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Chief Executive Officer

As announced on 2 March 2009 during the Mexico City Meeting, the current CEO and President Paul Twomey announced that he would not be renewing his contract with ICANN when it expires at the end of July. The ICANN Board has hired Egon Zehnder International to conduct a world-wide search to locate ICANN's next CEO, and the specifications for the position are listed below. The Board has asked Dr. Twomey to remain working for ICANN until a replacement is found and to remain on for a period of time after that to assist the new CEO in learning about the role. During that period Dr. Twomey will have the title of Senior President.


The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is an international non-profit formed in 1998, with participants from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy in consultation with the Internet community relating to the Internet's unique identifiers by coordinating policy development through private-sector, consensus-based means.

Specifically, ICANN is responsible for the coordination of the stable and secure operation of the Internet in three key areas: the Domain Name System (DNS) and its associated system of root servers; the allocation of IP address space; and the coordination of protocol parameter assignment for the TCP/IP protocol suite.

ICANN's mandate is to provide a multi-stakeholder framework for coordination of specific technical, managerial and policy development tasks: the assignment of globally unique top-level domain names, addresses and protocol parameters as well as oversight of the procedures for populating the DNS root zone file. The U.S. Government recognized ICANN as the global consensus entity to manage the functions of the U.S. Government-sponsored Internet Assigned Numbers Authority that coordinates the technical management of the Internet's domain name and root server system, the allocation of IP address space and the assignment of protocol parameters.

ICANN is structured as a public benefit, non-profit corporation in California and holds US IRS 501(c)(3) status. ICANN has established its head office in Marina del Rey, California (near Los Angeles), with branch offices in Washington, Brussels and Sydney. The 2008-2009 budget authorizes total expenditures of $60.7M and a staff of 107. Funding for ICANN's operation is provided primarily through contractual agreements with Generic Domain Name Registries and Registrars, the Regional address Registries, and certain ccTLD operators.


The CEO of ICANN leads all of the organization's activities. The CEO is accountable to the Board of Directors for the effective and efficient operation of the organization and for conformity of ICANN's operations with its Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation, as well as with policies agreed to by the Board. The CEO will represent ICANN to a number of constituents, including the worldwide Internet community, industry groups, stakeholders, representatives of government and regulatory agencies, the media, and the general public. He/she will work with the Board to make the community-based, bottom-up policy processes of ICANN effective.

The CEO develops ICANN's strategic direction in accordance with the Mission Statement and Core Values of the organization. With Board guidance, the CEO encourages development of the organization's strategic and operational directives and articulates them to the Internet community, governments, and international organizations.

The CEO also ensures that ICANN is fair and transparent in dealing with domain name registrars and registries, Internet Service Providers and other businesses dependent on the Internet, the Supporting Organizations and Advisory Councils, the Regional Internet address Registries (RIRs), the Internet technical community, including the Internet Architecture Board and Internet Engineering Task Force, governments, and the Internet community at-large.

At an operational level, the CEO oversees development of an annual operating plan and financial budget, taking into account the mechanisms through which ICANN's funding is achieved. He/she is responsible for planning and managing all of ICANN's revenue and expenditures, as well as executing appropriate fund-raising programs.


The successful candidate is likely to have most of the qualities and experiences mentioned below, combined with an enthusiasm for ICANN's purposes. A minimum of 15 years of related executive management experience is required and post-graduate degree is preferred in a discipline such as Business Administration, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Management, International Relations, or Law. Moreover, fluency in English is required, and fluency in other languages is desired.

The ideal candidate will:

  • Bring an open, personal style to the table. He/she will be a good listener.
  • Display extensive international experience and cross-cultural sensitivity and achievements.
  • Show the ability to balance between necessary innovation and operational and organizational stability.
  • Have the experience of working with a large and diverse board of directors, helping it to work effectively, and developing a rapport with its members.
  • Display credibility with the Internet community and awareness of the history of the Internet and the many organizational entities that have influenced its development and/or are interested parties in its future evolution.
  • Show an appreciation for, and the ability to implement the public transparency and accountability needed from ICANN and its operation.
  • Have the experience of working with governments and managing different political agendas and priorities.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with Internet technical standards and technology in areas of importance to ICANN and capacity to obtain expert technical counsel when and where necessary.
  • Be aware of trends in Internet development that might impact ICANN's work.
  • Have a clear understanding of the political dynamics associated with achieving consensus on major ICANN issues and priorities, and of ICANN's charter and mission.


In terms of competencies, we will be seeking evidence of experience/performance-based competency in the following respects:

Results Orientation: The CEO will lead the organization to high and sustained standards of performance. The ideal candidate will thrive in a fast-paced environment. The candidate will be adept at clearly defining objectives and priorities and establishing appropriate milestones and ensuring follow-through on all tasks. The person we seek is execution-oriented and will be viewed as a leader by his/her team. This individual is also energized by a challenge and can inspire his team to excel. He/she will develop and implement processes that ensure the achievement of ICANN's operational mission on time and within budget.

Team Leadership: A high-energy, charismatic personal style that creates commitment and enthusiasm in the organization is sought to achieve goals and proactively lead change. A proven record of building, managing and leading a multinational team on a global mission is required. The ideal candidate will convey a clear sense of direction and purpose, and engender respect and trust in him/herself and ICANN. He/she will be able to articulate the basis of high quality performance and provide specific real-life examples, and also work with individuals to set appropriately challenging development goals, explaining not just what to do, but the reason why it needs to be done.

Collaboration and Influence: Demonstrated by effective teamwork across functional and geographic boundaries in pursuit of organization goals, as seen in experience in a general operations management role within a multinational and multicultural organization. Excellent presentation skills, especially of complex policy and technical issues to diverse audiences, are necessary. Moreover, listening, mediation and arbitration skills that facilitate compromise and build consensus are required. The ideal candidate will foster open communication with the leadership of ICANN's Supporting Organizations, Advisory Committees, other liaison groups, and the broader Internet community. Candidates must have demonstrated the ability to work effectively with external stakeholders to positively impact business performance.

Market Knowledge: Evidenced by a strong grasp of the technology direction and interplay among all areas of the “Internet ecosystem,” the ideal candidate will monitor and evaluate the impact of economic and industry trends with the overall performance of the organization in mind. He/she will inform the Board of business, technology and regulatory issues and trends that may impact ICANN's goals and work with the Board to establish the strategic direction of the organization.


The position will be based in Marina del Rey, California, with travel up to 60% of the time.


For a qualified individual who meets these specifications, the Company is prepared to offer a competitive compensation package including a base salary and bonus compensation in line with the high importance of this position.


Scott Kehoe
Egon Zehnder International
1290 Page Mill Road
Palo Alto, CA 94304
Tel: (650) 847-3028
Scott . Kehoe [at] ezi . net

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