Members of the ICANN 2019 Nominating Committee
This page contains some background biographical information about each Nominating Committee member.
Members of the Committee
The members of the 2019 Nominating Committee are: Damon Ashcraft (Chair), Jay Sudowski (Chair Elect), Zahid Jamil (Associate Chair), Alejandro Acosta, Nadira Al Araj, Alain Bidron, Jonathan Cohen, Anriette Esterhuysen, Caroline Greer, Robert Guerra, Aziz Hilali, Erich Schweighofer, Ole Jacobsen, Brajesh Jain, Paul Mitchell, Jon Nevett, Pablo Rodriguez, Tracy Hackshaw, Lawrence Olawale-Roberts, and Leah Symekher.
2019 NomCom Leadership Team
Damon Ashcraft – Chair of the Nominating Committee
Damon Ashcraft is the current Chair of ICANN's Nominating Committee ("NomCom"). Damon joined the NomCom in 2015 as a representative from the Intellectual Property Constituency. He was appointed by the ICANN Board as Chair-Elect of the NomCom for 2018 and as Chair for the 2019 NomCom. Damon's primary objectives as Chair include increasing communications from the NomCom to the ICANN Community and providing more transparency within the NomCom. Damon has been an active volunteer within ICANN since 2015.
Damon also has experience with and has sat on boards of various non-profit organizations including his current role as Vice President of the Arizona Bar Foundation in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. The Bar Foundation administers and managers funds that various legal organizations within the state of Arizona that provide free or reduced cost legal services to the indigent. Damon also has served on and continues to serve on Boards for his church, an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity, and homeowners' associations.
Professionally, he is a partner with the law firm of Snell and Wilmer, LLP in Phoenix, Arizona, USA where he is a member of the firm's intellectual property practice group. His legal practice involves the representation of intellectual property owners in procurement, enforcement, and monetization of intellectual property. He represents clients in transactions including mergers and acquisitions and liquidity events.
Jay Sudowski – Chair Elect
Zahid Jamil – Associate Chair
(listed in alphabetical order by family name)
Alejandro Acosta – RSSAC Representative
Alejandro Acosta studied Computer Sciences at Universidad Nueva Esparta, Venezuela, where he later went on to complete a master's degree in Information Technology Management.
He is currently serving as President of LAC-TF (the Latin American and Caribbean IPv6 Task Force) and is a Research and Development Engineer at LACNIC. He was previously Technology and Support Manager at British Telecom (BT) and member of LACNIC's Electoral Commission. Today, Alejandro coordinates the annual FLIP-6 meeting (Latin American IPv6 Forum) and moderates the Latin American IPv6 Task Force mailing list.
He also teaches TCP/IP –a subject that is part of the ninth semester Engineering curriculum– at Universidad Nueva Esparta.
During the past six years, Alejandro has participated in numerous events. He has obtained several certifications and is, among others, IPv6 Sage Certified (Hurricane Electric, 10th November), Novell Certified Linux Administrator (Novell CLA, February 2010), Novell Linux Spec (September 2013).
Nadira Al Araj – ALAC Representative – Asia/Australia/Pacific Region
Nadira Al-Araj an IG civil society activist and researcher. During her leadership of ISOC Palestine chapter she was heavily involved into the governance of the Palestinian Internet Exchange Point. Currently, she is engaged with ICANN at-Large community. In MENA region, she is on the program committee for ME DNS forum. Since 2013, she has been working on the Internet Governance Capacity Building track with the Diplo Foundation and IGMENA.org.
Nadira hold two M.Sc. degrees, one in Computer Science and the other in Information Resources Management from Syracuse University plus 23 years of lecturing experience at Bethlehem University on Information and Operations Management. Served on national steering committees for strategic planning on eLearning, providing consultation in pedagogical methods.
Alain Bidron – ISPCP Constituency Representative
Alain has 40 years of experience in the telecommunications industry. He graduated in Electronic Engineering and Telecommunications Engineering. Most of his career was with France-Telecom/Orange Group.
He has more than 20 years of experience in this area at an international level. Alain is engaged with ICANN since it was created back in 1998 and ICANN 60 in Abu-Dhabi was his 52nd ICANN meeting.
Alain is an executive officer if the Internet Service Providers and connectivity Providers Contituency where he represents now on a voluntary basis the European Telecommunications Network Operators association.
Jonathan Cohen – Intellectual Property Constituency
Jonathan's two favourite hobbies are golfing and travelling.
