[At-Large] [] TR: ANNOUNCEMENT : Results from Round 2 voting for At-Large selected Board Member for seat #15 of ICANN Board

Karl Auerbach karl at cavebear.com
Wed Dec 1 21:10:16 UTC 2010

On 12/01/2010 12:31 PM, Avri Doria wrote:

> Additionally, I have spoken to various Board members who sit and
> observe working groups.  Almost to a man, I think it was all men,
> they indicate that while they can watch, they do not feel they can
> speak, except perhaps to ask a question, and even that is rare

When I was on the board I used to get the evil eye from the board's 
chairman when I would ask questions.  He tolerated it - what else could 
he do - but few others were willing to risk a disfavoring look from the 
chair.  Given that meetings are tightly scheduled it takes a bit of 
chutzpah to stand one's ground and ask questions while the clock ticks away.

A board member's duty is to make decisions (including the decision not 
to cast a vote) that are the result a logical process that is both 
informed of the fact and independent of what others may chose to do.

Given the ambiguities of language, not to mention the complexity of 
issues, I do not see how any board member can fulfill that duty without 
asking questions - lots and lots of questions.

Questions don't always end in a question mark - I found that giving an 
opinion of my own is often a better way to elicit a reasoned response 
than was asking a question: people often tend to be more articulate and 
comprehensive when they sense that they are defending something.

There are other things a board member ought to know, but that ICANN is 
unlikely to tell 'em - for instance, a board member *may* chose to rely 
on corporate counsel but the board member is not required to do so, 
particularly as corporate counsel is counsel for the corporation - and 
owes his/her duty to the corporation - and not counsel for the board or 
the individual board members.

Remember, a board member has the legal right - a right that I went to 
court to prove to ICANN - to inquire into any and all parts of the 
corporate activities.

I also suggest that board members become familiar with the US law about 
"intermediate sanctions".


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