give an update on the progress the Cross Community Working Group (CCWG) has made on new gTLD auction proceeds. Becky will also lead the Board Governance Committee’s update on the status of its work to develop a deeper understanding of the important skills needed by the Board, identify any gaps, and to develop a multi-year plan to fill those gaps.

After lunch, the Board will deliberate on Board leadership positions, including the next Board Chair and the next Vice-Chair, as well as the leadership and composition of the various Board committees, ahead of elections at the Annual General Meeting at ICANN66 in Montréal, Canada.

These workshops offer a critical opportunity for the ICANN Board to discuss, debate, and collaborate face-to-face. Board members leave each and every one of these workshops more informed and more prepared for the challenges ahead, and this workshop will be no different.


    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."