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The Fellowship Spirit

10 years fellowship anniversary icann59 2000x1333 27jul17 en

On 25 June 2017, ICANN59 Fellowship Alumni gathered in Johannesburg, South Africa, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the program.

Finale of a Four-Part Blog Series (Read Part One, Part Two, and Part Three)

Laughter, song, and conversation filled the air on a Sunday night in Johannesburg when over 100 Program Alumni and other members of ICANN's community, Board, and organization gathered to celebrate 10 successful years of the Fellowship Program at ICANN. As we look forward, it's time to act on the key outcomes and action items garnered from the Fellowship Survey. Our focus will be on bringing even more diversity to the ICANN community by identifying the gaps existing in our multistakeholder model related to regions, sector, gender, professional services, and underserved communities.

But it's more than just filling seats. We need volunteers who can advance ICANN's work. Who are these special individuals? They are experts in their fields and understand their community, regional needs, and challenges. They share a passion for continued improvements in the Internet governance space in matters related to policy, technical, and security – within ICANN's remit. Perhaps most importantly, they'll understand the hard work that lies ahead – and will still want to be part of the solution.

A key piece of attracting and retaining volunteers is onboarding, mentoring, and coaching them – a focus of the last four years of the Fellowship Program. We've matched experienced Fellowship Alumni with participants who are new to the program, and sometimes, new to the ICANN space. They work in teams for six weeks before a meeting, receive guidance at the meeting, and follow up and support each other after the meeting. And it's working – we've seen a definite increase in the number of individuals who join, stay, and actively engage in ICANN's communities, working groups, or review teams.

As we conclude this four-part series celebrating the real spirit that is the Fellowship Program, we'd like to highlight Fellowship Alumni who have gone on to join the ICANN organization, supporting the work of the ICANN community.

  • Mario Aleman (2014/ICANN49 Fellow) – Secretariat Operations Coordinator, Policy Development Support
  • Yaovi Atohoun (2009/ICANN36 Fellow) – Stakeholder Engagement and Operations Manager, Africa
  • Fahd Batayneh (2008/ ICANN32 Fellow) – Stakeholder Engagement Manager, Middle East
  • Albert Daniels (2007/ICANN29 Fellow) – Stakeholder Engagement Senior Manager, Caribbean
  • Amr Elsadr (2009/ICANN36 Fellow) – Policy Manager, Policy Development Support
  • Sarmad Hussain (2008/ICANN31 Fellow) – IDN Programs Director
  • Rodrigo de la Parra (2007/ICANN29 Fellow) – VP, Global Stakeholder Engagement, Latin America and Caribbean / Managing Director for Montevideo, serving the Latin American and Caribbean region
  • Rodrigo Saucedo Linares (2010/ICANN37 Fellow) – Strategic Initiatives – Latin America and Caribbean Senior Manager
  • Siranush Vardanyan (2008/ICANN31 Fellow) – Fellowship Program Manager, Public Responsibility Support

If you'd like information about how to apply to the Fellowship Program or have any feedback or comments, please email us at


    KEMNOE WILFRIED JOEL  04:24 UTC on 27 July 2017

    Salut, j’apprécie vraiment votre programme fellowships et je voudrais savoir comment faire pour s'inscrire car j' aimerais beaucoup y participer. Merci

    Nic Brown  06:08 UTC on 04 August 2017

    Yes it was cool to come off in Johannesburg :)

    Siry Black  04:29 UTC on 06 September 2017

    Nice Meeting

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."