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Candidate Statement 2007 - Bruce Tonkin

Last Updated:



15 March 2007

Citizenship: Australia

Employer: Melbourne IT Limited

Section 3: Criteria for selection of Directors

1. Accomplished persons of integrity, objectivity, and intelligence, with reputations for sound judgment and open minds, and a demonstrated capacity for thoughtful group decision-making;

I have a Bachelor of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (1st class honours) and PhD in the field of electrical and electronic engineering. I have worked in small private engineering consulting businesses, Universities, and industry research laboratories (e.g AT&T Bell Labs in the 1980s). The engineer and research training assists in analysing complex topics and breaking them down into manageable issues. My training and experience also gives me the capability of understanding underlying security and stability issues associated with domain names and IP addressing. I believe I have a reputation for integrity and having an open mind - but others need to judge that.

I am also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (, and have under taken a course in the duties required for a Board director, as well as having experience of being on several non-profit and for-profit Boards. These include the Board of the Australian Telecommunications Users Group (ATUG) ( a business group that has pushed for the introducing and growth of competition in the telecommunications industry in Australia, and the Board of Information City Victoria ( the which is responsible for assisting the start-up of new small businesses in the IT sector. (note I am not currently on the Board of these organisations).

I have demonstrated my capacity for facilitating group decision making through chairing the GNSO Council since 2002, and also chairing the new gTLD committee, and numerous other short-term groups since being involved in ICANN.

2. Persons with an understanding of ICANN's mission and the potential impact of ICANN decisions on the global Internet community, and committed to the success of ICANN;

I have an in-depth understanding of the ICANN mission and bylaws, and the impacts of ICANN decisions. I am an employee of Melbourne IT as Chief Technology Officer, which was one of the first five testbed registrars for .com in April 1999, and Melbourne IT was the sole administrator of from 1996 to 2002. Melbourne IT is also a registrar for most major gTLDs and cctlds, as well as operating extensive DNS and web hosting infrastructure in several locations around the world. Melbourne IT has significant offices in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Wellington, San Francisco, London, Stockholm, Madrid, as well as other smaller offices in other cities around the world. My role at Melbourne IT has given me a international perspective on a broad range of issues facing ICANN, including those relating to ccTLDs, gTLDs, IP addressing, and security and stability issues.

I support the self-regulation and multi-stakeholder model of ICANN.

3. Persons who will produce the broadest cultural and geographic diversity on the Board consistent with meeting the other criteria set forth in this Section;

I am a citizen of Australia, and married to a citizen of Canada (not sure if that counts as cultural diversity). I have travelled extensively both personally, and through my role at Melbourne IT and my attendance at ICANN meetings (attended every one since the meeting in Melbourne in March 2001). I have also taught students from a variety of cultural and geographic backgrounds in my roles at Universities. I feel that I am at least open to learning more about other cultures, and open to listening to different perspectives on ICANN issues. I have been an advocate for preserving the requirement to have constituency reps from thee geographic regions on the GNSO Council.

4. Persons who, in the aggregate, have personal familiarity with the operation of gTLD registries and registrars; with ccTLD registries; with IP address registries; with Internet technical standards and protocols; with policy-development procedures, legal traditions, and the public interest; and with the broad range of business, individual, academic, and non-commercial users of the Internet;

As already stated, Melbourne IT was one of the first five testbed registrars for .com in April 1999, and Melbourne IT was the sole administrator of from 1996 to 2002. Melbourne IT is also a registrar for most major gtlds and cctlds, as well as operating extensive DNS and web hosting infrastructure in several locations around the world. In addition Melbourne IT was a partner with Neustar for the .biz registry bid, and I also participated in providing technical advice on Neustar's bid to operate .net.

I am familiar with the underlying Internet protocols (e.g IP, TCP etc), as well the registry-registrar provisioning protocols, (e.g EPP). I worked extensively with AusRegistry on extending the EPP specification for use within the .au policy framework.

I have been extensively involved in the policy development process both within the registrars constituency as well as within the GNSO Council. I was involved in the drafting group that developed the current PDP process. I have also been heavily involved in the policy development process within the .au ccTLD - in particular through the competition panel that established the current competition framework, and through various names policy panels.

In terms of legal experience, I have no legal qualifications, but have been involved in negotiating supplier and customer contracts for around 15 years. The contracting parties have been located in a range of countries. I am also very familiar with the registry and registrar agreements used within ICANN.

I have personal familiarity with a range of users of the Internet through my work in business, academic and non-commercial organisations. I have been a user of the Internet since my student days in the early 1980's (for the technically minded I have worked in writing device drivers in assembler and C under the UNIX operating system for connecting machines such as DEC PDP-11's, Vaxs etc to the Internet), and originally used the Internet for collaboration with researchers located in other countries (using the FTP protocol and IP addresses, along with various mail and newsgroup systems - pre-dating domain names and WWW browsers).

While having an industry perspective I always try to act in the public interest in my role on the GNSO Council.

5. Persons who are willing to serve as volunteers, without compensation other than the reimbursement of certain expenses; and

I am used to serving as a volunteer and recognise that I must act in the best interests of ICANN as an organisation whilst being a Board Director. Other than volunteer work in my professional capacity, I have also been involved as a volunteer in sporting organisations, including as Vice-chair of the Melbourne based canoeing association (

6. Persons who are able to work and communicate in written and spoken English.

Australian English is my native language - and I can translate the strange English accents in the United Kingdom and the United States of America for non-native English speakers. I believe I can communicate clearly in written and spoken English.


1. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, no official of a national government or a multinational entity established by treaty or other agreement between national governments may serve as a Director. As used herein, the term "official" means a person (i) who holds an elective governmental office or (ii) who is employed by such government or multinational entity and whose primary function with such government or entity is to develop or influence governmental or public policies.

I am not an official of a national government or a multinational entity established by treaty or other agreement between national governments.

2. No person who serves in any capacity (including as a liaison) on any Supporting Organization Council shall simultaneously serve as a Director or liaison to the Board. If such a person accepts a nomination to be considered for selection by the Supporting Organization Council to be a Director, the person shall not, following such nomination, participate in any discussion of, or vote by, the Supporting Organization Council relating to the selection of Directors by the Council, until the Council has selected the full complement of Directors it is responsible for selecting. In the event that a person serving in any capacity on a Supporting Organization Council accepts a nomination to be considered for selection as a Director, the constituency group or other group or entity that selected the person may select a replacement for purposes of the Council's selection process.

I am a current serving member of the GNSO Council as a representative of the registrars constituency. If I am elected to the ICANN Board, my intent is to continue to serve on the GNSO Council until the ICANN Board seat 13 is vacated in June 2007. Prior to formally taking on the role as an ICANN Board director, I will resign from the GNSO Council.

3. Persons serving in any capacity on the Nominating Committee shall be ineligible for selection to positions on the Board as provided by Article VII, Section 8.

I have never served on the nominating committee.