Over the years Jonathan has had the pleasure of visiting over 70 countries, and during his travels he always tries to squeeze in a round or two of golf. Although Jonathan openly admits he is not the best golfer, he enjoys getting out with friends and family to work on his game.
When at home, Jonathan values the simple things in life — spending time with his family, writing and working on his coin and art collections. He started writing a novel a few years ago, but is having some difficulty getting past the fourth page…
Skills and experience in the IP field
Jonathan is one of the founding members of our firm which was known as Shapiro Cohen LLP until May, 2018. While he is no longer involved in the active practice of law, he remains a consultant to the firm, in a non-legal capacity. Jonathan has a B.A. from Carleton University and an L.L.B. from Osgoode Hall Law School (Toronto) in 1969. He practised law exclusively in the field of intellectual property during his career.
While Jonathan worked on a variety of IP related matters during his career, he has concentrated his efforts primarily on the domain name world during the past 20 years. He served on the Board of Directors of ICANN and CIRA, and has had unique opportunities to be involved in international Internet governance and policy from the ground up. He also advised clients around the world on International Internet Trademark/Domain Name Strategy and Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). Jonathan's experience in this area is particularly important and relevant to companies in an e-commerce world, now facing hundreds of top level domains, all with an instantaneous online international reach.
Jonathan belonged to many intellectual property organizations during his career. He has written and spoken about IP in Canada and around the world over the past 30 years, including on domain name issues. Among his many speaking engagements, Jonathan has spoken on domain name and trademark matters at INTA, FICPI, APAA, a United Nations Conference, the Committee on Foreign Relations in New York City as well as to the Canadian government, and, testified before a U.S. Congressional Committee. He is currently serving on the ICANN'S nominating committee.
Anriette Esterhuysen – Non Commercial Users Constituency Representative
Anriette Esterhuysen was the executive director of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) until March 2017. APC, established in 1990, is the largest civil society network focused on information and communications for development and social justice. Anriette was active in the struggle against Apartheid from 1980 onwards. From 1987 to 1992 she did information and communication work in development and human rights organizations in South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Anriette has served on the African Technical Advisory Committee of the UN's Economic Commission for Africa's (UNECA) African Information Society Initiative and was a member of the United Nations ICT Task Force from 2002 to 2005, the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Working Group on Financing Mechanisms, the Commission on Science and Technology for Development Working Groups on Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Improvements (2011-2013) and on Enhanced Cooperation (2017-2018) and the Global Commission on Internet Governance (2014-2016). She was a member of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group of the global Internet Governance Forum from 2012 to 2014. She has been involved in ICANN's NCUC and NCSG since their inception in her APC capacity. Anriette served on the 2017/18 NomCom.
Anriette was one of five finalists for IT Personality of the Year in South Africa in 2012, an award which recognizes a person who has made an outstanding impact on the South African ICT industry. She was the only female and only civil society finalist. She was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame as a Global Connecter in 2013. Currently Anriette is a member of the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace and of the advisory board of Research ICT Africa. She organizes the annual African School on Internet Governance which is a partnership initiative of the Association for Progressive Communications and the African Union Commission. She has published extensively on ICTs for development and social justice.
Caroline Greer – Registrars Stakeholder Group Representative
Caroline Greer is Head of European Public Policy for Cloudflare, a cybersecurity and web performance company and a domain name registrar. Based in Brussels, Caroline covers a wide range of policy and regulatory issues related to Cloudflare's mission of helping to build a better internet.
Prior to joining Cloudflare, Caroline worked for a number of domain name registries and has been a participant in the ICANN community since 2005, including on a previous Nominating Committee and the GNSO Council. Caroline also held positions with the telecoms trade association ETNO, the Irish Government and Irish telecoms regulator.
Caroline has a Law and Spanish degree from Queen's University, Belfast and an MBA from the University of Ulster
Robert Guerra – SSAC Repreresentative
Robert is a Spanish and Canadian national that has over 15 years of experience developing solutions related to Internet governance, human rights, digital security and Internet freedom. Robert is the founder of Privaterra, a Toronto-based company that works with private industry and nongovernmental organizations to assist them with issues of digital security and Internet Governance. Mr. Guerra has participated as a member of the official Canadian delegation at two UN World Summits on the Information Society (WSIS). He is a member of the Security and Stability Advisory Committee of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) where he has participated as a member of its board Nominating Committee (NomCom), its Multi-stakeholder Ethos award panel and the Cross-Community Working Group to Develop an IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal on Naming Related Functions.
