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ICANN Launches CEO Search, Retains Christopher Mill to Assist

(distributed 4 May 2000)

(May 3, 2000) The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced today the launch of a global search to recruit its next President and CEO. To guide the search process, the corporation has retained Christopher Mill of Christopher Mill & Partners, a highly experienced executive search consultant based in London.

Finding the right person to lead ICANN in the next stage of its mission is critical. The Board is looking for candidates of demonstrated leadership, managerial competence, technical credibility, and international experience who will work to serve the entire Internet community, from individual and business to academic and public interests. The job requires patience, persistence, an open style, and the ability to generate an active-minded consensus around difficult issues that are nonetheless essential for the effective and efficient operation and growth of the Internet.

ICANN actively welcomes expressions of interest and recommendations of possible candidates. Communications and queries should be sent to Christopher Mill at <>. Details about the position and the search process have been posted at <>.

ICANN's current President and CEO, Mike Roberts, accepted the position in October 1998 with the understanding that he would lead ICANN through its start-up phase, including the establishment of a stable corporate structure and the transition to a fully constituted Board of Directors. As that process nears completion, ICANN's Board of Directors intends to appoint the next President and CEO before the end of 2000.


The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a technical coordination body for the Internet. Created in October 1998 by a broad coalition of the Internet's business, technical, academic, and user communities, ICANN is assuming responsibility for a set of technical functions previously performed under U.S. government contract by IANA and other groups.

Specifically, ICANN coordinates the assignment of the following identifiers that must be globally unique for the Internet to function:

  • Internet domain names
  • IP address numbers
  • protocol parameter and port numbers

In addition, ICANN coordinates the stable operation of the Internet's root server system.

As a non-profit, private-sector corporation, ICANN is dedicated to preserving the operational stability of the Internet; to promoting competition; to achieving broad representation of global Internet communities; and to developing policy through private-sector, bottom-up, consensus-based means. ICANN welcomes the participation of any interested Internet user, business, or organization. See

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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."