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Theresa Swinehart

Senior Vice President, Multistakeholder Strategy and Strategic Initiatives

Forum Profile

Biography

A leading advocate for an open and secure Internet and an expert in global Internet governance and cooperation, Theresa Swinehart is the Senior Advisor to the President on Global Strategy at ICANN. She works with stakeholders and policymakers around the globe to advocate the Internet's multistakeholder model, and oversees a team with overarching responsibility for a range of initiatives including development of the organization's five-year strategic plan.

She rejoins ICANN after serving three years as the Executive Director of Global Internet Policy for Verizon Communications, where she specialized in emerging issues and stakeholder and policy leader engagement.

Theresa spent nearly ten years at ICANN prior to joining Verizon in 2010. Her previous position at ICANN was as Vice President, Global and Strategic Partnerships, at ICANN. Her responsibilities included contributing to its reform process, leading the international team, the organization's strategy for global engagement and outreach, and representing the organization in international forums, particularly those relating to Internet governance. She worked with a wide range of stakeholders, including business, regional and international organizations (governmental and non-governmental), technical community, government and civil society, on a range of issues bridging technical, political and policy expertise and experience (e.g. Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs)).

Before joining ICANN, Theresa was Director for Global E-Commerce at MCI, where she was responsible for emerging international Internet issues, including ISP liability, data protection and the company's participation in Internet related forums including the formation of ICANN.

Theresa began her career in international human rights with a focus on economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights.

Theresa holds a law degree from American University Washington College of Law (USA), a post graduate degree in International Studies from the University of Vienna (Austria), and a BA in International Relations from the University of California, Davis (USA).

She has represented organizations in numerous international forums. She serves on the ISOC Board of Trustees and the Internet Governance Forum Multistakeholder Advisory Committee (MAG). She is fluent in English and German and conversant in French.

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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."