CANDIDATE STATEMENT for GNSO COUNCIL CHAIR
14 October 2009
Candidate Name: Chuck Gomes
I accept the nomination for GNSO Council Chair and thank the Registries Stakeholder Group (RySG) members for their confidence in me and Stephane for seconding the nomination. My candidate statement follows.
First of all, I think it is important to remind Councilors and the GNSO community that I was elected as a member of the Council to represent the RySG. Therefore my role as a Councilor has always been to represent the RySG on all matters as directed by the RySG and have not been there to represent the views of my company, VeriSign, or my personal views, as required by the RySG Charter. Going forward, that will not change; in cases where I need to represent the RySG I will do so independently of any other roles I have and will make it clear when I function in that capacity. I sincerely believe that I have never directly represented the views of VeriSign in my three years on the Council but only the views of the RySG. I have stated personal views and I have answered questions about VeriSign when asked or clarified information about VeriSign when appropriate.
In contrast to my role as a RySG Councilor, if elected chair, my responsibilities would be to lead the Council in a neutral manner, a task I commit to fulfill to the best of my ability. I would thus be wearing two hats on the Council: 1) Chair; 2) RySG representative. I understand that it is critical to communicate clearly which hat I am wearing and I am committed to doing that. Hopefully, I have demonstrated my ability to lead neutrally and to distinguish between my roles during my service as Council vice chair over the past two years as well as in the GNSO groups that I have chaired in the past. To additionally facilitate my ability to function as Chair, my intent is to rely more heavily on the other two RySG Councilors to represent the registries as much as feasible.
I fully recognize the size of the chair workload. I have experienced a portion of that as vice chair but realize that it will be larger as chair. It will be even greater as we take on the challenges of completing the transition to a bicameral Council and implement all of the GNSO improvement recommendations in the coming months. I, like probably all others on the Council, have significant responsibilities to my employer that are outside what I do in the ICANN community. In that regard, I can say that the management of VeriSign has given me permission to devote the time needed to serve as chair and they fully understand that I am there to serve the broader community and not VeriSign.
I will not promise to devote as much time to the Council as Avri has. I have been amazed at the time she has donated to the GNSO during her two terms as chair. We owe a great deal of gratitude to her. I believe she has often worked the equivalent of a full time work week if not more on Council matters and has sacrificed paid work for volunteer work. To be successful, I will need to rely more on Staff support and have to delegate some tasks as appropriate. With those caveats, I will do everything in my power to provide the leadership needed. I do plan to continue one thing that Avri did that I believe has been very effective: she involved me as vice chair in nearly every chair decision she made. If elected as chair, I plan to do the same with the new vice chairs. I strongly believe that two heads are better than one in leading the Council and three will be better still. We will not always agree, as Avri and I did not, but our decisions will be better because of our collaboration.
In the coming year, the GNSO Council and the GNSO community as a whole will be contributing to the completion of three projects that may be the most significant in our history: the restructuring and improvements of the GNSO; the introduction of new gTLDs; and the introduction of IDN TLDs. All three of these efforts have been going on for years. Over those years I actively participated in all three endeavors both as a Councilor and before I became a Councilor. I believe that the experience and knowledge I gained regarding the multitude of issues involved, including competing points of view, provides me a level of understanding that will give me a solid basis for leading the Council. That combined with my continuous involvement going back to before the formation of ICANN and the Domain Name Supporting Organization (DNSO) gives me a historical perspective that should be helpful on the other issues that we have before us.
Finally, we don’t have to go back very far to a time when Glen de Saint Gery was the only support we had in the GNSO. Glen has always provided top notch support and she continues to be a member of our team without whom we would be lost. But we now also have an excellent team of ICANN Policy Staff members that contributes greatly to our work. In that regard, it is essential that the Council Chair be able to work effectively with that team. Fortunately, I have had the opportunity in various capacities to develop strong working relationships with all the members of that team except the very newest.
We are at a significant change point in the GNSO. I personally am very optimistic that it will be a very constructive and positive point for us but we have a lot of work in front of us that none of us can do alone. We will all need to work cooperatively as a team and we will need to involve more members of the community to maximize the benefit of the changes. I am ready to contribute to our efforts in whatever way the Council and the community trusts me to do.