Robert has given numerous media interviews and often is invited to share his views on the challenges being faced by social justice organizations in regard to surveillance, censorship and privacy. He has advised and/or collaborated with numerous non-profits, foundations, governments and international organizations, such as Counterpart International, American University's Institute on Disability and Public Policy, the International Criminal Court, The Citizen Lab, Freedom House, Human Rights Watch, and Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility. Robert is an Honours graduate of the University of Western Ontario and an alumni of the Universidad de Navarra's Faculty of Medicine.
Tracy Hackshaw – ALAC Representative; Latin America/Caribbean Region
Tracy Hackshaw is an ICT and Digital Economy Strategist possessing close to twenty-five (25) years' local, regional and international experience spanning work in the public and private sectors where he has been integrally involved in the design and implementation of several award-winning digital initiatives. Tracy has represented Trinidad & Tobago in various international forums, including at the 2016 G77 Meeting of Experts on ICTs and Sustainable Development for South-South Cooperation, the Executive Management Committee of the Commonwealth Cybercrime Initiative, a two-year term as Vice Chair of ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC), and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) annual workshop coordination at the United Nations Internet Governance Forum.
Following his two-year term as Vice Chair of the GAC, Tracy Co-Chaired the GAC Under-served Regions Working Group focusing on capacity building within developing and emerging economies primarily in the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific regions, and was Project Lead on the GAC Technology Task Force. He also participated as a Community Mentor in ICANN's Pilot Community Onboarding Program, a role which he performed from ICANN 55 through to ICANN 59. In 2018, he was selected to serve as the Latin American and Caribbean Regional At Large member on the 2019 ICANN Nominating Committee.
In addition to professional leadership roles within several public and private sector entities where he was appointed to several National Committees and Task Forces, Tracy has conducted Academic Teaching and Research work at the DiploFoundation/University of Malta, where he is currently a member of their Teaching and Research Faculty and at The University of the West Indies, where he received a 1st Class Honours Degree in Sociology & Psychology. SInce graduation, Tracy has continued his postgraduate learning path at Royal Holloway College, University of London, at the National University of Singapore, and is currently pursuing further studies in Entrepreneurship at the Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business.
He is a Director of the Trinidad & Tobago Multistakeholder Advisory Group, which convened the inaugural Trinidad & Tobago Internet Governance Forum in January 2017. Tracy is the founding Vice Chair of the Internet Society Trinidad & Tobago Chapter and was elected its Chair in 2017.
Most recently in 2018 and following his second year (2016-17) serving as Internet Society Expert Moderator and Coach/Mentor to ISOC's Youth@IGF, Tracy was asked to serve of the Board of the Digital Grassroots Youth Initiative. In June 2018, Tracy, along with several other stakeholders from the Caribbean and Pacific regions, received recognition from the United Nations Internet Governance Forum of the establishment of the Dynamic Coalition on Small Island Developing States in the Internet Economy (DC-SIDS).
Aziz Hilali– ALAC Representative; Africa Region
Abdelaziz Hilali is a Professor at the Moroccan Telecommunications Graduate Institution (INPT) (www.inpt.ac.ma). He graduated from the University of Grenoble, where he earned a PhD in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science in 1987. Following his graduation, he has published a large number of scientific papers and given a substantial number of oral presentations at international meetings.
Abdelaziz Hilali participated in the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and the different Internet Governance Forum (IGF) meetings as member of Multistakeholder Advisory Committee (MAG) chaired by the Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General for Internet governance during the period 2009-2013. He has also served in ICANN as Chair of de The African Regional At-Large Organization (AFRALO) during the period 2012-2016. Dr Hilali is also:
- Deputy Director of Studies at INPT (1995-2000),
- Director of the Incubator to create innovative companies in Information Technology at INPT (2001-2007),
- Deputy Director for training at INPT (2007-2010)
- Deputy Director of Corporate Relations at INPT (since 2010).
- President of the Mediterranean Federation of Internet Associations (www.fmai.tn.org).
- Vice Chair and Founding Member of the ISOC Morocco and the Moroccan IPv6 Task Force (www.misoc.ma).
Dr Hilali has participated actively in the organization and animation of a large number of seminars and workshops for the benefit of a large array and categories of people interested in Internet. During these last years, Dr Hilali has been the initiator and the organizer of many activities among which:
- Scientific events in the area of Information Technologies,
- Participation to annual ICANN (Internet Cooperation for Assigned Names and Numbers) meetings, (www.icann.org) since 2003,
- Lecturer of Internet governance at universities and high schools in Morocco and Mediterranean countries,
- Organization of ICANN 55 meeting in Marrakech in March 2016.
