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Fellowships Committee

ICANN Fellowship Program

Superseded by

7 August 2014

The Fellowships Committee (FC) is responsible for selecting which applicants have met the minimum requirements to be eligible to receive fellowships to each of the ICANN Public meetings, utilizing the vetted applications garnered through the online Fellowship application system.

  1. The objectives of the Committee are:

    1. To select fellows from among the applicants based on their conformity with the criteria outlined in the application and the evaluation process.
    2. To act as a resource to the ICANN Board and staff by providing information and feedback on the planning, implementation and evaluation of the fellowships programme as needed.
    3. To conduct outreach in support of the fellowships program and to create a pool of potential future members of the selection committee.
  2. Membership Makeup

    1. The FC shall be made up of no less than four and no more than five representatives of the public with a strong history of experience with some specific sector (s) of the Internet Ecosystem including but not limited to technical Internet issues, work in academia, commercial or non-commercial work; work with ICANN or other Internet entities; work involving developing countries and/or Internet related development work, or affiliation/knowledge of other fellowships programmes.
    2. Membership is at the invitation of ICANN.
  3. Terms of Service

    1. Members will serve for a minimum of three ICANN Public meetings and for a maximum of three years.
    2. Members may resign at any time.
    3. Members will transition off the FC one member at a time when possible.
    4. The FC will meet in person at an ICANN Public meeting once per year, preferably at the last meeting of each calendar year; if required, additional meetings of the FC shall be held via conference call during the evaluation period of the fellowships application process.
  4. Application Assessment and Decision Making Process

    1. The FC will be required to rank applicants within regions in order of preference. The number of fellowships available will vary dependent on number of qualified candidates, the location of meeting, and budgetary constraints.
    2. Each FC member reviews the applications against the questions set out in the application form:
      • Why the applicant wants to attend
      • Why the applicant feels participation in ICANN and separately in the Fellowship Programme is important for this particular meeting
      • Has this country where the applicant resides ever been represented at ICANN meetings before?
      • Has the applicant ever attended an ICANN Public meeting before? If so, what experience has been gained, how was this utilized
      • Has the applicant ever been selected as a Fellow and if so, how was that experience utilized and what are the goals for this meeting based on that experience?
      • If an alumni of the ICANN Fellowship Program, willingness to serve as a mentor to newcomers and new fellows
      • What is the applicant's knowledge base and level of expertise about ICANN?
      • Is the applicant in a position to influence or teach others at home about ICANN?
      • Is the applicant from a group, organization or governmental department that makes it possible for him/her to influence Internet policy at home or in his or her region?
      • Is the applicant willing to complete feedback materials?
      • Is the applicant willing to actively participate in ICANN meetings and the fellowship alumni network?
    3. In addition, beginning with ICANN meeting #31, comments from ICANN staff located in or with knowledge of the relevant geographic regions will be available to the FC via the Vetting Comment Period before the Committee begins their reviews.
    4. FC members will individually review each application and assign a grade of either three (definite yes), two (maybe), one (definite no) or zero (not meeting any criteria). The FC members will then send that individual scoring information to ICANN, which is summarized within the application database.
      • If there are four voting FC members, the highest rank an applicant can receive is 12, the lowest a zero, and everyone will fall somewhere on the scale between 12 and zero.
      • If there are five voting FC members, the highest rank an applicant can receive is 15, the lowest a zero and everyone will fall somewhere on the scale between 15 and zero.

ICANN will then fill the slots from each region with preference given to those highest ranking applications from the region in which that ICANN Public meeting is being held, and then according to the scores from the FC, with attention to diversity in gender, sector and experience.

Current Committee Members:

  • Gaurab Raj Upadhaya – Asia Pacific: Serving through Summer 2015 (Sr. Network Architect, Limelight Networks Inc., Chair SANOG)
  • Nelly Stoyanova – Europe: Serving through Summer 2016 (BEREC Office, Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications in Bulgaria; previously held a seat on the GAC and is an alumni of the Fellowship Program).
  • Demi Getschko – Latin America: Serving through Summer 2016 (Director and President of as well as a former member of the ICANN Board)
  • Christine Arida – Western Asia: Serving through Fall 2016 (Director for Telecom Services and Planning at the NTRA of Egypt, was among the team who first introduced the Internet in Egypt, as well as launching Egypt's Arabic ccTLD, a member of IGF MAG and secretariat of the Arab IFG; member of the Middle East Strategy Working Group (MESWG)
  • Gaongalelwe ("Gao") Mosweu – Africa: Serving through Summer 2017 (Vice President of Botswana Information Technology Society; Country Marketing & Communications Manager at IDM Botswana; Passionate about ICT for Development; Member of the BOCRA Advisory Committee of .bw. Nominated as an Emerging Leader of the Digital World in 2011 by Diplo Foundation)

Past Committee Members:

  • Vanda Scartezini – Latin America – served 3 years / 9 rounds
  • Steven Huter – North America – served 3 years / 9 rounds
  • Erick Iriarte Ahon – Latin America – served 2 ½ years / 8 rounds
  • Pierre Ouédraogo – Africa – served 1 1/2 years / 5 rounds
  • Ayman El-Sherbiny – Western Asia – served 1 year / 3 rounds
  • Hong Xie – Asia Pacific – served 3 years / 9 rounds
  • Nashwa Abel Baki – Western Asia – served 3 years / 9 rounds
  • Alejandro Pisanty – Latin America – served 3 years /10 rounds
  • Tatiana Chirev – Eastern Europe - served 3 years / 10 rounds
  • Fahd Batayneh – Western Asia – served 3 rounds * now ICANN staff
  • Mouhamet Diop – Africa – served 3 years / 10 rounds
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."