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Surprise new chair for ICANN announced

Kevin Murphy, September 19, 2022, 15:55:51 (UTC), Domain Policy

The King is dead, long live the Queen!

(Too soon?)

ICANN announced today that Tripti Sinha will be taking over as chair of the organization’s board of directors this Thursday, with Maarten Botterman taking an unexpectedly early bath.

The news was delivered by Botterman this morning during the opening ceremony of ICANN 75, being held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia this week. He added that Danko Jevtovic will take over from Leon Sanchez as vice-chair.

No reason for the decision, which appears to have been made at a board meeting yesterday, was given.

While Botterman’s second term on the board ends this week, he was only recently reselected by the Nominating Committee for a third and final three-year term, a term he appears to be intent on serving as a regular director.

Sinha becomes ICANN’s seventh chair since its inception, and the third (after Vint Cerf and Steve Crocker) to come very much from a technology rather than legal or policy-making background.

She’s currently CTO at the University of Maryland, where among other things she oversees the university’s operation of D-root, one of the internet’s 13 DNS root servers.

On the ICANN board, she already sits on five committees and chairs the Board Governance Committee.

She was born in India, but seems to have lived in the US for most of her adult life. It’s not clear whether she’s in the North America or Asia-Pacific column for purposes of geographic diversity under ICANN bylaws.

Jevtovic comes from the ccTLD world in Serbia, first with Yugoslavia’s .yu and then with Serbia’s current .rs domain.

Sinha’s new role comes with a salary bump from $45,000 to $75,000 and, one presumes, much more stress.

Both Sinha and Jevtovic are NomCom appointees with two years left on their second terms.

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