Tag Archives: Public Interest Registry

PIR Bolsters Executive Team With 3 New Hires

Public Interest Registry logo

Public Interest Registry (PIR) announced Tuesday the addition of three new members to their executive team – Judy Song-Marshall, Chief of Staff; Joe Abley, Chief Technology Officer and Anand Vora, Vice President of Business Affairs. They are currently recruiting for a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to round out their leadership team.

The new hires, starting throughout March and April of 2019, will bring enhanced operational and technology capabilities to Public Interest Registry in support of the organisation’s drive for continued growth of quality domains under management and its enhanced educational and outreach initiatives. The broadening of the executive team comes on the heels of Public Interest Registry’s appointment of Jon Nevett as President and CEO and will be instrumental to the advancement of the organisation’s advocacy in support of collaboration, safety and trust on the internet.

“Our latest executive appointments are some of the most well-respected professionals in the domain industry and true experts in their respective fields,” said Jon Nevett, President and CEO of Public Interest Registry. “I’m thrilled to welcome them to the Public Interest Registry team and am confident they will help us achieve our goals while, most importantly, upholding the impressive legacy of the .org domain.”

The three new hires will join the existing Public Interest Registry executive team consisting of Jon Nevett, President and CEO; Brian Cimbolic, Vice President and General Counsel; Paul Diaz, Vice President of Policy and Mary Cornwell, Senior Director of Human Resources. Public Interest Registry also currently is accepting applications for a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to round out the organisation’s leadership team.

Judy Song-Marshall brings more than a decade of domain name industry experience working alongside executive management teams. She currently works as the Director of Registry Services at Neustar, overseeing the Policy, Industry Affairs, and Compliance teams.

Judy also led the marketing team that successfully launched the .nyc top-level domain (TLD) and rebranded the .us country code top-level domain (ccTLD). Judy serves on the ICANNWiki Board and is the Treasurer and a former board member of The Domain Name Association.

Joe Abley has more than 20 years of experience working with internet infrastructure in a variety of capacities including in the domain name system. At Public Interest Registry, Joe will be responsible for the organisation’s overall technology strategy including managing information security, business intelligence, software development and technical research.

Joe previously served as an Infrastructure Scientist for Afilias and as a Director of Domain Names System (DNS) Operations at ICANN where he provided direction for the operation of ICANN’s production DNS services, including the L Root Server and the systems and processes used to manage Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) in the root zone of the DNS. Joe also actively promotes technology education efforts in developing regions and is a long-standing participant in standards bodies and technical operator communities.

Anand Vora is a seasoned strategy and business development executive with a decade of experience working in the domain name and internet industries. Anand will be rejoining Public Interest Registry, where his career in the industry began, to oversee business development, channel services, marketing, registry services, and customer operations.

In this role, Anand will help expand Public Interest Registry’s presence in the marketplace and continue to foster customer and registrar relations. Previously, Anand served as the Director of Business Development at Donuts Inc., where he led the identification, development, creation, and execution of go-to-market strategy. At Donuts, Anand focused primarily on international markets including spearheading Donuts’ China operations.

Q&A: Meet Jonathon Nevett, Public Interest Registry’s New President and Chief Executive Officer


In December of 2018, a new leader was welcomed to Public Interest Registry – Jonathon Nevett, a new President and Chief Executive Officer. Jon brings decades of domain expertise to the company and an impressive track record of industry leadership that will be instrumental to the ongoing growth and success of the .org domain.

PIR is thrilled to welcome Jon and decided to sit down with him so he can share more about his background, what motivated him to join .org and some of his priorities and goals for the .org domain.

Tell us about yourself! What led you to where you are today?

I started my career in government service and then as a lawyer by trade. After a few years of practising at a law firm, I moved to working at a large telecommunications company and started gravitating away from the law and towards the business side of a regulated industry. I then made the transition to Network Solutions and the domain industry and haven’t looked back. I’ve worked in a variety of capacities within the industry – from starting out as an ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) policy wonk to serving as the Chairman of the Board of two industry joint ventures; from establishing a business ethics program to leading a government affairs effort. I have been fortunate enough to serve on various industry advisory groups and panels, as well as helped start our own industry trade association.

