Alejandro Pisanty

Nomination by Marilyn Cade, seconded by Ken Stubbs

Candidate Statement

Candidate Statement by Alejandro Pisanty


It is a renewed, every time more significant honor to be nominated for election to the ICANN Board of Directors. In little more than three years, I am being asked to contend for the fourth time. This will mean that I am probably the most frequently scrutinized Director of ICANN.


My candidacy is backed by people in different, frequently even opposed fields of ICANN. This circumstance brings with itself the challenge to continue to serve the community as a whole, as has been my purpose since I first joined the discussions and especially the work of ICANN.


Following suggestions expressed by GNSO Council members, I will address the way I think I fit the criteria for Directors established in the Bylaws, as follows, in the understanding that self-assessment is only a very partial approach to this task; third parties are better witnesses.


[1] 1. Accomplished persons of integrity, objectivity, and intelligence, with reputations for sound judgment and open minds, and a demonstrated capacity for thoughtful group decision-making;

My experience in group decision-making starts in my years as student, in the 1970's, having formed part of a large number of committees, councils, and boards at my university, UNAM, the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Most meaningful may be the Computing Advisory Council, which sets policy for IT, whose Secretary I have been for 7 out of the last 11 = years, and a number of bodies in the field of Distance Education, many of them with continental reach for Latin America and the Caribbean. I spearheaded the foundation of the Internet 2 project in Mexico and became the first Chair of the Board of CUDI, the Mexican counterpart to UCAID and CANARIE.

In my job as Head of Academic Computing Services, and others at similar levels, I have always established a working group with my direct reports, which operates as a level field for open discussion and decision-making; further, as some witnesses can attest, I have always called on people better than me for those positions, in order to be in a challenging group. More recently, and outside ICANN, I have worked with groups defining strategies for matters such as the national ID in Mexico, the computer/network security coordination among universities countrywide, digitalization of the National Periodicals Collection, the Ibero-American alliance of universities called Universia (sponsored by BSCH), and content and services for the e-Mexico portal.

While I consider that I have demonstrated integrity, objectivity, intelligence, sound judgment, and an open mind, and have some reputation for it, as the expression goes diffe

2. Persons with an understanding of ICANN's mission and the potential impact of ICANN decisions on the global Internet community, and committed to the success of ICANN;

I should have by now a track record to judge on these points. ICANN's mission is a delicate one: to perform its coordination tasks in a focussed, limited way, removing arbitrariness and discretionality to the full extent possible by way of explicit, mature, applicable policies, which must be created in a bottom-up environment that adequately informs the Board in order to enable its decisions.

How exactly to achieve this, especially to create a rational environment for policy development, has been one of the core purposes of the reform process whose end now seems near. We have striven to base the participatory structures and processes on an assessment that ICANN's decisions have varying degrees of nonetheless wide impact on the global Internet community. While domain names are in no way a /font>


Therefore Internet users will face, for example, implementations of Internationalized Domain Names which have to work, or else they will have to prescind of them; users will require, in varying degrees, a balance between disclosure of information through> and reasonable protection of their personal data; and they will be better or worse served by new gTLDs. Most of the users only want the system to work, with unequivocal identification of the resources they access (be it through e-mail, the Web, ftp, etc., and a panoply of other services developed in the future); some of them are interested, some are knowledgeable enough to participate in policy debates. ICANN must continue to be open to them, and able to process their proposals come they from wherever they come.

The Reform work has started with high ideals and never relinquished them; some of the proposals we thought would work best were enormously enriched, and also greatly changed, in the reform process; this should attest to the commitment I share with many others to build an institution that listens and also thinks, guided by principles and values, to produce results within reasonable time boundaries.

I am committed to the success of ICANN. I am committed to an ICANN that increases the At Large participation in a transparent manner, through the now growing RALO structure; that achieves the overarching aim of its well-defined mission, which is self-sufficiency in its coordination function for the DNS and its root system, as well as with other Internet identifiers, in the way remaining plural, and if possible in an environment that fosters rational discussion and decision-making.

Others will be better placed to judge whether the hundreds of hours of what I consider quality work that I and others have dedicated, in the reform process as well as in the committees and Board itself, are proof enough of this commitment.

