Rita A. Rodin — Statement of Interest for ICANN Board Seat 14
Thank you for permitting me to submit this statement to describe the experience and qualifications that I believe would enable me to serve the interests of the global internet community as a member of the ICANN Board.
I am a partner in the Intellectual Property and Technology Group in the New York office of the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. I received a Bachelor of Science (magna cum laude) from Boston College in 1990, and Juris Doctor from St. John's University in 1993. I served as a federal law clerk to the Honorable Thomas C. Platt, Chief Judge of the Eastern District of New York, from 1993-1994.
I joined Skadden in 1994, just as our internet practice was beginning. Our practice permits me to represent both multi-national and start-up companies, in a diverse range of industries and countries. I have worked with clients such as Skype Technologies, IBM, Deloitte and Touche, CapGemini and Banco Itau.
The projects for which I am engaged are diverse as well. For example, I drafted the agreements to establish the Rite Aid drug stores' online presence, and to create a strategic partnership between AOL Latin America and Banco Itau to permit Itau's 2 million customers to have a customized banking portal online. Recently, I represented CapGemini North America in its multi-billion dollar outsourcing with TXU, the banks that financed the first gas-to-liquids plant in Qatar, and Skype in connection with its purchase by eBay, Inc.
My practice today continues to be diverse and international, and consists largely of mergers and acquisitions work, licensing and strategic counseling, and outsourcing. I regularly lecture and write on various intellectual property and technology topics, including outsourcing, trademark and domain name developments and open source.
I am willing to serve on the Board without compensation, and am fluent in English.
In 1998, my firm was asked to represent register.com and AOL in connection with drafting an effective and streamlined policy to deal with disputes between trademark and domain name owners. We worked with the World Intellectual Property Organization, registrars, Network Solutions (then, the sole .com/net/org registry) and ICANN to create a draft of the UDRP. After I presented the draft at the ICANN meeting in Santiago, Chile, I was asked to participate in a small drafting committee consisting of members of the non-commercial and intellectual property interests, in addition to members of WIPO and ICANN. This committee finalized the policy that is still in use today.
I worked with the group of registrars that formed Afilias, Ltd., operators of the .info registry, through the (i) formation of Afilias, (ii) ICANN bid process, (iii) ICANN contract negotiations, and (iv) start-up of its operations.
I also represented the Global Name Registry in connection with its ICANN contract negotiations and start-up operations.
I currently represent Telnic, Ltd., the entity that was recently awarded the .tel sTLD.
POLICY DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
In 2002, I was appointed by ICANN to chair an international task force that drafted the Policy Development Process that is currently used by ICANN to develop and implement future ICANN policies.
II. HOW I WOULD REPRESENT THE INTERESTS OF ALL INTERNET STAKEHOLDERS
As discussed above, I am a transactional lawyer with a diverse and global practice. As such, my job consists of identifying issues and proposing resolutions for clients with different points of view and cultural backgrounds. In addition, my work requires that I interface with an organization at all levels - - from advising Boards and senior management to addressing issues facing those responsible for the execution of day-to-day operations.
In this role, I cannot only advocate the position of my client, because without a mutually acceptable solution, no agreement will be reached. Rather, I must listen to, and understand, all sides of an issue in order to facilitate reaching agreement.
I view these skills as very important for a member of ICANN's Board. Given the diverse nature of the global internet community, I think that it is critical for the Board to listen to, and appreciate, all voices and opinions. I believe that the Board must assist constituencies in seeking and reaching consensus, to enable all involved to benefit from the resolution of issues.
I also view my experience with multiple constituencies within the ICANN community as providing me with unique insight into the often competing concerns and issues of many of the community stakeholders. I would seek to use this experience to accommodate the interests of as many ICANN stakeholders as possible.
III. A LIST OF PRIORITIES WHICH THE CANDIDATE WOULD LIKE TO ACHIEVE DURING A POTENTIAL TERM ON THE ICANN BOARD.
I do not have any particular agenda, or activities that I would like to achieve during a potential Board term. I do not view it within the purview of any Board member to set ICANN's agenda — rather, this should be left to the consensus of the community.
Notwithstanding, I think that it is important to strive for an ICANN that renews its commitment to be an unbiased, collaborative and effective technical internet oversight board. I personally believe that the fact that ICANN exists is a testament to the trust and hard work of individuals and organizations across the world who have given ICANN legitimacy over the years. Notwithstanding community commitment, throughout its history, ICANN has been repeatedly criticized for inadequate levels of transparency and responsiveness. In my view these issues need to be understood, deliberated and addressed quickly, particularly in light of the approaching expiration of ICANN's MOU with the US Department of Commerce.
I also believe that ICANN should seek to resolve some of the issues that have been around for extended periods of time, such as WHOIS, IDNs, ccTLDs and increasing competition at the registry level.
lV A CONFLICTS AND DISCLOSURES STATEMENT WHETHER S/HE HAS INVESTED IN OR RECEIVED ANY COMPENSATION FROM AN ENTITY ENGAGED IN TRANSACTIONS WITH ICANN (INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO A REGISTRAR, REGISTRY, OR APPLICANT TO RUN A REGISTRY) OVER THE PAST 12 MONTHS
I represent Telnic Limited, the recent recipient of the .tel sTLD.
I also represent Corporation Services Company in its mergers and acquisitions work.
V. IF SO, WHETHER THAT INVESTMENT OR COMPENSATION RELATIONSHIP EXISTS TODAY.
These relationships exist today.
VI. IF SO, HOW THE CANDIDATE PLANS (IF SELECTED FOR THE ICANN BOARD) TO COMPLY WITH THE CONFLICTS POLICY SUMMARIZED ABOVE
Given the very small number of clients that I work with in the ICANN space, I do not foresee compliance with the conflicts policy to be an issue.
VII. THE TYPES OF ISSUES COMING BEFORE THE BOARD ON WHICH THE CANDIDATE BELIEVES S/HE WOULD BE DISQUALIFIED FROM VOTING DUE TO THE CONFLICTS POLICY.