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ICANN Appoints Election, Nominating Committees

The Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers late Tuesday took the first step in selecting the At Large Directors with the appointment of its election and nominating committees.

ICANN is the non-profit organization which coordinates stable operation of the Internet's root server system as well as coordination and assignment of Internet domain names, IP address numbers, protocol parameters and port numbers.

The five directors will be elected by ICANN's general members in a global online election later this year. Each director will represent one of five defined geographic regions: Africa, Asia/Pacific, Europe, Latin America/Caribbean and North America.

The nominating committee will identify and nominate a set of candidates. ICANN said the committee will actively seek recommendations and expressions of interest from all members of the Internet community. They will announce procedures soon. ICANN said the committee will complete its work by the end of July.To date, ICANN has received nearly 15,000 applications for the positions.

The members of the nominating committee are: Linda Wilson, chair (United States); Jean-Frangois Abramatic (France); Dr. Mads Bryde Andersen (Denmark); John Klensin (United States); Jun Murai (Japan); Charles Musisi (Uganda); and Alejandro Pisanty (Mexico).

Following the initial phase of nominations there will be a petition period in which candidates not nominated by the nominating committee can seek a place on the ballot by attracting a minimum threshold of support from ICANN members in their regions via online petitions. There will also be a campaign period before the vote.

Meanwhile, the election committee will solicit and select an outside vendor for the online voting system and will complete detailed recommendations for ICANN's campaign and voting procedures, including independent oversight and monitoring. The committee's recommendations will be subject to public review and comment prior to ICANN's next meetings in July.

The committee's membership includes experts in electronic voting, Internet infrastructure and security and election oversight and monitoring. The members of the Election Committee are: Greg Crew, chair (Australia); Charles Costello (United States); Lorrie Faith Cranor (United States); Patrik Fdltstrvm (Sweden); Ken Fockler (Canada); Hans Kraaijenbrink (Netherlands); Nguyen Huu Dong (Mexico).

The open election of board members is a new direction for ICANN. Previously, ICANN favored a process that let general members elect a group that would then hand pick board members. But in March, the Center for Democracy and Technology and Common Cause -- watchdog groups which keeps close tabs on ICANN -- convinced the organization to elect board members directly. The CDT said the open election would increase accountability and representation in the election process.

ICANN is also searching for a new president and chief executive officer. That search was launched last Friday.