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ICANN’s top DC lobbyist gets consumer safeguards role

Kevin Murphy, January 5, 2017, 12:22:11 (UTC), Domain Policy

ICANN has named veteran staffer Jamie Hedlund as its new senior VP for contractual compliance and consumer safeguards.

It’s a new executive team role, created by the departure of chief contract compliance officer Allen Grogan. Grogan announced his intention to leave ICANN last May, and has been working there part-time since August.

The “consumer safeguards” part of the job description is new.

ICANN first said it planned to hire such a person in late 2014, but the position was never filled, despite frequent poking by anti-spam activists.

Now it appears that the two roles — compliance and consumer safeguards — have been combined.

This makes sense, give that ICANN has no power to safeguard consumers other than the enforcement of its contracts with registries and registrars.

From the outside, it does not immediately strike me as an obvious move for Hedlund.

While his job title has changed regularly during his six or so years at ICANN, he’s mainly known as the organization’s only in-house Washington DC government lobbyist.

He played a key role in the recent IANA transition, which saw the US government sever its formal oversight ties with ICANN.

His bio shows no obvious experience in consumer protection roles.

His replacement in the government relations role is arguably just as surprising — Duncan Burns, a veteran PR man who will keep his current job title of senior VP of global communications.

The appointments seem to indicate that lobbying the US government is not as critical to ICANN in the post-transition world, and that institutional experience in the rarefied world of ICANN is a key qualifier for senior positions.

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Comments (1)

  1. “The appointments seem to indicate that lobbying the US government is not as critical to ICANN in the post-transition world, and that institutional experience in the rarefied world of ICANN is a key qualifier for senior positions.”

    Give it time. Those with the most leverage will start to lobby ICANN. Its something I believe ICANN has always sought; to become the government body of the web. They promote that the public stakeholders have a say in the process, with consensus in an open public forum, which is hogwash. The general public have no real sway in policy making at ICANN unless they work for a larger company that can pay for their time on ICANN constituency panels or caucuses. They are mostly made up of lawyers and professional activists and are not the layperson and small businessmen and businesswomen that could use protection and a patch forward into a profitable future.

    An example of the problem; term limits for congress would depend on those very same congressman and women voting themselves out of office after their term. That will never happen. That issue should be voted on by the larger public at general election. In the same manner, ICANN should allow for the larger body of internet users to help approve or deny large policy matters like new gTLDs, URS and whois.

    The larger body of web users are not adequately represented by those in ICANN because those very issues and officers were voted for from within. It’s ICANN’s core problem IMO. ICANN is made of people that can “afford” to be there and represent themselves. Sound familiar?

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