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Doria leaving ICANN board a loss for new gTLD program

Kevin Murphy, August 1, 2023, 13:27:28 (UTC), Domain Policy

ICANN’s Nominating Committee has announced its 2023 selections for many of the Org’s leadership positions, and the big shocker is that director Avri Doria is not among the picks.

NomCom said it has reappointed lawyer Sarah Deutsch for a third three-year term, but Doria’s seat is being taken by Catherine Adeya, a Kenyan tech policy expert who describes herself as a “Senior Digital Transformation & Governance Specialist”.

Adeya holds various directorships and was director of research at the World Wide Web Foundation for a couple of years until layoffs in late 2022, according to her socials.

While Adeya seems incredibly well-qualified for the role, I can’t help but lament the loss of Doria’s institutional expertise. She, along with fellow ICANN lifer Becky Burr, have recently been doing a pretty good job working with the GNSO to help oil the wheels of implementation and get the new gTLD program up and running again.

The NomCom picks mean that the number of voting Africans on the 20-person board doubles from one to two and the number of North Americans is reduced by one. The gender mix of course remains the same, with six out of the 16 voting seats filled by women.

There’s been a lot of talk this year, particularly from chair Tripti Sinha, about a goal to achieve “gender parity” in ICANN’s leadership positions, and NomCom’s 2023 appointments certainly seem to reflect that.

Despite as few as 27% of the 155 applicants ticking the female box on the application form, versus 59% male, only two of the nine open positions were filled by men.

Two of the nine hail from Asia-Pacific, with three from Africa, two from North America, and one each from Europe and Latin America.

ICANN’s bylaws require at least one director from each of the five geographic regions and the board every year encourages NomCom to keep gender and geographical diversity in mind when making their picks.

All the NomCom picks take their seats at the end of ICANN’s public meeting this October.

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Comments (2)

  1. Rubens Kuhl says:

    We had two great losses in this NomCom batch, Avri Doria (ICANN Board) and James Gannon (PTI Board, currently Chair). Besides new gTLD expertise, Avri also carried a lot of technical expertise that will be lacking in the Board.

    • James says:

      Thanks for the kind words Reuben, trust that I (and hopefully Avri) won’t be going too far from ICANN despite NomComs selections.

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