Who will replace Vint Cerf? An Italian, Kiwi or American?

The debate over who is in the running to take over as chair of ICANN is the focus of a story of DomainesInfo (click here to read their story in English or French), and picked up in the New Zealand press (here). There are three candidates listed: Roberto Gaetano, current vice-chair, Peter Dengate Thrush and Steve Crocker.The New Zealand press has an interest due to one of the candidates, Peter Dengate Thrush, being a Kiwi.The backgrounds of all three candidates is:

  • Dr Steve Crocker – sits on the ICANN board as a non-voting liaison representing the Security and Stability Advisory Committee; late 1960s/early 1970s, while a graduate student at UCLA, was part of the team that developed the protocols for the Arpanet and laid the foundation for today’s Internet; selected as non-voting liaison to the ICANN Board by the Security and Stability Advisory Committee.
  • Peter Dengate Thrush – New Zealander, barrister practicing in civil litigation and specialising in intellectual property, competition and Internet law; legal advisor to InternetNZ from 1996 to 1999; active in setting up and developing APTLD; involved in ICANN since its inception as a member of the Boston Working Group providing comment in 1998 on the early drafts of the ICANN bylaws; selected for the ICANN Board by the Country Code Names Supporting Organization in 2005 and his three-year term expires six months after the conclusion of the 2007 annual meeting.
  • Roberto Gaetano – Italian, speaks five languages, 30 years of experience in telecommunications and information technology; current ICANN vice-Chair, involved with ICANN since 1997; as a representative of ETSI (European Telecommunication Standards Institute), he played important roles in the formation of CORE (Council of Internet Registrars), the policy discussions around the U.S. Government’s White Paper (International Forum on the White Paper), and the formation of ICANN’s original Domain Name Supporting Organization (DNSO); selected as board member in 2006. DomainesInfo suggests choosing Gaetano “could be ICANN’s way of sending the message that it has become a truly global agency and wants to come out from under the US Department of Commerce’s shadow.”

DomainesInfo says “handling the transition from a leader as strong and charismatic as Vint Cerf is never easy. The preferred solution to such a difficult problem is often an interim one.”Will ICANN try this? Gaetano, Dengate Thrush and Crocker each have a lot to offer in specific areas. But no one candidate combines as many plus points as Cerf did.”So one possible compromise could be a kind of “three-way split” of responsibilities between the candidates, making sure that their respective qualities come to the fore… while giving ICANN more time to find its next Vinton G. Cerf.”The replacement for Vint Cerf is due to be chosen at ICANN’s LA meeting commencing on 29 October with the actual vote for the chair taken during the board meeting on the final day of the meeting, 2 November.More information on this story can be found in DomainesInfo in their stories in French and English, or from the New Zealand Press Association in Stuff.

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