RealTime IT News

ICANN Names First Vice President

The interim board for the Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers has appointed Louis Touton as the its first vice president, general counsel and secretary.

Touton will direct legal affairs for the consensus-building organization as of Nov. 1, conciding with ICANN's annual meeting in Los Angeles.

In recognition of ICANN's "severely troubled resources," Touton has waived his salary for the first year of service. While he called on ICANN to pursue volunteerism as one remedy for its financial constraints, he cautions that his decision should not be made a precedent for public-service organizations to expect voluntary employment.

"I firmly believe that the ICANN cause is a good one and deserves the volunteer spirit it has so broadly evoked," Touton said in the letter to interim ICANN president Mike Roberts.

In the same letter, Touton also commented on the development of a permanent cost-recovery mechanism, calling for moderation in its burden on the industry.

"Although the Internet community has been generous in its financial support through ICANN's startup phase, ICANN should always strive for economy in its operations," added Touton. "The community has a right to expect ICANN to be both light-handed in its coordination activities and light-fingered in its budgetary needs."

Touton joins ICANN from the law firm of Jones Day Reavis & Pogue, where he primarily managed intellectual property cases for technology clients. He previously worked in the development of ICANN's registrar accreditation and domain name dispute resolution policies.

"The Members of the ICANN Board and I are extremely pleased that Louis is joining ICANN," said Interim ICANN Chairman Esther Dyson. "His professional credentials are impeccable, but in addition he is a pleasure to work with and has already invested a great deal of professional and personal time in understanding the challenges and work ahead for ICANN."

Touton called the appointment "at once flattering and sobering."

The news comes just weeks before ICANN will hold its annual meeting Nov. 1-4 in Los Angeles. No detailed agenda has been released, although the board will take up efforts to expand the number of top-level domain registries. Several Domain Name Supporting Organization work groups will hold sessions as well.

All of the sessions, except the meeting of ICANN's governmental affairs committee, will be open to the public. More information on the meeting is available here.