3. Persons who will produce the broadest cultural and geographic diversity on the Board consistent with meeting the other criteria set forth in this Section;

It is very hard to judge, and to state, whether a single person will produce such diversity. In brief self-description, I see myself as a contribution to diversity and plurality in that I am a Mexican-born Mexican citizen, educated in a broad cultural environment by immigrant parents led across the ocean by different European crises, fluent in three languages (Spanish, English and German) and able to communicate in a couple others, educated in science and technology and, while active in those fields, experienced in policy and in political arenas (I have had to deal with many types of issues fro m, be they student affairs, international relations, technical vs. policy and administration views, etc.) I am at ease (if not equally) in Mexico's cities and countryside, in European and US cities, and in the complex environments of developing countries. My academic activity had made me widely traveled before ICANN activity started.


Further to this requirement I consider that the experience described has helped me become quite devoid of parochialisms of country, language, region, profession, and others, enriching but not diluting my identity.

4. Persons who, in the aggregate, have personal familiarity with the operation of gTLD registries and registrars; with ccTLD registries; with IP address registries; with Internet technical standards and protocols; with policy-development procedures, legal traditions, and the public interest; and with the broad range of business, individual, academic, and non-commercial users of the Internet;

Again this clause refers to the aggregate; as a single individual, I have responsibilities in my work that put me in close contact with domain name registration (we hold close to 1,000 names), IP addresses (being a pioneering institution of the Internet in Latin America we have had some since even before the ARIN structure gelled), protocols and technologies (my unit at UNAM is at the cutting edge in country and region in supercomputing, Internet 2, video communications, etc.), and with the growth and expansion of the Internet since its present form first hit the ground in Mexico. My first uses of IP networks date back to 1979; UNAM introduced a wide variety of Internet services since 1989, and was internationally networked long before that. Dealing with a wide variety of suppliers and projects has allowed me to come into contact with private, business interests from the contact point of a leading non-commercial institution of continental importance. Working on the Mexican ISOC chapter has taught me loads about the difficulties and challenges of honest, purposeful NGO's. Having to deal with lawyers in Mexico for contractual matters gives me some understanding of the deep differences in approach of the Roman and common law systems. The Internet (and in particular distance education, ICANN, the World Economic Forum's Digital Divide Task Force, and the Internet Societal Task Force of ISOC) have taught me about the different weights that certain agendas carry worldwide, such as the contrasts between individualistic versus collective values, state or social-sector intervention versus free markets, culture versus business-based approaches, etc.; I have also stated to learn how to bridge some of these gaps, or to create new syntheses to accomodate all players. Becoming 50 this year, I assess my experience as rounded and derive from it thirst and fun in always learning further.


5. Persons who are willing to serve as volunteers, without compensation other than the reimbursement of certain expenses;

I am a service-oriented person, in my personal as well as in my professional life. The working units I have served have always become service-oriented, and I have obtained personal recognition for that when appointed to new positions.

I have served as a volunteer in many organizations and activities, and will continue to do so in them and in ICANN; while my institution's rules and my personal finances require the reimbursement of major expenses, we have been contributing effort and monies for a long time, and foresee to continue doing so. Further, I have and will continue to avoid situations which would create conflicts of interest, even those that are not financial in nature.



6. Persons who are able to work and communicate in written and spoken English.

It is long since graduate studies would have required me to present a standardized test such as the TOEFL; I will be thankful for the GNSO Council, or whoever else can legitimately ask, to evaluate this criterion and if needed spell out the tests they expect candidates to pass and, if possible to submit to (oops! A loose preposition at the end of a sentence!) I distinguis h fro m , fro m, l , an d, try to get the dots within the parenthesis (contrary to Spanish punctuation), and would subject myself to any test of English a native speaker is willing to face (would not demand reciprocity in Spanish or demonstrations of mastery of any other language by native English speakers, worry not.)

Alternate, brief reply: not a problem.


In closing let me add that I stand ready to reply to your questions and discussion points.


Finally and though unsolicited, I provide a sketch for a program for action if I am elected.

An overarching concern: ICANN consolidation and autonomy

1.Complete the reform process.

1.Structural issues



3.At Large

2.Operational issues

1.Physiology, not only anatomy: contribute to get the reformed ICANN to work to the highest standard foreseen in the reform process, leading to clear-cut definitions at the time of the planned reviews

2.Outreach and increased participation, particularly for developing countries, through distance-education media and practices as well as in physical meetings

3.Relationships with other bodies (e.g. ITU) keeping ICANN focussed on its mission

2.Concentrate on substantive matters, of which some of the salient ones at present are:




UDRP Review

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