Filiz Yilmaz Interview
18 October 2010
I have been working in the computing and Internet industry for the last 14 years.
Before joining ICANN, for the last nine years, I worked at the RIPE NCC, the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) for Europe, the Middle East and parts of Central Asia, holding policy development and registration services management positions as well as developing and delivering DNSSEC, Routing and Internet Registry courses. In my most recent function, as the Policy Development Manager, I worked with the RIPE community analyzing and tracking policy proposals, supporting policy implementation, and developing impact analysis for policies and reporting as necessary to the RIPE Community.
Prior to that, I worked at the Middle East Technical University Computer Center holding training, user support and web development roles. This institution took part in bringing the Internet to Turkey and introduced Internet access and IT services to the academic and business community as well as the public sector. I conducted several training programs on newly-introduced UNIX and Internet applications and I worked in the development of a university-wide "Net Ethics" program.
Later on I worked in research projects, moving to the Informatics Institute of the same university. In 2001, I received my MSc Degree in Cognitive Science. My thesis - A Computational Analysis of Information Structure in Turkish - was recognized as Thesis of the Year.
Before I received my BSc degree in Mathematics, I used to work at Radio ODTU, reading news and performing external relations tasks to promote the radio.
I speak native Turkish, fluent English, and intermediate Dutch.
I believe the Internet is a very important technology to improve people's lives. It all started as a technology for a technical group first but today it has become a utility to so many people. During the last couple of decades, the Internet became a multi-stakeholder eco-system reflecting this evolution. The future of the Internet is very much dependent on the communication and dialogue between these various stakeholders. ICANN is an organization that promotes a forum where this dialogue can be realized. I want to be part of it and help build bridges.
Involvement from all stakeholders is crucial in bottom-up processes, making these systems healthy and functional. ICANN is an organization serving and engaging with a global Internet community through such bottom-up, consensus based processes for decision-making. Clearly this means participation and outreach activities to enable this participation, two essential factors in ICANN's operation. To this extent, my vision is to enhance ICANN activities to reach out to everyone who wants to be involved in these processes.
Communication in multi-stakeholder environments can be challenging with so many different interests, perspectives and customs. The ICANN community, being so diverse, is also bringing technical and non-technical audiences together. I believe my technical understanding together with my communication skills will help me here as well as my cultural sensitivity.
It is true that there are many issues that are discussed at the same time and these may seem overwhelming to a newcomer. My advice would be to read the Public Comment pages on the ICANN site and to attend an ICANN Meeting, which is also possible to do remotely. And then please let us know, I think a beginner's eye is always very valuable for providing good feedback for improvement.
On a separate note, I want to enhance our activities to those who are brand new to ICANN meetings specifically.
I love arts and nature; painting, photography, traveling, trekking and martial arts are my prior hobbies. I just received my blue belt in Qi Kwan Do recently and I am working up for the black and to become an instructor too. I also enjoy spinning, Pilates and windsurfing. I plan to learn sailing soon.
I love elephants, as well as koalas, dragon flies, meerkats and cats.