Most recently, I co-founded and served as an executive vice president at Donuts Inc., a domain registry that manages hundreds of new domain extensions. Over the eight years I was with Donuts, I had the opportunity to help raise over $150M in funding, build a registry from the ground up, and manage an amazing team of professionals. When this position opened at PIR, however, I knew it was the opportunity of a lifetime and that the stars had aligned.

What made you pursue this new role at .org?

I’ve admired .org and PIR from afar since I began in the industry. PIR’s mission is to ensure that all who are committed to the public interest have a voice online and I knew immediately that’s a mission I wanted to support. Joining the great team at PIR is an opportunity for me to stay in the industry I love and continue to work within the community that has supported me throughout my career. Additionally, I’ve lived in the greater DMV (D.C., Maryland, Virginia) area for over 25 years and PIR is right in my backyard, so I didn’t risk the ire of my family in trying to get them to relocate.

What most excites you about this new role?

I wholeheartedly believe that .org is the crown jewel of the domain name system and my job is to polish it and let it shine as much as possible. It is known that .org has a long-standing reputation as a best-in-class domain, particularly when it comes to domain security, trust, and reliability. I felt that joining .org would give me an opportunity to do something good, as it is a purpose-driven domain for people who want to do great things online. Leading .org gives me a chance to help empower those people and help change the world for the better.

Many people also forget that PIR is a nonprofit, so we have our own public interest mission. Importantly, every time someone chooses a .org domain, a portion of their domain purchase goes toward supporting the Internet Society and its great work like keeping the internet free and open and helping to bring internet access to every corner of the globe. I’m honored to be at the helm of such an impactful organisation like PIR and want to do everything I can during my tenure to enhance the .org domain.

What are some of your priorities and goals for PIR and the .org domain?

Quality of the domain space will always be a big focus for me. I want to uphold .org’s reputation for being safe, secure, trustworthy, and a place for mission-based organisations and individuals to bring their ideas to life. That emphasis on quality means the total domains under management (DUM) metric won’t rule supreme. There are more important qualitative metrics that I plan to implement that will ultimately be more critical to the long-term health and growth of .org.

Additionally, I’m looking forward to fostering the education and outreach element of our charter and have some ideas for how to ramp up those efforts in the coming years. We have strong expertise as an organisation on issues such as web identity, web presence, and how .orgs can be most successful on the internet, so you can expect in the near future to see PIR sharing our expertise with the greater non-profit community in new and creative ways. We also have some other exciting developments coming soon for the organisation, but we are keeping them under wraps for now.

Finally, I’m just really excited to be joining an organisation with such a strong internal culture and so many inspiring and talented people across the globe. I want to keep building on that foundation and ensure .org stays a great place to work – somewhere people can really grow and thrive professionally. And while we’re at it, let’s have a little fun!

What are you doing when you aren’t running one of the original domain extensions?

Family and friends and my various communities are my focus when I am not thinking about domain names.  My wife, Karen, and I have three amazing kids – two in college (Rachel and Michael) and one in high school (Danielle) – and our personal time mostly revolves around them (especially girls travel soccer!).

I have also served for many years on the board of the Green Acres School, a progressive school founded 85 years ago and the first integrated school in Montgomery County, Maryland.

One of my most important achievements this year is that I am the proud winner of the ICANN community fantasy football championship and of course, all the bragging rights that go with it.

This Q&A by Jim LeFevre – Senior Director of Marketing, Public Interest Registry was republished with permission by PIR. The original version was published on PIR’s website here.

