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Academia Representation on NomCom

Open: 30 April 2011
Closed: 30 May 2011

Explanation/Background: The ICANN Bylaws call for the ICANN Board to designate an entity "to represent academic and similar organizations" that would be responsible for annually selecting a voting delegat of the Nominating Committee (NomCom) (Selecting Entity). See Because identifying a Selecting Entity has been challenging, in practice the Board Governance Committee (BGC) has been recommending for Board approval a member of academia to fill this role on the NomCom. In 2010, the Board directed that the BGC oversee the development of a process to identify a Selecting Entity as called for in the Bylaws. In reviewing the creation of this process, the BGC noted that multiple representatives of academic and similar organizations are appointed to the NomCom each year – and the intent of providing academia with a voice in the selection of ICANN leadership is already being met.

The BGC recommended and the Board agreed that ICANN seek community input on the types of organizations that may be appropriate to serve as this Selecting Entity. This public comment forum is meant to solicit that community input.

If no appropriate entities (or metrics to identify and evaluate such entities) can be identified as a result of community input, an alternative is to amend the Bylaws to remove this particular seat on the NomCom. Such a decision would be reconsidered in the future if academia becomes an under-represented sector in the NomCom. The potential Bylaws revisions on which ICANN is seeking public comment are available here in redline form [PDF, 64 KB].

Staff member responsible: Amy A. Stathos, Deputy General Counsel

Announcement | Comments | Summary/analysis of comments

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."