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ICANN Resolutions » Extension of Ombudsman Contract

Important note: The Board Resolutions are as reported in the Board Meeting Transcripts, Minutes & Resolutions portion of ICANN's website. Only the words contained in the Resolutions themselves represent the official acts of the Board. The explanatory text provided through this database (including the summary, implementation actions, identification of related resolutions, and additional information) is an interpretation or an explanation that has no official authority and does not represent the purpose behind the Board actions, nor does any explanations or interpretations modify or override the Resolutions themselves. Resolutions can only be modified through further act of the ICANN Board.

Extension of Ombudsman Contract


Resolution of the ICANN Board
Meeting Date: 
Wed, 18 Jul 2018
Resolution Number: 
2018.07.18.17 – 2018.07.18.19
Resolution Text: 

Whereas, the current Ombudsman's contract concluded on 30 June 2018.

Whereas, the scope and breadth of the Ombudsman's office is still being reviewed by the Community through its Work Stream 2 work.

Whereas, in order to ensure that the Office of the Ombudsman remains operational, the Compensation Committee has recommended that the Board extend the Ombudsman's contract by two years following the recent conclusion of his contract term, which expired on 30 June 2018; the extension will cover the period from 1 July 2018 through 30 June 2020, or until the Board selects ICANN's next Ombudsman, whichever is sooner.

Resolved (2018.07.18.17), the Board approves the extension of Herb Waye's contract to serve as ICANN's Ombudsman for two additional years, covering the time period from 1 July 2018 through 30 June 2020, or until the Board selects ICANN's next Ombudsman, whichever is sooner.

Resolved (2018.07.18.18), the Board directs the President and CEO, or his designee(s), to take all steps necessary to effectuate the Ombudsman's contract extension.

Resolved (2018.07.18.19), the Board directs the President and CEO, or his designee(s), to ensure that, following the community work relating to the Ombudsman, and the Board's adoption of any relevant recommendations, the search for the next Ombudsman begins as soon as feasible and practicable.

Rationale for Resolution: 

ICANN's Bylaws require ICANN to maintain an Office of the Ombudsman. (See Article 5 of the Bylaws at https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/governance/bylaws-en/#article5.) Having an ICANN Ombudsman positively affects the transparency and accountability of ICANN as the Ombudsman is one of the three main accountability mechanisms within ICANN. Accordingly, maintaining an appropriate Office of the Ombudsman squarely supports ICANN's mission, and is within the public interest.

Currently, the Community is involved in discussing ICANN's accountability mechanisms, including the scope and breadth of the Ombudsman's office. Once the Community work is completed, and the Board adopts the relevant recommendations there will almost certainly be changes to the role and responsibilities of ICANN's Ombudsman, which could significantly impact the position description for the role.

The current Ombudsman, Herb Waye, was appointed as ICANN's Ombudsman in July 2016, and his current contract expired on 30 June 2018. A new Ombudsman has not yet been selected since searching for ICANN's next Ombudsman before the Work Stream 2 work relating to the scope of the Ombudsman's office is completed may prove inefficient and premature. However, ICANN must ensure that the Ombudsman's office remains operational during this time period. Mr. Waye, has been serving as the Ombudsman for approximately two years, and served as the Adjunct Ombudsman for 10 years prior to that. He is extremely familiar with and well versed in the complex issues facing ICANN. By all accounts, Mr. Waye has been serving ICANN well as the Ombudsman since his term began in July 2016.

The Board also notes that there are discussions to possibly add a new Adjunct Ombudsman, a role that the current Ombudsman served for 10 years before becoming ICANN's Ombudsman. This is, in part, specific response to make sure the Office can address complaints that may be submitted pursuant to the Community Anti-Harassment Policy.

As there has been a budget for an ICANN Ombudsman since 2004 when the first Ombudsman was appointed, this decision does not have a financial impact on ICANN, the community, or the public that was not already anticipated or included in the budget, outside of the anticipated potential costs of the search for the new Ombudsman. This decision will not have any impact on the security, stability or resiliency of the domain name system.

This decision is an Organizational Administrative Function that does not require public comment.