PIR Announces Jonathon Nevett As New CEO

Public Interest Registry has announced Jonathon Nevett will commence as their new CEO on 17 December, replacing Brian Cute who resigned in May. Nevett, a Donuts co-founder, himself recently stepped down from his role at Donuts as executive vice president of corporate affairs but remained for a short time as a close advisor to the company. Continue reading PIR Announces Jonathon Nevett As New CEO

PIR Calls For Board Nominations

Public Interest Registry logoThe Public Interest Registry (PIR), who operates a number of gTLDs including .org, ngo and .ong and associated internationalised domain names, has begun accepting nominations for their Board of Directors.

In 2019 there are three positions opening on the PIR Board. The three directors will serve a 3-year term that begins mid-year 2019 and expires mid-year 2022. PIR says prior board experience is preferred. All directors must be able to read and understand a balance sheet, as well as read and communicate effectively in the English language.

There are approximately 15 full days per year for face-to-face meetings (not including travel time), regular conference calls (generally monthly), and daily email correspondence. Directors that participate in all meetings are eligible to accept compensation up to US$12,000 per year

The deadline for nominations is 15:00 UTC on February 4, 2019. Interested candidates should submit this form. More information is available here.

PIR Making Changes To Discounts, Rebates And Marketing Products They Offer Registrars

Public Interest Registry logoThe Public Interest Registry has announced changes to the way they deal with registrars. The changes impact on the discounts, rebates and marketing products offered by the registry.

The changes were announced in a post on the PIR blog by Interim President and CEO Jay Daley. The first change is that PIR, the registry for .org and .ngo top level domains among others, won’t be offering any further volume discounts when the current agreements expire. While volume discounts are a long-established product offered by many registries, they clearly favour larger registrars as only the larger registrars can reach the volumes necessary to qualify for the discount. We don’t think this is fair and we want all our products in future to be equally accessible to registrars of all sizes.

The second change is that they’re going to measure the success of their products on more key performance indicators than just the number of creates they produce. For a start PIR is going to be looking at the overall revenue of a product – does it cost more to offer the product than the additional revenue we get from it? Then they’re going to look at the quality of the new registrations generic generated – do they have a higher incidence of technical abuse such as malware or phishing? They’re also going to look at whether there is a positive impact on our brand attributes and how registrars and registrants perceive them.

Measuring brand in this way means two things the post notes. It signals a shift from a sales-led organisation to a marketing-led organisation so they can focus on strengthening the core characteristics of .org, such as trust. It also means that they’ll need to conduct more registrar and registrant surveys to help understand and measure the impact of their products and they will need registrar cooperation to achieve that.

The third change is that in future PIR will no longer offer products where they take all the risk and will instead ask for the risk to be shared along with the reward. Registrars and registries are becoming increasingly sophisticated in the use of data and together can design products where both have confidence in the outcome.

Daley writes PIR thinks these changes and their new approach are better suited to developing strong partnerships with registrars and generating quality, sustainable growth. He says they may see a dip in headline numbers as this strategy is put in place, but from the actions taken so far in cutting back the target market discount, the loss of income from the drop in creates is more than compensated for by the saving in expenditure.

To support all these changes PIR has invested heavily in their channel services team with three new hirings, Rick Terry, Scott McBreen and Gianni Ponzi, who join Senior Director Inma del Rosal Mendez. These new members of the team have extensive experience in our industry with long stints working for registrars and they are looking forward to building strong partnerships with .org registrars.

PIR Launches Search for New CEO

Public Interest Registry logoFollowing the departure of President and CEO Brian Cute in May, Public Interest Registry has begun the search for a new CEO.

Public Internet Registry (PIR) is the not-for profit organisation created by the Internet Society (ISOC) in 2002 to manage, enhance and expand the .org domain while acting in the public interest. .org currently has 10.3 million domains under management and is the seventh largest top level domain. PIR also manages .ngo and .ong TLDs among others.

For the CEO position, in their advertisement PIR say they’re looking for a high- quality candidate to lead the company forward in this important stage of our development. The goal is to make PIR into a world leading registry in all aspects by adopting global best practice and leading-edge initiatives.

