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Welcome to ICANN61!

Welcome to icann61 marby 750x425 11mar18 en

It is my absolute pleasure to welcome you to ICANN61 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. This is the first ICANN Public Meeting held on the island since 2007, and it could not have come at a more important time. Having this meeting in San Juan is a testament to the strength and resiliency of the Puerto Rican people, and we're incredibly excited to be here. It is my hope that this meeting can help demonstrate to the rest of the world that Puerto Rico is indeed open for business.

ICANN meetings are an important part of how our global community interacts. They give our diverse group of stakeholders a chance to meet face-to-face and develop policy and advice in a more personal, collaborative environment. They're also a great opportunity to learn about the wider community and see what your fellow stakeholders are working hard on.

As you prepare to attend in person, or online through the wide range of remote participation options available, I highly encourage you to download the recent ICANN org Report to the Board, which was made available a short time ago. This report provides a great deal of information about the org, and is a good way to learn about what each department is working on. In addition to this report, we have just published our first-ever Complaints Office report.

I attended my first ICANN meeting nearly two years ago, and, looking back, we've accomplished quite a lot since that time. However, there's still quite a lot ahead of us. With the community, we have been working incredibly hard to develop an interim model for collecting registration data and implementing directory services in preparation for the impending May 2018 deadline of the European Commission's General Data Protection Regulation. Many of us will be meeting during ICANN61 to continue these discussions as we move forward with this important task.

During ICANN61, we'll be holding another open Q&A with the ICANN org Executive Team. This session, which is in addition to the Public Forums, gives you another opportunity to ask us any questions you may have.

Ahead of that, I'd like to let you know about a couple of Executive Team announcements. After 18 years, serving ICANN in many critical roles, Diane Schroeder, Senior Vice President, Global Human Resources, has decided to retire from the ICANN org in July. Diane has been a wonderful leader, colleague, and friend, and we will miss her very much. We will celebrate with Diane properly when it's time, but please join me in wishing her all the best in her retirement.

I'm very happy to announce that Gina Villavicencio will assume her role. Before joining ICANN in August 2017, Gina held senior leadership positions in human resources at Fox Entertainment and Guitar Center. Beginning in April, Diane and Gina will jointly manage the HR and admin functions to ensure a smooth transition and handoff of responsibilities when Diane retires.

You may also have seen my blog the other day about Duncan Burns, Senior Vice President of Global Communications and Managing Director, Washington D.C. Office, who has decided to leave the ICANN org at the end of March, after ICANN61. In Duncan's place, Jamie Hedlund will take over responsibility again for our U.S. Government engagement and as Managing Director for the Washington, D.C. office. We will also be opening a search for the position of Senior Vice President, Global Communications, including Language Services. This position will be based in Los Angeles, and I encourage anyone interested who meets the qualifications to apply in the coming days. In the interim, I've asked Gwen Carlson, Senior Director of Communications, to take over running the team.

Please join me in congratulating Diane and Duncan, and wishing them all the best in the future.

This meeting is sure to be another week of intense discussion, important work, and productive sessions. I'm looking forward to meeting with many of you, and please don't hesitate to stop me in the hallways and say hello. And as always, my team and I are here to support you in any way we can.


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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."