ICANN announced a new leadership team to head the ICANN Board of Directors at the organisation’s 60th public meeting held in Abu Dhabi last week. The 19th Annual General Meeting, Cherine Chalaby and Chris Disspain were officially appointed as the new Chair of the ICANN Board and Vice-Chair respectively.
ICANN’s 60th Public Meeting (ICANN60), held in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries for the first time, featured a tribute to Dr. Stephen Crocker, who retired from the ICANN Board after this meeting. A number of tribute videos are available at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQziMT9GXafXYZhNuVpS6kT5lxjq3vWdv.
Data protection and privacy rules, particularly the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), were a hot topic during the meeting. Many discussions across the community focused on gaining an understanding of the main concerns for various stakeholder groups and calls to action for ICANN org and Board. They also focused on encouraging the community to continue discussions, and find a balanced path forward in the shorter term, including as part of related current policy work.
However no resolution was made regarding GDPR and the directive becomes enforceable from 25 May 2018, with only one ICANN meeting to be held in the intervening period.
In addition, the community’s policy and advice development work continued, and many community groups welcomed new leaders and participants.
For Chalaby, the Nominating Committee first selected him to serve on the Board in December 2010. He was elected as the Vice-Chair in 2015, and is succeeding Crocker, who served as ICANN Board Chair since 2011.
The country code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO) selected Disspain to join the ICANN Board in June 2011. He is an active ICANN community member and served as the Chair of ccNSO from 2004 to 2011.
“I’m deeply honoured to be elected as the Board Chair,” said Chalaby. “The Board had enough confidence in ICANN’s maturity to elect me even though I do not come from the long and distinguished line of ‘Masters of the Internet Universe.’ I look forward to the future with great hope and enthusiasm, particularly to the partnership we will continue to build with the ICANN community.”
“Cherine has been an excellent Vice-Chair over the past two years. This is evident from the unanimous support from all members of the Board in his election as the next Chair of the ICANN Board. I’m proud and excited and will work with him closely for a smooth and orderly transition of responsibilities,” said Crocker.
The Board also welcomed new Board members León Sanchez (LAC), Matthew Shears (EMEA), Avri Doria (NA), Sarah Deutsch (NA), and Manal Ismail (Egypt) as the Governmental Advisory Committee Liaison to the Board. They replaced outgoing Stephen Crocker, Rinalia Abdul Rahim, Asha Hemrajani, Markus Kummer and Thomas Schneider.
A total of 1,910 participants attended 325 public sessions at ICANN60. It was the first time at an ICANN meeting for 704 of them. There were 277 attendees from the Middle East region.