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Crocker picked to lead ICANN

Kevin Murphy, June 24, 2011, 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.

Graham beats Doria to ICANN board

Kevin Murphy, May 8, 2011, Domain Policy

Bill Graham of the Internet Society has won an election to ICANN’s board of directors.

Graham beat academic Avri Doria by 8 votes to 5 in the second round of polling from the Non-Contracted Parties House of the GNSO Council.

He will take his seat at the end of ICANN’s meeting in Singapore next month, June 24, replacing trademark lawyer Rita Rodin Johnson, who is reaching the end of her term.

Graham currently leads ISOC’s “strategic global engagement” initiatives.

(UPDATE: Thanks to Graham for alerting us to the fact that he actually retired from ISOC a week ago).

Until 2007, he was director of international telecommunications policy with Industry Canada, the Canadian government’s department responsible for the technology economy.

In that role, he also served as vice-chair of ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee.

The current GAC chair, who also has a non-voting seat on the ICANN board, is Heather Dryden, also a senior policy adviser at Industry Canada.

Graham will become the fourth former GAC member to join the ICANN board, after former CEO Paul Twomey of Australia and current directors Bertrand de la Chapelle of France and Gonzalo Navarro of Chile.

Here’s a useful infographic, courtesy of ICANN, that shows how the board is composed (click to enlarge).

ICANN Board structure

The two green squares are set aside for members of the GNSO. One is for “contracted parties” such as registrars and registries. Graham, elected by the NCPH, will take the other.

In the first round of voting, which concluded a week ago, Doria led by 7 votes to 6, one short of the 8 votes needed to win.

While the voting was private, it is believed that non-commercial and commercial stakeholders voted in blocs in the first round – commercial for Graham, non-commercial for Doria. In the second round, two of her supporters evidently switched sides.

Graham and Doria were the only candidates to be nominated.