CANDIDATE STATEMENT for GNSO COUNCIL CHAIR
STEPHANE VAN GELDER
14 October 2009
Candidate Name: Stéphane van Gelder
It is an honour to be nominated for such a crucial position as that of GNSO Council Chair, my thanks to Adrian Kinderis and Chuck Gomes.
I am the General manager of INDOM, a French registrar. INDOM provides domain management services to large and medium size companies. INDOM also serves as a consultant to the City of Paris on the .PARIS project. INDOM has no other role in this project and does not serve in any registry capacity.
I was elected to the Council by the Registrars Constituency at the end of 2008. Before this, I served as Treasurer for the Registrars Constituency. I was elected to this position in May 2008, after joining the Constituency in December 2007.
My position on the Council is that of European representative for the Registrar Stakeholder Group.
As can be seen from the dates listed above, I am relatively new to the ICANN process as an active member of a Supporting Organisation. However, it is a process I had been following for a while, either remotely or by actually going to ICANN meetings (my first was Amsterdam 2002).
So why move from being an observer to an active participant? The answer may sound like a cliché, but I am a passionate believer in the Internet, and in the governance model that we have. It is so dynamic because it allows people and entities from all walks of life to take part, and to do so with a real possibility of making themselves heard and having an influence on the way the Internet works and is managed.
Since joining the Council, I have carried that philosophy over to the work I have done here. I am or have been involved in the Travel Drafting Team, the Operations Steering Committee (OSC), the IDN gTLD fast-track Working Group (IDNG), the Joint IDN Working Group (JIG), the Whois Drafting Team, the Restructuring Drafting Team, the RAA Drafting Team and the GAC Drafting Team.
In all these groups, and in general Council work, I have found the GNSO to be a place of rich dialogue, despite sometimes strongly diverging viewpoints, and of openness.
I believe the Chair must be an impartial and neutral facilitator for dialogue within the GNSO.
I see this leadership position as one where a careful balance is required between the need to set a direction for the Council's work, the ability to listen with an open mind and respect the opinions and wishes the SG representatives bring from their groups, weigh the workload and keep it at a level where effective results remain possible, and to ensuring that the GNSO meets its deadlines and produces the work the entire community expects of it.
The GNSO also needs to interact with the other SOs and ACs on a permanent basis. I am convinced the GNSO is at the heart of the ICANN process and will look to keeping it there.
Why do I see myself as having the ability to carry out this important mission? What do I bring to the position of GNSO Council Chair?
I am bilingual and bicultural (English and French), which gives me the ability to understand different viewpoints and cultures.
I am the General manager of a company which I set up along with two other business partners 10 years ago, and which has grown to become the market leader in its sector. To reach this position requires leadership and organisational skills. It also means weighing the aspirations and ambitions of a trio of business partners whilst staying the course set for the company.
I have a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science, giving me the technical base required to understand the issues the GNSO faces.
Before starting INDOM, I was a print and TV journalist for 10 years. This meant staying curious about everything; interacting with people of different backgrounds; having the necessary confidence to express myself in public; talk or write in a way that remains accessible to people with different knowledge, attention and experience levels; and having a strong respect for the truth and for the facts.
I have tried to provide as comprehensive a statement as possible. However, please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. I look forward to seeing you all again in Seoul and to welcoming our 7 new Council members there.