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ICANN wants more newbies on its board

Kevin Murphy, April 17, 2023, 16:53:00 (UTC), Domain Policy

ICANN is planning changes to how its board of directors are picked, including new measures to get more community virgins around the table.

Under proposed new rules for its Nominating Committee, which chooses eight of the 20 directors, at least three directors at any given time would have to be “unaffiliated”.

The definition of “unaffiliated” is extremely broad, seemingly ruling out anybody who has ever had any professional involvement with the ICANN community whatsoever. Even people who have showed up at ICANN meetings on their employer’s dime would be excluded.

By my reckoning, only two of the current crop of eight NomCom appointees could possibly meet this definition, based on their biographies.

The new rules would give NomCom some flexibility in cases where it really can’t find an otherwise qualified director without any ICANN ties.

NomCom members would also get their own terms extended under the proposals, from one year to two, in order to improve institutional memory. Some current members would have their terms extended while others would not.

To tackle the same continuity issues, ICANN also wants to create a Nominating Committee Standing Committee — that’s right, an entity with two “Committees” in its name — to oversee the NomCom.

The four-person committee would be made up of former NomCom members and would be tasked with things like reviewing the previous hiring cycle and suggesting possible procedural changes. It would have no input on who gets hired and fired.

The proposals, which originate from a review that began in 2016, are open for public comment until May 29.

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