Mr. Abdelaziz Hilali is married with three children
Ole Jacobsen – IAB for IETF Representative
Ole J. Jacobsen is the Editor and Publisher of The Internet Protocol journal, a quarterly publication on all aspects of Internet technology (http://protocoljournal.org). He has been active in the computer networking field since 1976 when he went to work for the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, an early ARPANET site. Ole was with Interop Company (now part of UBM Tech) since shortly after its formation in 1987 until 1998. He was the Editor and Publisher of ConneXions--The Interoperability Report, a monthly technical journal in the field of computer-communications, published by Interop Company.
Jacobsen holds a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering and Computing Science from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, England.
He serves on the board of the Asia Pacific Internet Association (APIA) (http://www.apia.org), which hosts the annual APRICOT conference (http://www.apricot.net), and has served as chair of the Meetings Committee for IETF Administrative Oversight Committee (IAOC) (https://iaoc.ietf.org/). Ole has also served on several ICANN and IETF nominations committees.
Brajesh Jain – Address Supporting Organization Representative
Brajesh Jain is currently Advisor at Shyam Spectra Co Ltd, a leading Fiber Optic based ISP in India. He is Vice President, ISP Association of India (ISPAI) and Director on Board of National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI). And is elected member of ASOAC for 2017-18 term from APNIC region.
Brajesh is associated with the Telecom and IT Industry for more than four decades. For ISPAI, he has worked closely with Department of Telecommunications, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). He is with Internet industry since 1999, when Government of India licensed private ISPs.
He worked in leading positions at companies Bharat Electronics Ltd (Radio/Microwave/Satellite networks for Defense, Oil, Police sectors), CMC Ltd (now part of Tata Consultancy Services TCS, in the area of TCP/IP networks), RPG India & NTT Japan Joint project, ISPs Estel, Spectranet.
He has been regularly attending and contributing to APNIC, ICANN, National and International Internet and Telecom related events IGF, Euro IX, SANOG etc. He assisted in organizing Conferences in India, such as APNIC, APRICOT, ICANN at Delhi and Hyderabad. He was event chair of APRICOT2012 at New Delhi. He has been part of the team for setting up of National Internet Registry (NIR) in India, IPv6 pilot project. He was Chair, ISOC Delhi chapter from 2008 to 2013.
Brajesh holds a degree in Electronics Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Banaras Hindu University and was recipient of the University gold medal.
Paul Mitchell – Commercial and Business Users Constituency (Large) Representative
In his twenty-eight years with Microsoft, Paul has held diverse roles spanning numerous products and technologies including Microsoft's first C++ development system, the launch of MSN, Microsoft's digital television platforms including Mediaroom (now owned by Ericsson), numerous media standards, digital rights management systems for content protection, and wireless technologies. Mr. Mitchell leads Microsoft's engagement strategy with the International Telecommunication Union.
He holds fourteen issued US patents related to wireless communications and has 11 pending. He led the team that developed Microsoft's TV White Space trial programs with the goal of making Internet access possible for those that remain unconnected today, and he was responsible for Microsoft's spectrum observatory project - now transitioned to the University of Washington/National Science Foundation as an open platform for spectrum studies.
He is currently a member of the US International Telecommunication Advisory Committee for the 2016-2018 term and also serves as a Commissioner on the ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development. He has previously served on the board of directors of BET.com as well as Vision TV and SVOX in Canada. He holds an MPA from, and is on the advisory board for, the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington.
Jon Nevett – Registries Stakeholder Group Representative
Jon Nevett is a domain name industry veteran. He is a founding board member of the industry's trade association, the Domain Name Association. Previously, he was senior vice president at Network Solutions and chair of the boards of NameJet and Central Registry Solutions. Jon has been deeply involved in ICANN task forces, working groups, and panels. He currently serves on the Registries Stakeholder Group's Executive Committee. He was a member of ICANN's IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG), which steered the move of this function to the global multi-stakeholder community. Jon helped form and served as the first chair of the New gTLD Applicant Group (NTAG) and was elected to three terms as chair of the ICANN Registrar Constituency. Jon has leveraged his expertise in protecting trademarks as a member of the Implementation Recommendation Team (IRT), the Special Trademark Issue team (STI), and the International Trademark Association's Internet Committee. In 2009, Jon was appointed to the U.S. Department of Commerce's Online Safety and Technology Working Group related to issues of child safety and the Internet. Jon received his undergraduate degree from Binghamton University and his Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School.
