[Pso-discuss] Re: What makes a good director?

jean-francois abramatic <jfa@w3.org> Mon, 05 June 2000 20:37 UTC

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Date: Sat, 03 Jun 2000 23:33:36 +0200
To: Steve Coya <scoya@ietf.org>, vcerf@mci.net, phil.davidson@bt.com
From: jean-francois abramatic <jfa@w3.org>
Cc: pso-discuss@pso.icann.org
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>At the most recent PSO teleconference, I was asked to send the three 

>you a letter, soliciting your thoughts on what sort of person would

>the best director (i.e. what qualities each of you believe are

>in the selection of ICANN BOT members).

Three set of qualities :

1. ICANN directors need to be familiar with the Internet culture :

- Decentralization

The hype around Internet governance puts pressure on ICANN.

Directors need to have a solid <bold>vision</bold> to help focus ICANN on
its core responsibilities.

- Interoperability

ICANN directors need to understand and contribute to <bold>develop</bold>
the appropriate

<bold>partnerships</bold> with a large collection of very different

(eg from IETF to Governments) on a wide variety of issues (eg from
technical to legal).

- Evolvability

The deployment of the Internet is in its infancy (3 to 4% of the World

New problems and new opportunities will arise. ICANN is young and small
enough that it can

develop a flexible structure that will be able to adapt and face the new

Directors should be capable of <bold>adaptability</bold> since they may
not have to do

what they were expecting to do when becoming candidate.

2. ICANN directors are accountable to the Internet community and the
Society at large

- Public accountability

ICANN directors need to be ready to develop substantial efforts to 

the rationales that lead to ICANN decisions. Managing open discussions in

environment where shared understanding is limited requires a significant

of <bold>patience and faith in open processes</bold>.

- Legacy regulations

As much as we all believe that the Internet will bring new ways of
communication between

people, societies have developed (so far) their cultures and rules
without the prospect of the Internet

in mind. More importantly, these rules and cultures were able to develop

of each other when the means of communication were limited in scope.
Hence a wide

variety of situations where the impact of the Internet is very different
from one country

to the other. <bold>Understanding the existing legacy environments</bold>
is essential for ICANN.

Directors need to be conscious of those differences.

- Internationalization

While IETF may have the luxury to declare itself "a-national" (from Fred
Baker during

a panel on Internet governance at CFP2000), ICANN cannot and will never
be able to.

The first membership recruitment phase has shown discrepancies between

involvement that ICANN will have to face. ICANN board and staff need to
take proactive

steps to <bold>enhance international coverage</bold> of ICANN efforts.
For the years to come, this

will continue to be a priority for the organization.

3. ICANN is an organization like any other one

- Business model

ICANN needs to <bold>develop a stable business model</bold> and execute
its business plan.

As a young organization, there is still a set of unknowns that need to be

and may require appropriate actions if actual results do not match
initial plans.

Directors need to be ready to take action to update the plans if

- ICANN team

Individuals have chosen to pursue their careers within ICANN. The youth
of the

organization together with its visibility put a high pressure on ICANN

Directors need to be aware of this situation and should be <bold>ready to

expectations to the available human resources</bold>.

- Commitment

In the building phase where ICANN is now, Directors should be <bold>ready
to face

unexpected situations</bold> and commit to address them whatever
difficult or curious

these may be.

Concluding comments :

It should not be expected that every director has the experience,
expertise and qualities

to address each of the issues described above.

However, <bold>every director should be able to share the understanding
of all issues

and contribute to resolve some of them.


Hope this helps,



A 15:37 01/06/00 -0400, Steve Coya a écrit :




>As you are aware, Jean-Francois Abramatic's term as one of the 

>Standards Council's appointments to the ICANN Board of Directors ends

>later this year.


>At the most recent PSO teleconference, I was asked to send the three 

>you a letter, soliciting your thoughts on what sort of person would

>the best director (i.e. what qualities each of you believe are

>in the selection of ICANN BOT members).


>As we once again begin the difficult task of selecting one individual,

>are hoping that the past year has been enlightening and your thoughts

>better enable us to select the best candidate for this task.


>Thanks in advance,



>Steve Coya

>PSO-PC Secretary du jours



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