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Elise Gerich to Leave ICANN After Seven Years of Service

I want to let you know that Elise Gerich has decided to step down from her role at ICANN as Vice President, IANA Services and President, Public Technical Identifiers (PTI) in October 2017.

Until she leaves, Gerich will continue to oversee the IANA department and PTI, and has committed to working with ICANN and our various community partners and their leadership teams to ensure an efficient and seamless transition of duties. Gerich, Göran Marby, ICANN’s President and CEO, and I are all fully committed to ensuring that the IANA functions continue to operate smoothly and in service of our community.

Gerich has been with ICANN since May 2010, serving as VP, IANA Services, before assuming the additional role of President, PTI, in October 2016. During her tenure at ICANN, she has overseen several important organizational milestones: receiving the EFQM Commitment to Excellence recognition in 2013, the allocation of the last blocks of unallocated IPv4 IP addresses to the Regional Internet Registries, the launching of the Root Zone Management System (RZMS), which provided a more automated system for handling root zone requests, and, of course, managing the IANA functions during the transition of the stewardship of the IANA functions contract. These are just a few of the many achievements related to IANA under Gerich’s guidance and direction. During her remaining time, she will be leading the IANA functions through another major milestone, with the rollover of the root zone Key Signing Key (KSK) scheduled to occur on 11 October 2017.

I know that Elise did not come to this decision lightly, but I also know that she has great confidence in her team’s continuing ability to perform the IANA functions seamlessly under a new team leader. While we will miss her greatly, she is leaving behind a well-established and high performing organization for which we are very grateful.

When I asked her about her time at ICANN, she said, “My decision to leave was a difficult one, but this seems like a good time for a hand-off, as the new affiliate PTI is established and stable. And in October, we will have achieved a major milestone with the rollover of the root zone Key Signing Key (KSK).” She added that, “It has been a privilege to work for ICANN and I specifically want to commend my team for their constant commitment to excellence and dedication to serving the community.”

I am grateful to Elise for her partnership and contributions over the last seven years and for helping with a smooth handover. I hope you will also join me in thanking her for her dedication and service too!

We will be posting a job description shortly and will conduct an open search for her replacement.

In the meantime, I want to reiterate that we are committed to continuing the high performing service of the IANA functions that everyone has come to expect during this transition and beyond.


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    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."