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Duncan Burns

SVP, Global Communications & Managing Director - Washington D.C. Office

United States

Forum Profile


Duncan Burns is a seasoned communications expert who came to ICANN in May of 2013. He is a member of the Executive Team and responsible for all ICANN external and internal communications around the world. He is also Managing Director of ICANN's Washington D.C. office and responsible for ICANN's U.S. Government relations. Duncan also leads ICANN's Language Services team.

Prior to joining, he was with Hill+Knowlton Strategies for 12 years, working in both London and Washington D.C. on a range of complex national and international programs across the technology, energy, finance and NGO sectors. In 2011, He was appointed H+K's first global energy practice director, responsible for driving the growth of the energy practice worldwide and delivering best practice across the company's roster of clients and network of experts. He was also the general manager of H+K's Washington DC office and previously senior vice president in the technology practice. Prior to Hill+Knowlton he worked for the British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong.

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."