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Chehadé Announces Next Move In Life After ICANN As US Govt Extends ICANN IANA Contract

ICANN’s CEO And President Fadi Chehadé has announced that when he departs ICANN he will take up a position in what he describes in a post on the ICANN blog as a “portfolio of activities”, the main one being a Senior Advisor on Digital Strategy for ABRY Partners, a Boston-based private equity investment firm.The role will entail providing guidance to ABRY’s partners and their companies’ leaders on digital strategy. He is hoping this is just one of a number of roles he will undertake when he finishes with ICANN as he notes that he “expect[s] to add other roles to my portfolio and will update you all as appropriate.”But in the meantime he writes that “please be assured that until that time, I will remain focused on all the day to day duties within ICANN as we work toward a successful transition.”The main role Chehadé is working on until his departure is the transitioning of the NTIA’s “stewardship of the IANA functions to the global Internet community and, after countless meetings and revisions, we, as a community, are closer than ever to delivering on that commitment. We are in the final stages of submitting our proposal for the U.S. government, but there is more work to be done and I stand ready to finish the job I started with my friends and colleagues all those months ago.”But this is taking longer than expected. In An Update on the IANA Transition by Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling on 17 August, Strickling notes “it has become increasingly apparent over the last few months that the community needs time to complete its work, have the plan reviewed by the U.S. Government and then implement it if it is approved.”The new deadline is 30 September 2016 following consultation with stakeholders and with that in mind, the contract the US government has with ICANN to perform the IANA contract has been extended to this date. Beyond 2016, Strickling notes, the US government has options to extend the contract for up to three additional years if needed.”This one-year extension will provide the community with the time it needs to finish its work. The groups are already far along in planning the IANA transition and are currently taking comments on their IANA transition proposals. As we indicated in a recent Federal Register notice, we encourage all interested stakeholders to engage and weigh in on the proposals.”In preparation for the implementation phase of the IANA stewardship transition, NTIA also asked Verisign and ICANN to submit a proposal detailing how best to remove NTIA’s administrative role associated with root zone management, which the groups working on the transition were not asked to address. We asked Verisign and ICANN to submit a proposal detailing how best to do this in a manner that maintains the security, stability and resiliency of the DNS.”The next months will be critical to our success and they will be challenging, but we are on the brink of something truly remarkable, the triumph of the multistakeholder model. I look forward to continuing my work toward this important goal with the dedicated community members who have worked so tirelessly to preserve one Internet for the world.As for Chehadé, Kieren McCarthy writes that he believes the ICANN CEO was “simply fed up with the job. It is a notoriously difficult one: the CEO is not only in charge of ICANN the corporation, but is also accountable to both the ICANN board – which is frequently criticized for its micromanagement – and the broader ICANN community, which can best be described as a loose conglomeration of warring tribes.””In addition, Chehade has seen a number of personal projects face repeated setbacks. Most notably, he was embarrassed and disappointed when his plan to create a new internet governance body called the NetMundial Initiative was roundly criticized by the internet and business communities.”It’s a similar view to that in espoused by Kevin Murphy in Domain Incite. “I’m drawn down the path of thinking that rather than finding the job of his dreams elsewhere, the dude is just suffering from ICANN burnout.”