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Our International Office Strategy

When I first joined ICANN, many of you had asked me about how we manage our offices around the world. We've now formalized this in our international office strategy so that we operate more consistently and effectively together, serving you, the global community.


We've moved from having three global hubs to having five regional offices: Los Angeles (headquarters), Brussels, Istanbul, Montevideo, and Singapore. We have engagement centers in Washington, D.C.; Geneva; Beijing; and Nairobi. We also have strategic partnerships in Asunçion, Cairo, and Seoul that help us reach more stakeholders around the world.

Los Angeles is the headquarters, as the community decided during the IANA stewardship transition that ICANN would be a California-based organization with a mission to serve the global community.

The intention of this structure is to ensure we provide the best possible service to you, the community. Since your needs vary greatly by location, so will our services and support in the offices. For example, the EMEA region is so large and diverse and community needs vary from country to country. We recognized this fact by leveraging our office in Brussels to further support the wide-ranging needs in this region.


I am also pleased to announce that Nick Tomasso, VP of Meeting Operations, will be the new Managing Director of the Istanbul office starting 1 September 2017. I'm grateful he's accepted this role and is relocating to Istanbul. David Olive has done a tremendous job creating and leading the Istanbul office since its inception in 2013. David is moving back to Washington, D.C. at the end of August to continue in his capacity as Senior VP, Policy Development and Support. I thank him for his service and dedication to building the Istanbul office from the ground up.

In addition, after 12 years at ICANN, Olof Nordling, VP of Policy Development and Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) Relations, is retiring from ICANN on 31 July 2017. He has done a superb job running the Brussels office. I know the GAC and the Brussels team will miss him greatly – and will say their goodbyes here in Johannesburg.

Jean-Jacques Sahel, VP of Stakeholder Engagement for Europe, will become the Managing Director of the Brussels office. I want to thank Jean-Jacques for accepting this role. Jia-Rong Low continues in his capacity as Managing Director for Singapore. Rodrigo de la Parra will become the Managing Director for Montevideo, serving the Latin American and Caribbean region. Tarek Kamel is the Managing Director for Geneva, and Duncan Burns is the Managing Director of the Washington, D.C. office.

All Managing Directors (Duncan Burns, Jia-Rong Low, Jean-Jacques Sahel, Nick Tomasso, Rodrigo de la Parra, Tarek Kamel) are responsible for their office's strategic plan, operating costs, and staff assigned to their location. They will continue to report to their functional lead, and have a dotted reporting line to me. We are leveraging the successful model we've had in place in Singapore and Istanbul for some time now, and will operate more consistently across locations.

I am confident that these changes will position the organization to best support the global community and its diverse needs. Having a consistent approach will help provide clearer roles and responsibilities within the organization which also helps improve accountability.

Below is a summary of these changes.

ICANN offices

Regional Offices

  • Brussels – Jean-Jacques Sahel, Managing Director (from 1 August)
  • Istanbul – David Olive (until August 2017), then Nick Tomasso (from 1 September 2017) Managing Director
  • Los Angeles – Göran Marby, Managing Director
  • Montevideo – Rodrigo de la Parra, Managing Director
  • Singapore – Jia-Rong Low, Managing Director

Engagement Centers

  • Beijing – Jian-Chuan Zhang, Office Head
  • Geneva – Tarek Kamel, Managing Director
  • Nairobi – Pierre Dandjinou, Office Head
  • Washington D.C – Duncan Burns, Managing Director


  • Asunçion – partnership with the National Secretariat for Information and Communication Technologies of Paraguay
  • Cairo – partnership with National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority
  • Seoul – partnership with Korea Internet & Security Agency


    Cheryl Langdon-Orr  23:33 UTC on 26 June 2017

    Delighted with this part of my morning readings today, and wish to offer my complements to the plan, and my sincere congratulations to all involved in these Management roles. I also wanted to note my best wishes to Olof as he moves into the next phase of his long and respected career, your knowledge, experience and of course voice will be missed by many of us who have had the honour and privilege of working closely with you my friend... Enjoy your retirement.

    Kaleed  20:10 UTC on 27 July 2017

    Amil Sing

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."