Lawrence Olawale-Roberts – Commercial and Business Users Constituency (Small) Representative
Lawrence Olawale-Roberts is the Founder & Chief Executive Officer at MicroBoss, a premier Internet Service and Technology solutions Company with its headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria. His top goal is to grow the company's fortune into one of the leading Global technology services company, whilst satisfying the most advanced and demanding client needs in the African Sub-Region – thriving as Network aggregators, Enterprise Application developers, specializing in training, capacity development and brand management amidst other Professional services.
Bearing vast experience in Business and management, Lawrence is an ICT technocrat, Start-up Innovator, incubation evangelist and mentor. Selflessly representing the voice for Business of African descent at global forums and public events, he also wears the prestigious badge of an ICANN Fellow and an active member of the Business Constituency of ICANN. Lawrence has been actively involved in the Internet Governance Space for years.
For an upward period of four years and eight months, he served as the Special assistant to the Commissioner representing the South West of Nigeria on the Fiscal Responsibility Commission under the Presidency of Nigeria, just after a short stint as the Operations Manager of a mid-sized oil servicing company, Webb Energy. Lawrence has had the rare privilege of working at top management positions in Government, the oil rich petroleum sector of Nigeria and with an International faith-based organization, YFC. He is an alumnus of the Petroleum Training Institute, Effurun, Delta State where he graduated as an Electrical Electronics Engineer and is well traveled.
Follow Lawrence on Twitter @Lawrenceraves
Pablo Rodriguez – ccNSO Representative
Pablo Rodriguez is a C level executive experienced in Cloud Computing operations, client services, product development, and strategic management with ample experience interacting with Telcom clients and suppliers in a gloabal basis. Directly involved in creating and implementing best practices policies; thus, ensuring mission critical are delivered, mitigating risk and promoting business continuity. Mr. Rodriguez served in various capacities with register.com from 1996-2003; namely, managing business opportunities with the Latin American and Caribbean domain name market. In 2003, was recruited by Puerto Rico Top Level Domain (PRTLD) to implement sales and marketing strategies. Mr. Rodriguez wa involved in the conformation of the North American region that gave way for the creation of the country code Name Supporting Organization (ccNSO). Since 2016, is a vice chair of the Policy Working Groupin the Latin America nd Caribbean Top-Level Domain (LACTLD). Mr. Rodriguez holds a BA in Biology from the City University of New York (CUNY), an MBA in Technology Management from the University of Phoenix, and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership specializing in Information Systems and Technology in the University of Phoenix.
Erich Schweighofer – ALAC Representative - Europe Region
Erich Schweighofer is Professor at the University of Vienna and is head of the research group on legal informatics. He studied and holds degrees in law, informatics, economics and international relations. His interdisciplinary teaching and research focusses on computers and law, international and European law, in particular legal information systems, legal tech, AI & law, internet governance, data protection, telecommunications law and competition law.
He has extensive practice in projects in legal informatics, in particular knowledge representation and data protection.
He has (co-written) about 10 books, (co-edited) over 40 books, and published about 200 articles and conference contributions. The "Legal Knowledge Representation in International and European Law" (published 1999) was one of the first works on the digitalization of law.
Besides his university activities, he has extensive practice in administration (Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs 1989/90, Federal Academy of Public Administration 1998-2000, European Commission 2002-2007).
Leah Symekher – ALAC Representative – North America Region
Leah Symekher is a Global Business Development professional in high-tech, with a career that spans over 10 years in Network Infrastructure, Domain Name System (DNS), Data Centers/Internet Exchanges, Network Security and Software Development companies.
Leah has a dynamic international experience that includes: managing strategic global accounts, an international liaison in Japan, language interpreter in the U.S, growing up in Africa and an established academic and professional life in the United States of America. She values and thrives in cross-cultural interactions, problem-solving and relationship building.
Leah's Internet community volunteerism began in 2011 as member of the San Francisco Bay Area Internet Society Chapter (SFBay Area ISOC) an ICANN At-Large Structure in North America. Her commitment and passion to contribute and stay informed about the Internet led to more involvement in the Chapter as a Board Member, Vice Chair and then President and Chair for three years until 2016. She currently serves as Board Advisor and Consultant to the SFBay ISOC Chapter, Primary North America Regional At-Large Structure (NARALO) Representative and Project Lead for the Chapter's Project "Bridging California's Rural/Urban Digital Divide with Mobile Broadband".
Leah is honored to serve on the 2019 ICANN NOMCOM for a second term and looks forward to contributing fully in this role. Leah resides in Silicon Valley, California.