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Crocker picked to lead ICANN

Kevin Murphy, June 24, 2011, 05:15:22 (UTC), Domain Policy

Steve Crocker has been elected chairman of ICANN’s board of directors, following the departure of Peter Dengate Thrush, whose term on the board expired today.

Described earlier this week by CEO Rod Beckstrom as “one of the uncles of the internet”, Crocker is the creator of the Request For Comment format for internet standards.

Replacing Crocker as vice-chair is fellow geek Bruce Tonkin, chief strategy officer of Melbourne IT, the Australian domain name registrar.

Both men were selected by secret board poll.

The board revealed the unsuccessful candidates for the first time too: Cherine Chalaby and Sebastien Bachollet stood for chair, while Bachollet and Ray Plzak stood for vice-chair.

Because Crocker’s term on the board ends in October, his long-term future depends now on whether the ICANN Nominating Committee decides to renew his term for another three years.

I expect it will. Last year, NomCom kicked out all three of its appointees whose terms were up, irking some. Declining to re-appoint Crocker this year could look like regicide by committee.

This leaves NomCom with only one pick in 2011. It will almost certainly be a woman from a region currently under-represented on the board. My guess is Russia.

Also joining the board today was .au’s Chris Disspain, who replaces Dengate Thrush as ccNSO appointee, and Canadian consultant Bill Graham, who replaces Rita Rodin Johnston from the GNSO.

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