Philip Sheppard

Nomination by Tony Holmes

Candidate Statement

I am standing for election to the Board in the forthcoming GNSO elections and want to explain the reasons why I am doing so.

Personal qualities and consensus-building

You know me well and hope you may feel I have qualities which will serve the Board well. I feel the time is right for me personally to seek election, and the time is right strategically, for the Board to have on it a consensus-builder and someone who believes very much that ICANN is the right body for ICANN issues. Too often some Board members have operated too independently. This perpetuates the idea that ICANN is "someone else". If you are on the Board, ICANN 's mission is your mission. I am concerned that ICANN is under genuine threat and that the private sector may lose out in any change. It is the new Board that will succeed or fail in answering that threat. Helping to get the Board to take the right decisions at the right time is something I feel the need to do.

I have existing Board experience within a global professional association as well as past international experience from working in the Middle East and four European countries. And of course I have some years of experience with ICANN and my time as Names Council chairman to build on.

Making the new ICANN structure work

There must be a better working relationship between the Board and the SOs. This has been the principal disconnect of the Board to date. The SOs seemed to be foreign bodies to the board. Like petitioners, pleading for attention, rather than part of the organisation helping to meet the mission. That change - helped by the new by-laws is I believe essential. So having Board liaisons is key to this and to provide expertise/history on the issues back to the Board when they review results. I believe also that the Board needs to be a watchdog to check that policy development happens in the best way, and that policy once developed must be rapidly implemented by the Board. As a Board director elected by the GNSO Council I would also wish to be a conduit for raising GNSO issues at Board level - in effect granting wider access than has been the case previously. In this context I will ensure a full and informed Board debate on the forthcoming reduction to two representatives to the Council per constituency and its implications for geographical diversity.

Finally, I believe the Board needs to focus on its core business identified in the new mission statement.

Background and meeting the by-laws criteria

  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;

    In my capacity as a board director of the International Public Relations Association, a public affairs manager at the European level and past Names Council chairman I believe I have demonstrated the above. I have a keen analytical sense, able to grasp complex problems, then distinguish and communicate the key elements. I am a consensus builder, able to work with others to build a position around the issues I believe in, while factoring in the ideas and views of the relevant group.

  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 have been involved in ICANN since 1999, first as a member of the Business Constituency and now in my second term as the elected representative for Europe. I served two terms of office as DNSO Names Council chairman and chaired issue task forces on review and structure. In 2002 I participated in the Board's Dot Info Country Names Discussion Group (ICNG) and was appointed to the Board's assistance group developing recommendations on structure and a policy development process for the country code name supporting organisation (CCNSO). I currently chair the GNSO Council committee on new gTLDs.

  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;

    I am British and have worked outside of the UK for the majority of my career in the Middle East and continental Europe. In the Middle East I was based in Dubai heading up a regional office for Shell Petrochemicals and I travelled throughout the Gulf region in that role. Following previous experience in England, Ireland and Switzerland, I am now based in Brussels, Belgium. In Brussels I am the public affairs manager for a trade association representing both multi-national blue chip organisations and national associations of small and large companies throughout western, central and eastern Europe. In this role I work daily with different nationalities both within my own organisation and in my professional public affairs work with the European Commission, the European Parliament, and national governments. I travel frequently to national European capitals and to Geneva.

  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;

    I believe my time spent on ICANN issues and time as a member of the Names Council as outlined in 3) above provides precisely this familiarity.

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

    I am so willing.

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

    I have English as mother tongue, I work daily in French, and struggle with German, having learnt it in Switzerland!

Conflicts and disclosures

  1. whether s/he has invested in or received any compensation from an entity engaged in transactions with ICANN (including but not limited to a registrar, registry, or applicant to run a registry) over the past 12 months;


  2. if so, whether that investment or compensation relationship exists today;

    not applicable.

  3. if so, how the candidate plans (if selected for the ICANN Board) to comply with the conflicts policy summarized above;

    not applicable.

  4. the types of issues coming before the Board on which the candidate believes s/he would be disqualified from voting due to the conflicts policy.

    not applicable.


My employer reimburses expenses incurred in attending ICANN meetings.