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Theresa Swinehart

SVP, Global Domains & Strategy

United States of America


Theresa Swinehart is the Senior Vice President of Global Domains and Strategy. In this role, she works with the community, contracted parties, stakeholders, and policymakers to ensure broad and inclusive engagement, consensus-based policymaking through ICANN’s multistakeholder model, and effective, accountable policy implementation. Her responsibilities include policy implementation, review operation, and cross-functional strategic initiatives such as ICANN’s compliance with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation. An expert in global Internet governance, Theresa also serves as co-deputy to the President and CEO. Her extensive industry experience, including nearly 20 years as a key contributor to ICANN’s growth and development, gives her a valuable perspective on how ICANN organization can work efficiently and collaboratively to better serve the global Internet community.

Theresa rejoined ICANN after three years as Executive Director of Global Internet Policy at Verizon Communications, where she specialized in emerging issues as well as stakeholder and policy engagement. Prior to this, she served as ICANN’s Vice President of Global and Strategic Partnerships, leading a team responsible for partnership reform, global engagement and outreach, and the participation in international forums. Before ICANN, Theresa was Director of Global E-Commerce at MCI, where she was responsible for such issues as Internet service provider liability, data protection, and participation in Internet-related forums, including the formation of ICANN.

Theresa has a bachelor’s degree in international relations from the University of California, Davis, a graduate degree in international studies from the University of Vienna, Austria, and a juris doctorate from American University. She served on the Internet Society’s Board of Trustees and Internet Governance Forum’s Multistakeholder Advisory Committee. Theresa began her career in international human rights. She is fluent in German and is 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"""" is not an IDN."