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NTIA Chief Suggests “Cooling Off Periods” for ICANN Staff Before Moving On to Outside Jobs

In a statement delivered during the ICANN63 in Barcelona, David Redl,
Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information (NTIA) said that while the community has greatly improved ICANN's accountability there is still room left for improvements. As one example, he noted: "[W]e need safeguards to ensure that ICANN staff and leadership are not only grounded ethically in their professional actions at ICANN, but also in their actions when they seek career opportunities outside of ICANN. One potential fix could be 'cooling off periods' for ICANN employees that accept employment with companies involved in ICANN activities and programs. This is an ethical way to ensure that conflicts of interest or appearances of unethical behavior are minimized." Reading between the lines, Andrew Allemann, notes: "The timing of the comments suggests that this is in reference to Akram Atallah leaving ICANN to run new top level domain company Donuts. Donuts hired Atallah after former ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé's private equity group acquired Donuts."

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