ICANN | Procedures for Board Elections and Nominations | 2 June 2003
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Board Governance Committee Procedures for Board Nominations

Note: According to part IV(C) of its charter, the Board Governance Committee (BGC) has responsibility to "Recommend for Board approval (a) specific processes and procedures for creating a slate of nominees for the positions of the Board Chair, Board Vice Chair and for chairmanship and membership of each Board Committee; (b) implement the approved processes and procedures; and (c) present the slate of nominees to the Board for approval." At its meeting on 21 May 2003, the BGC decided to submit the following document to the Board for approval. The Board approved it at its 2 June 2003 meeting.

Board Governance Committee Procedures for Board Nominations

BGC Tasks

The Board Governance Committee (BGC) takes on the task to present a slate for the election of the Chairman and the Vice Chairman of the Board and to recommend the composition and chairs of Board committees.

This includes establishing criteria for the Chairman and the Vice Chairman of the Board and for committee membership, considering rotation of committee members, reviewing candidates' qualifications [and any potential conflicts with the corporation's interests], assessing the contributions of current directors in connection with their re-nomination.

Among the criteria are matters such as integrity, effectiveness, decisiveness, common sense, insight, goal orientedness, diligence, collaborativeness, creativity, constructiveness, open-mindedness, ability to summarize vast amounts of data, ability to solve complex problems, communication skills, and leadership skills in the ICANN environment. So also is the capacity to give the time needed to work on the tasks assigned. Also to be considered is status within the term, i.e. new, in middle of term, about to complete term, in second term, in third term.

For the Board Chairman and Vice Chairman and committee chairs added to these criteria are (i) ability to enunciate clearly the wishes of the Board/Committee after orderly debate, (ii) knowledge of the procedures governing the Board and willing to make judgments on issues regarding these procedures, (iii) capacity and commitment to draw upon the wisdom of all Directors to reach either a consensus or a majority of opinion on issues presented.

For members of the committees, added to these criteria are (i) knowledge of the issues before the committee, (ii) ability to speak clearly and concisely their opinion on these issues, (iii) ability to make contributions to debate based upon personal experience and wisdom using objective or subjective reasoning, (iv) consideration and respect for the ideas of other committee members, (v) ability to visualize the outcomes and enunciate the consequences of proposed decisions and actions.

The task is to fit the people into the roles in a logical way that supports and serves as an incentive for good performance not only of the Committee members and the Committee Chairs, but also of the members who would subsequently serve on these committees.

Attention should be given to where overlap in membership among Committees would be valuable. For example, having the Vice Chairman of the Board serve on the BGC could be helpful. It would be a good distribution of labor in terms of leadership of the Board (outside leader and inside leader). It would provide overlap of BGC and the Executive Committee. Other Executive Committee members might or might not also serve on another Committee or even lead it.

There may be other Committees for which overlap with the BGC would be helpful: Finance Committee and Meetings Committee come to mind. But the greatest need is for people who have knowledge and an interest in Board Governance, and who are courageous, constructive, and diplomatic.

Normally a Director will not serve as Chair for more than one Committee.

As a general rule no Director should serve more than three consecutive terms in the same position. An election or appointment above that should be made by a three-quarters majority of the Board.

In constructing the slate of Nominees for Board approval, careful consideration will be given to ICANN's mission and core values, to tending to geographical, functional, and cultural diversity, and also to the distribution of Supporting-Organization-selected and Nominating-Committee-selected members so as to avoid a two-class system.

BGC Consultations

The BGC will consult either by means of a questionnaire sent to Directors, CEO, and Board Chairman, or by discussions that the Committee members will have privately with other Directors, the CEO, and the Board Chairman. The focus of these consultations is threefold: (i) Director skills and interests in relation to tasks of the various Committees' roles and agendas for the coming year, (ii) Director credibility for leadership or membership in the committee areas or in leading the Board and (iii) Director performance of the roles/duties assigned to date. This is an effort to align talent with tasks and to serve as an incentive for future good performance. A matrix can help to map what is needed with what is available.

The BGC will also consult with the ICANN staff members who work closely with the various Board leaders and committee chairs to acquire their views about what is needed and about what has gone well or less well in the past.

For the positions of Board Chairman and Vice Chairman, the BGC Chair will also consult with the proposed individuals to ascertain willingness to serve along with some conversation about any concerns that might have been raised about their past performing in these or other roles, i.e. if there have been shortcomings as well as excellent performance, the BGC Chair will identify these and ask whether the individual felt there could be improvements either in his/her own performance or in the structuring of tasks or staff support to overcome the matters at issue.

The positions of Executive Committee members and Chairs of the Board Committees should be developed next by the BGC, looking into past performance in these or relevant other roles, leadership capability, skills/knowledge base, credibility of leadership in the substantive areas of the role. As part of the former, the BGC members will explore with the proposed chairs about their willingness to serve, and also their ideas for committee composition, but the determination of the committee membership slates will be the judgment of the BGC.

BGC Process

After these consultations, the BGC will discuss the results and develop a proposed slate of elected and appointed positions: Board Chairman, Board Vice Chairman, committee chairs, and committee members.

Once the proposed slate is ready, the whole package will be presented to the full Board for discussion (in private) and approval (in public). This is not a rubber stamp act: some conversation is expected; but since all concerned will have been consulted early in the process, there should be an easy path to consensus on the whole slate.

This process will take place in advance of the Annual Meeting. Consultations could start about three months before the annual meeting, sometime in the third calendar quarter. The process will not conclude until after the next set of new Board members has been selected, but quite a bit of thought could be done before the final word is in, because the Supporting-Organization-selected Directors will be already selected six months after the previous annual meeting and presumably will be placed on various committees after recommendation by the BGC, as they come onto the Board. The final balancing and alignment of talent and tasks will be done in the month before the Annual Meeting, ready for docketing at the Annual Meeting of the Board.

This process will have three outcomes: (i) the slate for the Board structure for the next year, (ii) better understanding among Directors of the Board structure and roles in it, and (iii) a major part of the Board self-assessment will have been accomplished. The three need to go hand in hand, but the last item is larger in scope than just the preparation for selection of leadership and committee structure and will require additional effort.

This process will also contribute to but not be sufficient for the consideration of the effectiveness of the relationship between the CEO and the Board, and the relationship between the CEO and the Chair of the Board.

Committees of the Board of Directors

Information about the committees of the Board and membership can be found at: <http://www.icann.org/committees/>. General information at: <http://www.icann.org/tr/english.html>.

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