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Nominating Committee | Guidelines 2015

14 November 2015


This document provides guidelines intended to complement the Nominating Committee Operating Procedures and Code of Conduct and should be read in conjunction with those documents for further background information. The purpose is to provide some details about the Committee structure and activities as a foundation for each Committee's considerations and decisions on such matters.

The Committee structure is largely defined by the ICANN Bylaws, with a prerogative for the Committee Chair to appoint an additional non-voting member as Associate Chair and with freedom for the Committee to establish Sub-Committees for particular purposes.

The detailed activities to perform are determined by each year's Nominating Committee within the overall framework of the Committee's task as defined by the Bylaws and the same applies for what outreach activities to undertake in view of specific selection criteria adopted, available outreach opportunities and potential target groups.

The guidelines provide an outline based on previous Committees' experience, as a reference and "aide-memoire", with an ambition to serve as a "best current practice".


ICANN's Nominating Committee (NomCom) is responsible for the selection of eight ICANN Board Members and for other selections as are set forth in the Bylaws. (See Bylaws Article VII, Section 1 at

The NomCom is also charged with appointing some members of the At Large Advisory Committee (ALAC), the Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO) Council and the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council. The NomCom complements the other means for filling a portion of key ICANN leadership positions achieved within the Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees.

Together, the NomCom and Supporting Organization/Advisory Committee selection pathways ensure that ICANN benefits from functional, cultural and geographic diversity in its policy development and decision-making as the Internet evolves.

The following are the core objectives of the NomCom:

  1. Identify, recruit and select the highest-quality nominees for the positions the NomCom is charged to fill.
  2. Advance ICANN's core mission and values. (See Bylaws Article I, Sections 1 and 2 at and
  3. Act with trust and respect towards all members of the NomCom.
  4. Pursue diversity in the selections regarding geography, culture, skills, experience, gender and perspectives from across the global Internet community.
  5. Meet the expectations of the Internet community by acting with fairness and integrity, and by providing transparency of objectives, criteria, procedures, and mechanisms for receiving input, while respecting candidates' privacy and maintaining the confidentiality that is necessary to assure open and frank communications within NomCom.

The NomCom Code of Conduct ( applies to and must be agreed to by:

The following sections of this document are dedicated to the NomCom structure and activities. For further information on other topics regarding NomCom please refer to the Operating Procedures and the Code of Conduct.


The NomCom overall structure can in principle be described in an organization chart as follows:

The bodies appointing members to the NomCom, as illustrated in the chart, are defined in the ICANN Bylaws. Appointments of members by a body other than those above would first require a corresponding change in the Bylaws. However, some bodies have not appointed any member at all. This has often been the case for the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) that rarely has appointed a NomCom member. Further, as noted above, selection or no, of a non-voting Associate Chair is the prerogative of the Chair.

The NomCom is free to establish Sub-Committees for various purposes, not depicted in the above chart. Traditionally, there is at least a Sub-Committee for handling conflicts of interest, and frequently also a Sub-Committee for outreach activities.

Term limits for NomCom members are specified in ICANN Bylaws Art VII, Sect 3, Each voting delegate shall serve a one-year term and may serve at most two successive one-year terms, after which at least two years must elapse before the individual is eligible to serve another term. Non-voting liaisons shall serve during the term designated by the entity that appoints them. The Chair, the Chair-Elect, and any Associate Chair shall serve as such until the conclusion of the next ICANN annual meeting.

ICANN provides administrative and operational support necessary for the NomCom to carry out its responsibilities, traditionally provided by two individuals, a Staff Support Lead and a Staff Support, as shown in the chart. Requests for further staff assistance are common, for example from Legal or IT departments, and are channeled through these individuals.


A generic view of a typical overall timeline for the NomCom activities is depicted below.

The events in the timeline above may vary annually depending on published dates of ICANN's three Public Meetings each year. A precise timeline for each NomCom will be posted on the NomCom website for the relevant year.

NomCom's activities can be grouped into the following five phases:

  • I Preparatory phase – ends when the application period opens
  • II Recruitment phase – ends when the application period closes
  • III Assessment phase – ends at the final selection meeting
  • IV Selection phase – ends when the selectees are officially announced
  • V Reporting phase – ends at the ICANN Annual Meeting

While the phases have well-defined end events, the starting points are primarily depending on partial or full readiness for the activities to be undertaken in each phase. This will be further explained and exemplified below.

Typical activities for each phase are as follows:

I Preparatory phase – ends when the application period opens

  • Meetings with Board, BGC and relevant entities to get input for selection criteria
  • Kick-start F2F meeting
  • Establish conference call schedule
  • Definition of selection criteria
  • Prepare SOI repository system, provide members with log-in details
  • Adapt all documentation to current year's requirements
  • Travel arrangements and expense reimbursement
  • Post call for SOIs, web page updates with timeline and other public information

II Recruitment phase – ends when the application period closes

  • Plan and conduct outreach activities
  • Selection and contracting of assessment provider
  • Handle SOIs received, acknowledge receipt, update SOI repository system
  • Request information from references, handle responses, update SOI repository system
  • Conference calls to assess progress and fine tune actions
  • Travel arrangements and expense reimbursement
  • Updates to community on progress, by postings and presentations

III Assessment phase – ends at the final selection meeting

  • Request information from references, handle responses, update SOI repository system
  • Selection of candidates for interviews, information to such candidates
  • Assessment consultant performs interviews and reports
  • Assessment information posted in SOI repository system
  • Selection of candidates for deep diver team interviews
  • Conference calls to assess progress and fine tune actions
  • Deep diver teams are formed and assigned to candidates,
  • Deep diver teams perform interviews and report
  • F2F interviews of shortlisted candidates
  • Travel arrangements and expense reimbursement

IV Selection phase – ends when the selectees are officially announced

  • Deliberations and decisions made on final slate, with alternates
  • Selected candidates contacted, to confirm interest and inform on next steps
  • Selected candidates undergo due diligence
  • Confirmation of selection, provided due diligence positive
  • Conference calls if needed
  • Bios and photos requested from selected candidates
  • Information to not selected candidates, requests to confirm consideration for next year
  • Selections are publicly announced, providing reasoning

V Reporting phase – ends at the ICANN Annual Meeting

  • Reminders to relevant entities to appoint NomCom members
  • Preparation of Chair's final report
  • Conduct 360 NomCom member peer reviews to assess performance and post results on NomCom webpage
  • Preparation of recommendations to inform next NomCom on suggested process improvements
  • Presentation of Chair's final report
  • Travel arrangements and expense reimbursement

As stated above the starting point for each phase is not predefined, since starting points primarily relate to the underlying activities rather than to the phase as such, and depend on partial or full readiness for each activity. That an activity of a particular phase starts before the preceding phase ends is common practice and leads to a certain degree of overlap between the phases. For example, the assessment consultant's interviews, in phase III, can well start for certain obviously interesting candidates before phase II has concluded.


Performing outreach activities is a primary function of the NomCom, with a purpose to attract the attention of potential candidates. Outreach activities may include NomCom members attending meetings and conferences organized by ICANN or by other relevant entities, with a view to identify and recruit high quality candidates. The focus of outreach may vary from year to year, emphasizing locations in a particular region and/or conferences with particular themes, depending on the requirements for the year in question. Outreach activities are typically planned by the Committee or by a specific Sub-Committee, approved by the Chair and referenced on the NomCom website.

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."