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ICANN appoints new Ombudsman

Kevin Murphy, August 2, 2011, 08:53:42 (UTC), Domain Policy

ICANN has named Kiwi lawyer Chris LaHatte as its new Ombudsman.

The appointment, which runs for an initial period of two years from July 28, was made during a board meeting last Thursday, and revealed today.

LaHatte said this of his qualifications, on the ICANN blog:

I am an experienced mediator and lawyer and have practiced in New Zealand, Taiwan and Central Asia. I qualified as a lawyer from the University of Auckland and earned a Masters Degree in Dispute Resolution from Massey University, with judicial settlement conferences as my thesis. I am a Fellow of the Arbitrators and Mediators Institute of New Zealand, a mediator for the New Zealand Law Society on cost issues and a construction law adjudicator.

While his experience appears to be primarily in the construction industry, he seems to have at least a bit of domain savvy already, given that he owns his last name under .co.nz.

LaHatte replaces interim Ombudsman Herb Waye, who stood in following the departure of his old Mountie colleague Frank Fowlie, ICANN’s first Ombudsman, who quit in January.

The Ombudsman role was set up to handle complaints about the organization. It is often criticized for being relatively toothless.

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