[At-Large] ICANN Board Nomination

Avri Doria avri at acm.org
Fri Sep 3 13:26:19 UTC 2010


There is more than one way to decrease the Board's work load.  I.e the choice is not that the Board should work harder or the Staff should take over.  Part of the basic nature of ICANN is that the Staff supports and operationalizes.  It should not make any policy or policy related decisions.

There are a lot of other talented and committed people volunteering for ACs and SOs and working groups of all sorts.  In this bottom-up environment the policy work is up to the those people and it is the Board's job to make sure that it has been done with due diligence  and sometimes to decide among several strong and opposing recommendations.

On payment of Board members, or even the chair, I think it is a bad idea.  Once you start paying people for it, it risks changing their perspective to one that takes the money they receive, or will receive in the future, into account.  In a for profit organization that makes sense.  In ICANN I don't think it does.


On 3 Sep 2010, at 08:03, Thomas Narten wrote:

> "John R. Levine" <johnl at iecc.com> writes:
>>> No, there is no such rule, but California has a minimum wage (which is a 
>>> bit above US federal minimum wage), ...
>> I wouldn't see that as a useful way to set an adequate level of 
>> compensation for board members.  As it currently stands, to be on the 
>> ICANN board, one either needs to have an employer who is willing to pay 
>> for the time spent on board work, or else be independently wealthy enough 
>> (or I suppose have a spouse with enough income) to subsidize oneself.
>> If ICANN wants to expand the pool of board members to include people 
>> outside those two categories, it either needs to drastically slash the 
>> amount of time it asks of board members (not unreasonable, no other 
>> non-profit I know asks a fraction of what ICANN does), or else pay them 
>> enough to make up for the lost income.
> This is the crux of discussion the board has had many times.
> And most would agree reducing the workload of the board is highly
> desirable. The difficulty is, we haven't figured out how to do
> that (yet).
> The reality though is that ICANN is simply not like "other boards" or
> "other non-profits", so many of the superficial comparisons don't
> really apply.
> If you look at what comes to the board for action, there is lot of
> policy stuff they have to oversee (and that the community *demands*
> they oversee). This doesn't happen with most other boards (who deal
> primarily with finacial stuff).
> And if the board pushes more decision making back to staff, it is not
> uncommon for the community to gripe about that and demand that the
> board have the last say.
> My overall point is that yes, it would be nice if the board could
> reduce the amount of work it does and the mount of time needed to be a
> board member, and most board members would probably agree. But we
> haven't yet figured out how to implement that in practice, given all
> that ICANN is doing these days. It's not that people don't want to get
> there, its that it is pretty hard in practice to do so.
> Thomas
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