The CEO will execute their current strategy and to build on success and meet goals. The right leader will be someone with significant experience in the domain name industry at a senior level. While PIR is proudly not-for-profit, it exists both to serve the community and to fund ISOC. The right candidate will therefore have both strong commercial skills to drive revenue growth as well as a genuine passion for PIR’s public interest mission and broader Internet issues. The CEO will be responsible for delivering PIR’s mission within the domain name industry, the broader community of org/.ngo/.ong registrants, and the community of Internet users served by ISOC.

PIR is looking for a CEO with excellent organisational, strategic planning, financial management and diplomatic skills to lead a global and diverse community and reflect the organisation’s values. In addition to a wide variety of technical expertise, candidates should bring a track record of directing sustainable growth of an organisation or business unit. They must also have an inspirational leadership style, with experience working with an active Board.

For further information, including details of how to apply, go to the website of the recruitment firm Perrett Laver quoting reference 3669. The deadline for applications is Friday 27 July. Salary is not listed but is said to be “competitive”.

PIR Announces CEO/President Brian Cute Resigns

Brian Cute, CEO and President of the Public Interest Registry, has resigned after 7 years at the helm, the registry best known for .org has announced. While there is nothing to indicate anything untoward, the resignation and announcement seem to have been rather sudden.

Cute resigned on 7 May according to the PIR statement released Thursday. During his time as president and CEO, Cute helped advance Public Interest Registry’s mission through the headwinds of today’s complex and diversified online marketplace, according to the statement. Public Interest Registry say they appreciated the leadership Cute has shown the organisation and the many contributions he made during his tenure. Public Interest Registry wishes him great success in his future endeavours.

The Public Interest Registry Board of Directors will soon commence a recruitment process to fill the CEO position, according to the statement. Jay Daley is serving as interim CEO. Daley knows the registry industry extraordinarily well, having served in various leadership roles within the industry since 2002. Daley is a recent addition to the Public Interest Registry Board and has indicated to the Board that he will continue in that role after the interim period. He will not be pursuing the full-time CEO position.

“We at Public Interest Registry remain steadfast in our mission. Public Interest Registry has enabled countless non-commercial organisations across the globe to utilise the internet’s enormous potential to make the world a better place. And we’ll continue to do our part and provide them with tools they need to advance their initiatives online,” said Roberto Gaetano, Chair of Public Interest Registry’s Board of Directors.

Public Interest Registry is a non-profit organisation that operates the .org top-level domain – the world’s third-largest generic top-level domain with more than 10.4 million domain names registered worldwide – and the .ngo and .ong gTLDs and OnGood community website. Public Interest Registry also operates 4 Internationalised Domain Names to support and encourage local language use of the internet.

5 Questions: The State of the Domain Industry and the Challenges Ahead with Brian Cute, Public Interest Registry CEO

Domain Pulse is starting a series of quick questions on the state of the domain name industry and what 2018 holds. Our first respondent is Brian Cute, CEO of Public Interest Registry, who touches on 2017, what are the big issues of 2018 including for .org, what are the growth areas for 2018 and will domain names continue to hold their relevance.

1. What were the surprises and challenges for PIR and the domain name industry in 2017? What do you see as the successes and failures?

From both an industry and organisational perspective, data and information security continue to be an area of challenge for the domain industry. For the non-commercial community on the .org domain, the internet plays a crucial role in helping to garner donations, spread awareness and foster relationships with stakeholders. Yet, we continue to see slow adoption of security, as evident in the 2018 Global NGO Technology Report, a report Public Interest Registry is a co-sponsor of with Nonprofit Tech for Good. Looking back on their technology and internet activity last year, more than 70 percent of global NGOs acknowledged accepting online donations on their website, but only 41 percent use encryption technology to protect their data and communications.

To help close this gap, in the second half of 2017 Public Interest Registry launched our NGOs and Data Security blog series that educated readers on information security themes relating specifically to non-commercial internet users, and we’ll continue to provide insight on additional themes that may impact these stakeholders in the year ahead.

