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Akram Atallah

President, Global Domains Division

United States

Forum Profile


Akram was interim President and CEO from 11 March 2016 until 22 May 2016 (midnight) when Göran Marby then stepped in officially.

As the first President of ICANN's Global Domains Division, Akram Atallah oversees management of generic domain operations, domain name industry engagement and web services. His appointment in June 2013 acknowledged the rising importance of the organization's New gTLD Program that is increasing the Internet's top-level domain name space from 22 top-level domains like .COM and .ORG to potentially hundreds more. He is charged with delivering operational excellence while increasing scale and responsibility.

A catalyst for driving positive change and growth in technology organizations, Akram first joined ICANN in September 2010 as Chief Operating Officer. In that role, he oversaw operations and strategic planning as ICANN evolved and grew from an entrepreneurial-type start-up to an international and professional organization.

His diversified technology experience runs the gamut from engineering to process and performance improvement to product development and marketing. Before joining ICANN, he successfully restructured CoreObjects Software, an engineering services start-up, as its Chief Operating Officer. Prior to that, he held positions of progressive responsibility at Conexant Systems, culminating in his role as Senior Vice President and General Manager of its Broadband Access Business Unit. Among his accomplishments at Conexant were improved profit margins, the restructuring of the marketing and engineering functions and restoration of market leadership position.

Akram has an MBA, a master's in electrical engineering and bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of Colorado at Denver. He is trilingual in English, Arabic, and 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."