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Naela Sarras

VP, Stakeholder Engagement - North America


Naela Sarras is the Vice President of Stakeholder Engagement in North America. In this role, she facilitates collaboration between stakeholders in the region, including ICANN-accredited registries and registrars, established civil society organizations, and members of the technical community who participate in Internet standards organizations and develop Internet policy. She works closely with other ICANN organization teams to build and diversify ICANN’s multistakeholder base across North America.

Previously, Naela was the Director of IANA Operations, overseeing many of the most important technical functions that ICANN facilitates. A highly respected member of ICANN’s technical community, Naela has been with ICANN since 2005 and involved in many of ICANN’s technical milestones, such as the IANA Stewardship Transition. She has been a key partner in the Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) program, which is helping build a multilingual Internet for the next generation of Internet users across the globe.

Fluent in English and Arabic, Naela has a degree in Computer Information Systems and Business Administration. She is based in Los Angeles.

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."