2. Looking forward to 2018, what do you see happening and the challenges?

The upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) out of the EU will be a major challenge for the domain industry this year. While the most public facing change for the domain industry due to GDPR will be changes to the publicly displayed WHOIS information, the domain industry is working to come together on a model that will address all of the challenges presented by GDPR. GDPR will also be a challenge for NGOs. The regulation will impact the way non-profits gather personal information and engage with stakeholders on a global scale. Larger non-profits with IT resources will need to review and update their policies. Smaller non-profits, including those who are new to the online world, may need to seek out resources to make sure they comply with the regulation.

3. For PIR’s TLDs, how have they progressed in 2017, and what does 2018 hold?

The .org domain remains the third largest TLD, and we are proud that .org continues to be viewed around the world as offering a trusted online identify. In fact, 2018 marks the 15th year of Public Interest Registry’s management of the .org domain, and to continue to set it apart from other TLDs we will continue to educate new customers on the value of aligning with the domain’s brand identity.

4. What do you see as the growth areas going forward in 2018 and beyond?

From an industry perspective, a large growth area I see in 2018 is continuing to push for internet access to the 48 percent of the world’s population that does not have it. Public Interest Registry remains vigilant in continuing to raise awareness of this gap, and educating new and existing internet users about how to use the internet effectivity.

5. Will domain names continue to be as relevant as social media grows in prevalence and mobile phone apps become more popular?

We believe domains will continue to be relevant even as social media and mobile apps grow. However, we also believe there is an opportunity for registries and registrars to work together to understand what users need and what their pain points are in using the internet. We know different platforms are used to communicate online, but users may not understand the difference between a social media platform, domain and a website, and be able to activate each to their benefit. Armed with the understanding of what users are seeking from each platform, collectively the domain industry can better position and educate around our product.

Public Interest Registry and Nonprofit Tech for Good Debut Inaugural 2017 Global Trends in Giving Report

Public_Interest_Registry_2017_Global_Trends_in_Giving_Report[news release] Public Interest Registry, the not-for-profit operator of the .org, .ngo and .ong domains, and Nonprofit Tech for Good today revealed the results of the “2017 Global Trends in Giving Report.” By surveying more than 4,000 donors in 95 countries, the inaugural report provides a comprehensive understanding of how and why donors worldwide are giving to and engaging with non-governmental (NGOs), nonprofits and charitable organizations. In addition, the survey evaluates the role that technology plays in communications and philanthropic giving across continents and demographics.

Key global findings include:

  • 92 percent of donors believe NGOs are ethical and can be trusted, and 96 percent believe these organisations are essential for creating social change.
  • 45 percent of donors give to NGOs located outside of their country of residence.
  • Donors worldwide prefer to make financial contributions online, which is a conclusive generational sentiment as well – 62 percent of millennials and 59 percent of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, respectively, prefer online giving.
  • Of online donors, 42 percent cite social media as the tool that most inspires them to give; of these donors, 62 percent list Facebook as most inspiring channel, followed by Twitter (15 percent) then Instagram (10 percent).
  • Donors most trust websites and email addresses that use the .org (72 percent), .edu (7 percent), and .ngo (6 percent) domains.
  • Social media is listed by millennials (33 percent) and Gen Xers (28 percent) as the tool that most inspires giving, while Baby Boomers list fundraising events (24 percent) as most inspirational.
  • 67 percent of donors have volunteered with an NGO within the past year. Of these volunteers, 97 percent also made a financial contribution to the organisation with which they volunteer.
  • Both male and female donors list organisations that support children and youth as a top preference.
  • Liberal donors are most likely to give to human/civil rights causes, while conservative-leaning donors are more likely to give to religious/faith services.

“Effectively engaging with donors is crucial – the lifeblood in some cases – for the NGO community to successfully achieve their mission,” said Brian Cute, CEO of Public Interest Registry. “Insights from the report provide a valuable cultural examination, globally and within defined regions. But more importantly, the findings will assist NGOs around the world in understanding who, when and how to target the philanthropically minded within their country and beyond their borders.”

