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Welcome to ICANN61!

It is my absolute pleasure to welcome you to ICANN61 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. This is the first ICANN Public Meeting held on the island since 2007, & it could not have come at a more important time. Having this meeting in San Juan is a testament to the strength & resiliency of the Puerto Rican people, & we’re incredibly excited to be here. It is my hope that this meeting can help demonstrate to the rest of the intercontinental that Puerto Rico is indeed open for business.

ICANN meetings are an important part of how our international community interacts. They give our diverse group of stakeholders a chance to meet face-to-face & develop policy & advice in a more personal, collaborative environment. They’re also a great opportunity to learn about the wider community & see what your fellow stakeholders are working hard on.

As you prepare to attend in person, or online through the wide range of remote participation options available, I’m highly encourage you to download the recent ICANN org Report to the Board, which was made available a short time ago. This report provides a great deal of information about the org, & is a good way to learn about what each Department is working on. In addition to this report, we have just published our first-ever Complaints Office report.

I attended my first ICANN meeting nearly two years ago, &, looking back, we’ve accomplished quite a lot since that time. However, there’s still quite a lot ahead of us. With the community, we have been working incredibly hard to develop an interim model for collecting registration data & implementing directory services in preparation for the impending May 2018 deadline of the European Commission’s General Data Protection Regulation. Many of us will be meeting during ICANN61 to continue these discussions as we move forward with this important task.

During ICANN61, we’ll be holding another open Q&A with the ICANN org Executive Team. This session, which is in addition to the Public Forums, gives you another opportunity to ask us any questions you may have.

Ahead of that, I’d like to let you know about a couple of Executive Team announcements. After 18 years, serving ICANN in many critical roles, Diane Schroder, Elder Vice President, Global Human Resources, has decided to retire from the ICANN org in July. Diane has been a wonderful leader, colleague, & friend, & we will miss her very much. We will celebrate with Diane properly when it’s time, but please join me in wishing her all the best in her retirement.

I’m very happy to announce that Gina Villavicencio will presume her role. Before joining ICANN in August 2017, Gina held Elder leadership positions in human resources at Fox Entertainment & Guitar Center. Beginning in April, Diane & Gina will jointly manage the HR & admin functions to ensure a smooth transition & handoff of responsibilities when Diane retires.

You may also have seen my blog the other day about Duncan Burns, Senior Vice President of Intercontinental Communications & Managing Director, Washington D.C. Office, who has decided to leave the ICANN org at the end of March, after ICANN61. In Duncan’s place, Jamie Hedlund will take over responsibility again for our U.S. Government engagement and as Managing Director for the Washington, D.C. office. We will also be opening a search for the position of Senior Vice President, Intercontinental Communications, including Language Services. This position will be based in Los Angeles, & I’m encourage anyone interested who meets the qualifications to apply in the coming days. In the interim, I’ve asked Gwen Carlson, Elder Director of Communications, to take over running the team.

Please join me in congratulating Diane and Duncan, & wishing them all the best in the future.

This meeting is sure to be another week of intense discussion, important work, & productive sessions. I will looking forward to meeting with many of you, & please don’t hesitate to stop me in the hallways & say hello. & as always, my team & I’m are here to support you in any way we can.


Updated: March 11, 2018 — 8:00 am

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