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Former Telecom Board chief re-nominated to top ICANN council

Javier Rúa-Jovet, the former chairman of Puerto Rico’s Telecommunications Regulatory Board, and currently a private attorney in the renewable energy and ICT fields, was ratified for a second term by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to its At-Large Advisory Council (ALAC), the global committee that safeguards the interests and rights of Internet users within ICANN’s policy remit.

Rúa-Jovet will continue to represent the interests of the entire North American region, including Puerto Rico in the ALAC, a user base estimated at more than 300 million people. The ad-honorem appointment will be for two years, starting in October, at the next Annual General Meeting which will be held in Barcelona, Spain.

Rúa-Jovet was selected by ICANN’s Nominating Committee (NomCom) over 30 other highly qualified candidates from North America.

“To be ratified as part of ICANN’s global community of representatives is a recognition of Puerto Rico itself: what I bring to ICANN is very Puerto Rican-a bicultural, bilingual, fully Latin American, Caribbean and equally North American way of working,” said Rúa-Jovet.

“It’s bridge-building, it’s consensus building across cultural realms. These skill are fundamental in a world of supranational policy-making like ICANN and I think my ratification recognizes that,” he added.

“Reaching agreements on global policies to ensure the correct functioning of the Domain Name System, IP numbering resources and guaranteeing the health, stability and nature of the Internet as a global resource is no easy task, and ICANN has just said, for a second time, that our contributions to that process have added value,” Rúa-Jovet said.

Many, including, Alan Greenberg, chairman of the ALAC, congratulated Rúa-Jovet on his re-appointment, which was described as rare.

Of the 39 people appointed to the ALAC by the nominations committee, only four — now five — have been reappointed, Rúa-Jovet confirmed.

Meanwhile, Rúa-Jovet said he’s co-chairing, alongside colleagues from three other ICANN constituencies that represent public sector, governmental sovereign as well as diverse private sector interests, a policy making process regarding the future use of names of geographic significance at the Internet’s top level (right of the dot.)

His work also includes the New generic Top Level Domains (gTLD), saying that during the first round of applications a number of brands – from Patagonia to Tata – applied for these names at the top level, only to find themselves clashing with governments, who viewed these applications as contrary to their sovereign rights over the corresponding geographic name.

“Unless we can come together and agree to ways forward, then future rounds of new gTLDs might continue to feature these clashes,” Rúa-Jovet said. “Our task is to create good consensual processes to avoid those problems. We held important sessions on this topic in the San Juan meeting a few months ago, and are aiming to submit initial proposals for broad community comment before the October meeting in Barcelona.”

ICANN’s NomCom is charged with recruiting and selecting a portion of ICANN’s leadership. The nominating committee is mandated to ensure that ICANN’s overall leadership is diverse in geography, culture, skills, experience and perspective.

“The basic criteria are that selectees are people of integrity, objectivity, sound judgment; support decision-making within groups; work effectively in English; understand ICANN’s mission and operation; are committed to its success; have experience in world affairs; contribute to cultural, professional and geographic expertise; and can work long and hard, as volunteers, for the global public trust,” ICANN stated.

The ALAC comprises 15 members, two appointed for each of five regional organizations and five members selected by ICANN’s NomCom.

Rúa-Jovet is an attorney and has published articles in national and international journals on subjects such as telecommunications regulation, natural resources law, public international and tort matters.

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