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Official: Rod Beckstrom Announced as the ICANN President and CEO

During its board meeting today in Sydney, the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced Rod Beckstrom, the former U.S. cybersecurity chief, as the new President and CEO. Beckstrom will be replacing Dr. Paul Twomey who had been serving this position since March 2003 and announced his resignation earlier this year. Dr Twomey has lately been reported as the primary candidate for heading Australian Government's proposed A$43 billion investment in a new National Broadband Network. Dr. Paul Twomey will remain as ICANN's Senior President until 1st Jan 2010.

About Rod Beckstrom (Source)

Throughout 2008, Rod served as the Director of the National Cybersecurity Center (NCSC) at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, where he reported to the Secretary of DHS, and was charged with cooperating directly with the Attorney General, National Security Council, Secretary of Defense, and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). Prior to joining DHS, he served on the DNI's Senior Advisory Group. Rod is unique in having experienced the inner workings of two, highly-charged, often competing, federal security agencies created in the wake of the September 11th attacks, an event that he says, "changed my life."

Rod is widely regarded as a pre-eminent thinker and speaker on issues of cybersecurity and related global issues, as well as on organizational strategy and leadership. He is also an expert on how carbon markets and "green" issues affect business. While Director of the NCSC, Rod developed an effective working group of leaders from the nation's top six cybersecurity centers across the civilian, military and intelligence communities. His work led to his development of a new economic theory that provides an explicit model for valuing any network, answering a decades-old problem in economics.

Rod co-authored four books including The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations.

Rob Beckstrom giving his acceptance speech as the new President and CEO of the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in Sydney, Australian (June 25, 2009). Photo by Kim Davies

Beckstrom who has been involved in the tech community for almost 30 years, in his acceptance speech at the ICANN meeting in Sydney said that he has worked with many organizations and that,

"[ICANN] is a beautifully complex one — and I received many warnings and many of you said to me, 'do you really know what you're getting in for? Are you sure you're ready for this?' But I say where you see and hear cacophony, I see a symphony. Because it's the nashing and the thrashing through all the technical standards processes, through all of the policy processes, through legal issues, the trademark issues, the address issues, the name issues, all of the things that you have handled and you have done has given birth and given rise to the Internet, which is now touching 1.5 billion people on this planet directly through their computers. And another billion — and soon two — through their phones and other devices. And it's the noise and complexity and the lack of any central control in this process that has made it so rich, and so open for the entire world."

Quotes of Note:

"Rod's extensive technical and commercial expertise is world class, and I can think of no one better positioned to lead ICANN's critical mission as the Internet's role in society continues to increase in scope and importance."
—Eric Schmidt, Google Chairman and CEO.

"Rod Beckstrom is strikingly well-prepared to undertake a new role as CEO of ICANN. His experience in industry and government equip him for this global and very challenging job,"
—Vint Cerf, considered the "Father" of the Internet.

"I am pleased that ICANN elected Rod Beckstrom to serve as its next CEO, and look forward to working with him in the years to come. He is an intelligent and thoughtful individual who will provide the right kind of leadership for the organization."
—Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, Chairman of the U.S.House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee

"I can think of no one more prepared to take this role on than Rod Beckstrom."
—David Dorman, Chairman of Motorola Inc.

"Rod has thought deeply about organizations and the Internet. He will bring experience, energy and ideas to a job at the center of the digital revolution."
—James Lewis, Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC

"Rod Beckstrom is an outstanding choice to head ICANN. He understands people, institutions, and technology. He can bring constituencies together and has inspired important collaborations around the world. He recognizes both the potential and the challenges for ICANN. And has stood up for the civil liberties of Internet users with courage and foresight."
—Marc Rotenberg, Executive Director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)

"Rod Beckstrom's unique blend of experience as a high-tech entrepreneur, public servant and leading international thinker are just what ICANN needs as it enters the next phase of its development. VeriSign looks forward to working with Mr. Beckstrom and his staff as they tackle the issues critical to the Internet community and Internet users."
—Mark McLaughlin, President and Chief Operating Officer of VeriSign

"I'd liked to extend my congratulations to Mr. Beckstrom for his appointment as President and CEO of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). His background as an Internet entrepreneur and in cyber security will be an asset for ICANN as it continues to promote competition and enhance the stability and security of the global Internet. I look forward to working with him, as we continue our efforts to make ICANN a more stable, accountable, transparent, and, most importantly, fully independent global organization."
—U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine)

Updates:  UPDATED Jun 26, 2009 7:13 AM PDT
Ex-DHS Cyber Chief Tapped as President of ICANN Interview by Brian Krebs, Washington Post, Jun.26.2009
ICANN hires superhero to resolve its political problems Brenden Kuerbis, IGP, Jun.25.2009
ICANN hires former cybersecurity chief as new CEO AP via SFGate, Jun.25.2009

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