26 Fellowship participants attended the 33rd ICANN International Public Meeting held in Cairo this past November. 30 candidates were chosen from a pool of 89 applications. 9 of the participating fellows were alumni of a previous fellowship program, 9 were first-time fellows who had attended at least 1 ICANN meeting previously, and 8 were first-time ICANN meeting attendees.
All of the ICANN regions were represented, though the emphasis for Cairo was on the Africa region. Fellows hailed from Cote d’Ivoire, Uruguay, Samoa, Bangladesh, Congo, Fiji, United Republic of Tanzania, Jordan, Somalia, Armenia, Jamaica, Uzbekistan, St. Lucia, Chile, Thailand, Tunisia, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Mexico, Pakistan, and Iraq. They included 9 ccNSO members, 8 from government, including 1 GAC representative, 1 recently joined member of ALAC, 1 LACNIC representative and 1 recently joined member of the gNSO. The remaining 6 were not currently affiliated with any supporting organization.
The fellowship program provides an opportunity and experience like no other in the ICANN community, as our first time fellow from Somalia Ahmed Ugas mentioned “The ICANN meeting was a different experience for us, especially for those, who like me, did not attend any ICANN meeting before. I think we were lucky to start our ICANN experience with a fellowship program because we were especially taken care of. We have had a fellowship manager, a mentor, and a group of fellows, who I was closely associated with. I suspect my experience would have been difficult were I not a fellow. One cannot imagine what ICANN experience is all about given the financial constraints. Once you try it, and if you have a passion for Internet development, you will definitely try not to miss a single future meeting. I am planning to organize small workshops for interested persons to make them familiar with ICANN activities and the current issues under discussion.”
We look forward to seeing many of these names and faces at future ICANN meetings, contributing to the many decision-making processes in ICANN such as public forums, supporting organizations and advisory committees, and perhaps even as potential members of the ICANN board.
To learn more about the Fellowships Program, and the upcoming application round, please visit http://www.icann.org/en/fellowships/