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Paul Muchene Fellow Award

At ICANN75 the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced a new initiative in memory of a former ICANN Fellow. The Paul Muchene Fellow Award is a tribute to Paul Muchene, an ICANN Fellowship Program participant and ICANN organization staff member who passed away in August 2022.

An active participant in the Internet community in his native Kenya and throughout Africa, Muchene frequently volunteered his time and technical expertise to local and regional initiatives. His passion for the Internet and for finding unconventional solutions to technical challenges led him to pursue a computer science degree at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Muchene quickly applied the knowledge gained through his studies to his work for ICANN and the broader Internet community.

"Paul was selfless and always happy to help other fellows," said Mistura Aruna, Muchene's ICANN Fellowship Program mentor. "Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, he reached out to us repeatedly to make sure we were well. We will all miss him."

The ICANN Fellowship Program was established in 2007 to strengthen the diversity of the multistakeholder model by fostering opportunities for individuals from underserved and underrepresented communities to become active participants in the ICANN community.

Fellows are exposed to the workings of the ICANN community, are assigned a mentor, and receive training across different areas of knowledge and skill building before, during, and after an ICANN Public Meeting.

The first recipient of the Paul Muchene Fellow Award will be seated at the ICANN76 Community Forum. The Paul Muchene Fellow Award will be presented at every future ICANN Public Meeting.

The recipient of the inaugural Paul Muchene Fellow Award will be selected from among the ICANN76 Fellows by the Selection Committee. Selection Committee members are appointed by the Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees.

Qualified candidates will:

  1. Be selected for the ICANN Fellowship Program.
  2. Possess a technical background.
  3. Live or work in the Africa region.

The first Paul Muchene Fellow Award recipient will be announced on 7 November 2022 on the ICANN website together with the selected ICANN76 Fellows.

About the ICANN Fellowship Program

The ICANN Fellowship Program is open to all individuals interested or already engaged in the various aspects of ICANN's work, such as policymaking, the operation of the Domain Name System, and the security and stability of the global Internet. The goal of the program is to help create a more diverse and a broader base of knowledgeable constituents who can engage in the ICANN multistakeholder process and become the new voices of experience in their regions and on the global stage.

For more information on the program, please visit the Fellowship Program page.

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."