Skip to main content

Expert Working Group on ‭gTLD‬ Directory Services Members


On 13 December 2012, Fadi Chehadé, ICANN's President and CEO, announced the creation of an Expert Working Group on gTLD Directory Services (EWG) and invited volunteers to submit applications to indicate their interest in serving on it. The EWG is the first step in fulfilling the ICANN Board's directive to help redefine the purpose and provision of gTLD registration data. This project is designed to provide a foundation for the creation of a new global policy for gTLD directory services, and requisite contract negotiations, as appropriate.

Working Group Volunteers

Over 70 highly qualified experts from across the Internet ecosystem were considered. In selecting the EWG, each candidates' operational knowledge and experience with registrant data or directory services (or analogous systems) was considered, along with consensus-building skills, aptitude to innovate, geographic diversity, and other published criteria.

After an extensive evaluation of each candidate, the following individuals were selected to participate in this critical project:

Pekka Ala-Pietilä

Pekka Ala-Pietilä is the Co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Blyk, a mobile media company and is Chairman of the Board of Solidium (Finnish sovereign wealth fund). He additionally serves on the Boards of SAP AG (multinational software company), Pöyry Oyj (global consulting and engineering company) and Huhtamäki Oyj. He is Former President of the Nokia Corporation (1999-2005) and was President of Nokia Mobiles Phones in the nineties. He is based in Finland.

Lanre Ajayi

Lanre Ajayi is the Managing Director of Pinet Informatics, one of the first ISPs in Nigeria. He is the Chairman of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON). He has served as the Vice-Chairman of the Internet Service providers Association of Nigeria (ISPAN) and Africa ISP Association (AfrISPA). He is a founding member of AfriNIC. He also has served as a member of the National Cybercrime Working Group of Nigeria. He currently serves as a GNSO Council member appointed by the NomCom and is based in Nigeria.

Scott Hollenbeck

Scott Hollenbeck is the Director of Verisign Labs where he manages a team of researchers focused on applied metadata, reputation, and web service technologies in collaboration with university partners. He is the author of the Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP), a standard protocol for the registration of domain names. He has been a contributor to several industry efforts related to domain names and Internet security. He is based in the US.

Jin Jian

Jin Jian is Assistant General Director and Director of CNNIC R&D center at CNNIC. His areas of expertise are: Domain Name Registration, DNS, software engineering, IPv6 and network protocols. He is based in the People's Republic of China.

Susan Kawaguchi

Susan Kawaguchi is Domain Name Manager at Facebook. She has previous experience with eBay and is a member of ICANN's Business Constituency. Domain Name management, enforcement, data collection/access/accuracy and intellectual property issues are her main fields of expertise. She served on the WHOIS Policy Review Team. She is based in the US.

Nora Nanayakkara

Nora Nanayakkara has a background in start-ups and SMEs in the digital and technology spaces, with particular experience in registry and registrar operations. She has worked with many domain name companies over the years and additionally brings several years' experience as a Non Executive Director at Nominet, the .uk domain name registry and a Trustee at Nominet Trust. She is knowledgeable in WHOIS issues and has served as an applicant review panelist in ICANN's new gTLD applicant support program. She is based in the UK.

Michele Neylon

Michele Neylon is the CEO of Blacknight Internet Solutions, an Irish registrar, and sits on the Eurid Registrar Advisory Board. He is a very active member of the ICANN Community and he has served in numerous leadership roles in GNSO working groups. Examples of his activities include the APWG, RIPE and the Anti-Abuse Working Group. He is based in Ireland.

Michael Niebel

Michael Niebel heads the Task Force on Internet Policy Development in the Directorate General CONNECT of the European Commission. Previously, he led the unit in charge of Internet, network and information security. In this function he was charged with the introduction of the European Top Level Domain .eu from the Commission side. He also was a member of the GAC and participated in Internet governance discussions at the global level. He is based in Belgium.

Rod Rasmussen

Rod Rasmussen co-founded Internet Identity (IID) and serves as its President and CTO. He is widely recognized as a leading expert on cybercrime, and co-chairs the Anti-Phishing Working Group's (APWG) Internet Policy Committee. He is a member of the SSAC, is IID's FIRST (Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams) representative, and is an active participant in the Messaging, Malware, Mobile Anti-Abuse Working Group (M3AAWG). He is based in the US.

Carlton Samuels

Carlton Samuels is an independent international ICT4D consultant and an adjunct lecturer at the University of the West Indies. He is a Jamaican and US national. Previously, he worked as CIO & University Director of IT. His volunteer positions include being a foundation member of, and the former secretariat for, the Latin America and Caribbean Regional At-Large Advisory Organization (LACRALO). He is a Vice Chair of the ALAC and the leader of the ALAC WHOIS WG. He is based in the West Indies.

Faisal Shah

Faisal Shah is the Founder and former CEO of a corporate brand protection registrar – MarkMonitor, which recently was acquired by Thomson Reuters. This serial entrepreneur has strategy, registrar operations, software development, and intellectual property as his main fields of expertise. He was born in Trinidad & Tobago, raised in Puerto Rico and Venezuela, and has extensive contacts in the Middle East. He is fluent in Spanish and English, is familiar with Urdu, and is currently based in the US.

Fabricio Vayra

Fabricio Vayra serves as Assistant General Counsel for Time Warner Inc. He is a recognized intellectual property rights protection expert and brings extensive expertise in WHOIS data and trademark law. He is a former IRT member, a current member of the INTA Board, Vice Chair of the INTA Internet committee, and an active member of the IPC. He is based in the US.

Stephanie Perrin

Stephanie Perrin is conducting doctoral research focused on privacy enhanced authentication technologies, and is recognized as an international expert in privacy and data protection and the social impact of technology. She has served in several positions in the Canadian Government, including in Integrity Services at Service Canada, as Director of Research and Policy in the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, and as Director of Privacy Policy at Industry Canada where she was responsible for the development of the private sector privacy legislation (PIPEDA). She has worked in the private sector and has consulted broadly on privacy issues internationally, including advising on the first privacy policy for CIRA, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority. She is based in Canada.

No Photo Available

Additional members may be added to the Expert Working Group to provide special areas of expertise and knowledge.

Joining these executives will be:

Jean-Francois Baril

Jean-Francois Baril, Lead Facilitator of the EWG

Steve Crocker

Steve Crocker, Board Liaison to the EWG

Chris Disspain

Chris Disspain, Board Liaison to the EWG

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."