Home / Blogs

Can Energetic Leadership Inspire ICANN?

Don't miss a thing – sign up for CircleID Weekly Wrap newsletter delivered to your inbox once a week.
Stéphane Van Gelder

ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé was already 2 hours into his flight from Singapore to Paris when the pilot's voice interrupted the in-flight entertainment.

A tech problem meant turning back, landing in Singapore, waiting for another plane and starting the long haul again!

Half a day later, Chehadé landed in Paris.

He'd already missed a lunch appointment but was still in time to make a reception organised at French ICANN board member Sébastien Bachollet's initiative. Chehadé gave a speech there to help spread the word about ICANN to the local community, before speeding off to the Unesco building in the center of Paris.

This was the venue for the WSIS+10 meeting, held from Monday to Wednesday this week.

Now you and I would have been straight off to the hotel to sleep off that nightmare flight. But not Chehadé! He kept to his commitments and looked none the worse for wear when the next day, addressing a packed room II (one of the largest) at the Unesco building, he delivered one of his trademark impassioned speeches to the WSIS+10 delegates.

"Multi Stakeholderism is the only way. But it has to be equal Multi Stakeholderism, where every stakeholder has an equal place. Academia, civil society, industry, users and yes… even governments… they all have a part to play," he said in a humorous nod to his government-heavy audience.

As soon as the speech was over, Chehadé sped off to another Bachollet-inspired meeting. This time at the office of the French Prime Minister.

All this only a day after he'd walked the walk in Asia by announcing the creation of two regional ICANN hubs, one in Singapore and the other in Istanbul. And that he'd be leading by example and relocating to Singapore for a third of the year!

Four months after officially starting as CEO, Chehadé obviously eats, drinks and breathes ICANN all day long. His enthusiasm and energy seem as infectious as they are limitless, whilst his people skills are second-to-none.

And perhaps most importantly, he speaks to people in their own language rather than imposing ICANN's. Literally. In Singapore, Chehadé highlighted his Asian origins (well Beirut is technically in Asia, isn't it?). In Paris, he spoke French at his off-the-plane reception. In Africa, he will remind people of his links with the continent (his parents were Egyptian).

In short, Chehadé is open, engaged and engaging. He is also truly international and respectful of differences in culture, ideology and opinions.

If the ICANN CEO is like that, chances are ICANN itself will benefit. Now I know us ICANN community members are not used to optimism, but perhaps it's time to put aside our cynicism and recognise that if the guy at the top can push those values, then maybe in time ICANN itself can adopt them…

By Stéphane Van Gelder, TLD Fastrack. More blog posts from Stéphane Van Gelder can also be read here.

Related topics: ICANN, Internet Governance



Chehadé, is a global citizen with an inclusive perspective. Annalisa Roger  –  Mar 02, 2013 1:08 PM PDT

This article shows Fadi Chehadé's real life, in action personal commitments to his role as CEO of ICANN.  Very impressive and comforting to see this dedication given to such an important position.

Chehadé, is like the Internet he works for; He spans nations, cultures and borders - connecting people, promoting transparency, opening dialog and sharing news and information while reminding all of us that we are invited as equal stake-holders and that we all have a responsibility to participate in ICANN and policy so we can have the type of policies in place for our shared Internet that we believe we should have.

I think Chehadé recognizes the beauty of the Internet with its flow of information, development, and contributions of and by and for the people of the world.  I think he personally feels the Internet's intrinsic values and value to humanity, and he is rightly modeling ICANN after it.


To post comments, please login or create an account.

Related Blogs

Related News

Explore Topics

Sponsored Topics

Promoted Posts

Now Is the Time for .eco

.eco launches globally at 16:00 UTC on April 25, 2017, when domains will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. .eco is for businesses, non-profits and people committed to positive change for the planet. See list of registrars offering .eco more»

Boston Ivy Gets Competitive With Its TLDs, Offers Registrars New Wholesale Pricing

With a mission to make its top-level domains available to the broadest market possible, Boston Ivy has permanently reduced its registration, renewal and transfer prices for .Broker, .Forex, .Markets and .Trading. more»

Industry Updates – Sponsored Posts

Leading Internet Associations Strengthen Cooperation

i2Coalition to Present Tucows CEO Elliot Noss With Internet Community Leadership Award

Michele Neylon Appointed Chair Elect of i2Coalition

2016 U.S. Election: An Internet Forecast

Afilias Chairman Jonathan Robinson Wins ICANN's 2016 Leadership Award at ICANN 57

MarkMonitor Supports Brand Holders' Efforts Regarding .Feedback Registry

Domain Management Handbook from MarkMonitor

US Court Grants DCA Trust's Motion for Preliminary Injunction on .Africa gTLD

United States Court Has Granted an Interim Relief for DCA Trust on .Africa gTLD

Dyn Weighs In On Whois

Season's Greetings - 2015 End of Year Message from DotConnectAfrica

"The Market Has No Morality" Sophia Bekele Speaks on Business Ethics and Accountability

Dyn Comments on ICG Proposal for IANA Transition

Independent Review Panel Favored DotConnectAfrica Trust Against ICANN Ruling Over .Africa Domain

TLD Security, Spec 11 and Business Implications

ICANN Business Constituency Elects Elisa Cooper of MarkMonitor as Chair

ICANN's Registry Audits Begin Next Week. Are You Prepared?

DotConnectAfrica on "CONNECTing the Dots: Options for Future Action" at UNESCO, Paris

IBCA Presentation to ICANN GAC on Protection of Geographic Names in New gTLDs

Season's Greetings - 2014 End of Year Message from DotConnectAfrica