Breakdown of donors in North America:

  • 62 percent of North American donors prefer to give online, which is the highest rate in the world.
  • North American donors are also predominately female (75 percent) Baby Boomers (42 percent) with a liberal-leaning ideology.
  • Of all donors worldwide, North American donors give the most to causes reflecting religious or faith-based services.
  • Within the United States, generational differences can be seen in the types of causes supported: millennials give the most to human and civil rights causes; Gen Xers give to causes related to animals; and Baby Boomers give most to religious and faith-based services.

“Examining donor preferences worldwide clearly showed an overwhelming response from donors in wealthy countries, which we believe is in direct correlation to the lack of technology tools NGOs have in developing countries to effectively engage their supporters,” said Heather Mansfield, founder of Nonprofit Tech for Good. “Our hope is that future versions of this report will reflect a more diverse donor community, especially as internet infrastructure evolves enabling more donors to emerge from all corners of the globe.”

Fielded earlier this year, the “2017 Global Trends in Giving Report” surveyed 4,084 donor respondents from 95 countries across Africa, Asia, Australia & Oceania, Europe, North America and South America, including gender, generational and ideological analysis.

For more information on the survey’s findings and methodology, and to download the full report and graphics, please visit: http://www.givingreport.ngo.

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About Public Interest Registry
Public Interest Registry is a nonprofit organisation that operates the .org top-level domain — the world’s third largest “generic” top-level domain with more than 10.4 million domain names registered worldwide – and the newly launched .ngo and .ong domains and OnGood community website. Public Interest Registry also operates four Internationalized Domain Names (.ОРГ (xn--c1avg), .机构 (xn--nqv7f), .संगठन (xn--i1b6b1a6a2e), .组织机构 (xn--nqv7fs00ema)) to support and encourage local language use of the Internet.  As an advocate for collaboration, safety and security on the internet, Public Interest Registry’s mission is to educate and enable the global noncommercial community to use the internet more effectively, and to take a leadership position among internet stakeholders on policy and other issues relating to the domain naming system. Public Interest Registry was founded by the Internet Society (internetsociety.org) in 2002 and is based in Reston, Virginia, USA.

About Nonprofit Tech for Good
With nearly 100,000 monthly visitors and more than one million followers on social networks, Nonprofit Tech for Good is a leading social and mobile media resource for nonprofit professionals. Created and managed by Heather Mansfield, Nonprofit Tech for Good focuses on providing valuable, easy-to-understand information, news, and resources related to nonprofit technology, online communications, and mobile and social fundraising.

Unsurprisingly, Only a Few Actually Know Much About the Internet

There’s an important need for widespread internet education among internet users of all ages and backgrounds following the findings of a survey to test U.S. consumer knowledge and awareness of the internet by the Public Internet Registry, operator of .org among other gTLDs.

But is it so surprising? Most people don’t know how their motor vehicles operate. They just know, to varying degrees, how to drive them. They know how to fill their fuel tanks and usually put air in the tyres. But under the bonnet, or hood, well, forget about it.

So it’s not surprising that only 31% of users could correctly define a “domain name system”, two-thirds (68%) could not identify the decade when the World Wide Web was invented and only 29% of participants correctly identified the meaning of HTTP, with 31 percent admitting outright they did not know the meaning of the term.

According to the survey results, an overwhelming majority (84%) reported that they believed they were “knowledgeable,” however the survey results painted a different picture. For instance, only 20 % of consumers knew the internet and the World Wide Web are not one and the same!

But there are positives. 59% knew a URL was another term for a web address, two-thirds (66%) could identify an domain name from a browser, email address and social media handle and 80% knew that they could find official information from their Congressman under a .gov domain name.

But more awareness is important so people understand, among other issues, the security risks when entering personal and financial information online for websites that don’t use “https”.

To check how knowledgeable you are, there’s an Internet101 quiz here.