Mexican intellectual property lawyer León Felipe Sánchez Ambía has been selected to become a member of the ICANN board of directors by the At-Large, comfortably beating his opponent in a poll this weekend.
Sanchez took 13 votes (65%) to 10-year At-Large veteran Alan Greenberg’s 7, in a vote of At-Large Advisory Committee members and Regional At Large Organization chairs.
He’ll take the seat due to be vacated in November by Rinalia Abdul Rahim, who will leave the board after one three-year term.
He’s currently head of the IP practice and a partner at Fulton & Fulton in Mexico City. According to his bio:
He is co-lead for the Mexican chapter of Creative Commons and advisor to different Government bodies that include the Digital Strategy Coordination Office of the Mexican Presidency, the Special Commission on Digital Agenda and IT of the Mexican House of Representatives and the Science and Technology Commission of the Mexican Senate.
He drafted the Internet Users Rights Protection Act for Mexico and has been very active on issues like Anti-Counterfeit Trade Agreement (ACTA), Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA), Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) and other local initiatives of the same kind, always advocating to defend users’ and creators’ rights in order to achieve a balance between regulation and freedom.
Sanchez is certainly the less experienced of the two short-listed men when it comes to length of involvement in the ICANN community, but he’s a member of the ALAC and is deeply involved as a volunteer in ICANN accountability work following the IANA transition.
The At-Large was recently criticized in a report (pdf) for the perception that it is “controlled by a handful of ICANN veterans who rotate between the different leadership positions”.
Sanchez’s appointment to the board may have an effect on that perception.
The selection of another (white, male) North American to the board, replacing an Asian woman, will of course create more pressure to increase geographic and gender diversity on the other groups within ICANN that select board members.
A written Q&A between the two candidates and At-Large members can be found here.