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ICANN bloat to continue as new gTLD program begins

Kevin Murphy, December 13, 2022, 12:52:29 (UTC), Domain Policy

ICANN expects to hire so many new staffers over the next few years that it’ll need to rent a second office in Los Angeles to store them all in, according to a newly published new gTLD program planning document.

We’re looking at about 100 more people on the payroll, about 25% above the current level, judging by ICANN figures.

The Org said in the Operational Design Assessment published last night that the next new gTLD round will need it to hire another 25 to 30 dedicated staff during implementation of the program, along with 10 to 15 contractors, and then an additional 50 to 60 permanent staff to help manage the program going forward.

The number could be even higher if the board of directors and community encourage ICANN to speed up the roll-out of the round by reducing automation and relying more on the manual processing of applications.

The ODA says that ICANN has already identified an option to lease more office space close to its LA headquarters, to house the newcomers.

The budget for ICANN’s current fiscal year expects the Org to average 423 operational staff and another 25 employees dedicated to the new gTLD program.

ICANN reckons that the next round will require 125 full-time equivalents (FTE) during the implementation phase, reduced to 114 after the application phase kicks off.

For comparison, in May 2012, shortly after ICANN closed the application window for the last round, the whole organization comprised just 143 people. A year later, it had grown to 239.

The ODA does not break down how many additional staffers it will need to hire if the community plumps for the low-automation “Option 2”.

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