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Lousewies joins ICANN Board of Directors


On Thursday October 22, 2015 Lousewies van der Laan will join the International Board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Lousewies brings her extensive experience of human rights, democracy, governance and politics to the organisation at a crucial phase of its development. Last year the US government indicated its intention to hand over the crucial Internet Assigned Numbers Authority functions (the unique identifiers that make the internet work) to ICANN, to make the stewardship of the Internet truly global. The ICANN community is currently developing proposals to meet the US criteria for transition.

ICANN’s mission is to ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet you have to type an address into your computer - a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers across the world. Without that coordination, we wouldn't have one global Internet. Formed in 1998, it is a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with participants from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable.

ICANN’s organizational structure is known as the multi-stakeholder model, which is a bottom-up form of governance that relies on openness and inclusivity. Its success depends on meaningful and accountable participation of all stakeholders, including governments, the private sector, civil society, the technical community, the academic community and users. The respective roles and responsibilities of stakeholders are interpreted in a flexible manner, with reference to the issue under discussion.

The ICANN Board is composed of 16 voting Directors and 5 non-voting Liaisons. Seats 1 through 8 are selected by the Nominating Committee (known as the “NomCom”). Seats 9 through 15 are made up of members selected by the three Supporting Organizations (GNSO, ccNSO and the ASO), and the At-Large Community (ALAC). The final voting seat is given to the President and CEO. Lousewies van der Laan was selected by the NomCom and formally joins during the ICANN meeting in Dublin from 18-22 October. Meetings rotate around the world and the next meeting will be in Marrakesh, Morocco.

You can read more about what ICANN does and about the ICANN Board.