Skip to main content

Affirmation of Commitment (AoC) Reviews Second Accountability & Transparency Review Team (ATRT) | Call for Volunteer ATRT Members: Representing ICANN Advisory Committees and Supporting Organizations; and Serving as Independent Experts

5 October 2012

Updated 3 December 2012

In Short

In line with the Affirmation of Commitments (AoC) requirements, ICANN now invites interested individuals to apply for Volunteer Review Team Member positions – either in representation of a Supporting Organization or Advisory Committee, or as an Independent Expert -- to serve on the second Accountability & Transparency Review Team. Candidatures are to be submitted to by Monday, 14 January 2013 – 23:59 UTC.

Please read below for more information and details on the application procedure and Accountability & Transparency Review Team mandate.

Background Information

Signed in September 2009 by the Department of Commerce (DOC) and ICANN, the Affirmation of Commitments (AoC) calls for periodic reviews of four key ICANN objectives:

  1. Ensuring accountability, transparency and the interests of global Internet users;
  2. Preserving security, stability and resiliency of the DNS;
  3. Promoting competition, consumer trust and consumer choice;
  4. WHOIS policy.

To date, three reviews have been undertaken and completed:

  • The Accountability & Transparency Review Team (ATRT) – final report delivered on 31 December 2010 and accepted by Board for implementation on 24 June 2011;
  • The Security, Stability & Resiliency of the DNS Review Team (SSR) – final report delivered on 21 June 2012 and under consideration by the Board; and
  • The WHOIS Policy Review Team (WHOIS) – final report delivered on 11 May 2012 and under consideration by the Board.

As prescribed by the AoC, the Competition, Consumer Trust and Consumer Choice review will begin once the new gTLDs have been in operation for one year.

Per the Affirmation of Commitments, ICANN will organize a review of its execution of the accountability and transparency commitments no less frequently than every three years.

In line with these requirements, ICANN now invites interested individuals to apply for a position of Volunteer Review Team Member, in representation of a Supporting Organization or Advisory Committee, and/or for a position of Independent Expert on the second Accountability and Transparency Review Team (ATRT).

Composition of the second ATRT Team:the Chair of the GAC, the Chair of the Board of ICANN, the Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information of the DOC, representatives of the relevant ICANN Advisory Committees and Supporting Organizations and independent experts. The three first mentioned may be replaced by their designated nominees.

Membership is individual. Team Members are expected to attend face-to-face meetings, conference calls and may not delegate membership responsibilities (except as noted above).


The mandate of the Accountability & Transparency Review Team is defined as follows in the AoC :

ICANN commits to maintain and improve robust mechanisms for public input, accountability, and transparency so as to ensure that the outcomes of its decision-making will reflect the public interest and be accountable to all stakeholders by:

  1. Continually assessing and improving ICANN Board of Directors (Board) governance which shall include an ongoing evaluation of Board performance, the Board selection process, the extent to which Board composition meets ICANN's present and future needs, and the consideration of an appeal mechanism for Board decisions;
  2. Assessing the role and effectiveness of the GAC and its interaction with the Board and making recommendations for improvement to ensure effective consideration by ICANN of GAC input on the public policy aspects of the technical coordination of the DNS;
  3. Continually assessing and improving the processes by which ICANN receives public input (including adequate explanation of decisions taken and the rationale thereof);
  4. Continually assessing the extent to which ICANN's decisions are embraced, supported and accepted by the public and the Internet community; and
  5. Assessing the policy development process to facilitate enhanced cross community deliberations, and effective and timely policy development.

Resulting recommendations of the reviews will be provided to the Board and posted for public comment. The Board will take action within six months of receipt of the recommendations. Each of the foregoing reviews shall consider the extent to which the assessments and actions undertaken by ICANN have been successful in ensuring that ICANN is acting transparently, is accountable for its decision-making, and acts in the public interest. Integral to the foregoing reviews will be assessments of the extent to which the Board and staff have implemented the recommendations arising out of the other commitment reviews enumerated below.

Methodology, Budget & Support

The methodology for conducting these reviews is determined by each Review Team and reviewed by the Board.

English is the working language.

ICANN Staff support will be made available to the Review Team. External expertise may be provided upon request.


Team Members will be requested to perform tasks such as:

  • Reviewing and adopting the review processes in accordance with guidelines issued by the Board;
  • Defining and/or adopting the Terms of Reference with a timeline and deliverables;
  • Determining whether external consultancy is needed and participating in an ensuing provider selection;
  • Reflecting on results related to the previous Review Team;
  • Selecting appropriate performance indicators and benchmarks;
  • Defining tools and targets;
  • Considering public, community and Board input;
  • Analyzing findings;
  • Drawing conclusions based on findings;
  • Providing draft conclusions for input;
  • Reporting.


The second Accountability and Transparency Review Team is expected to deliver its final report and recommendations by 31 December 2013 – 23:59 UTC.

Desired Skillset

Applicants should possess the following professional and personal skills:

  • Knowledge of ICANN and its working practices and culture;
  • Knowledge of the subject area of the review;
  • Team spirit, adaptability, consensus-seeking attitude;
  • Willingness to learn;
  • Capacity to reason objectively, putting aside personal opinions or preconceptions;
  • Analytical skills;
  • Ability to interpret quantitative and qualitative evidence;
  • Capacity to draw conclusions purely based on evidence;
  • Commitment to devote sufficient personal time to the review process.

Call for Applicants

This call is solely intended for individuals interested in applying for a position of Volunteer Review Team Member, in representation of a Supporting Organization or Advisory Committee, and/or as an Independent Expert on the second Accountability and Transparency Review Team (ATRT Team).

Each Review Team is responsible for a single review. Selected Members will not serve on more than one Review Team.


Selection of the Members of the Review Teams will be made jointly by the Chair of the Governmental Advisory Committee and by the Chair of the ICANN Board.

Composition of each Review Team will aim to achieve:

  • Geographic diversity;
  • Gender balance;
  • Understanding of ICANN's role and the basic Internet ecosystem in which ICANN operates;
  • Expertise in a discipline related to the review topic (relevant technical expertise, if required by the scope of the review);
  • A candidate should not apply to serve on more than one Review Team. Selectors will not favor double membership.

How to Apply for the Position of Volunteer Review Team Member

Interested individuals are invited to provide the following:

  • A resume (maximum three pages);
  • A letter of motivation;
  • A Declaration of Interests (the template may be found: [PDF, 52 KB]);
  • The Supporting Organization or Advisory Committee he/she wishes to represent;
  • Any additional information the Support Organization or Advisory Committee may require to reach its decision on endorsement. Candidatures will be forwarded to the Supporting Organization (SO) or Advisory Committee (AC) identified by the applicant, for endorsement. SO/AC endorsement will be factored into the selection process;
  • The desired position (a representative of an SO/AC, an independent expert). Should an applicant wish to be considered for more than one position, the order of preference should be specified.

Candidatures should be emailed to

The list of all candidates and their applications will be published on the ICANN website.

How to Apply for the Position of Independent Expert

Interested individuals are invited to provide the following:

Candidatures should be emailed to

The list of all candidates and their applications will be published on the ICANN website.


Candidatures will be accepted until Monday, 14 January – 23:59 UTC.


ATRT Team Members will not be remunerated. However, travel, meal and lodging costs for appointed Members and independent experts to participate in Review Team meetings will be reimbursed upon request in accordance with ICANN's community travel support guidelines.


Please contact Olof Nordling at and Alice Jansen for any questions you may have.

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."