Frank Fowlie, the Ombudsman for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, has announced that he will leave his position on or before January 31, 2011. Fowlie established the ICANN Ombuds program in 2004 and has emerged as an expert in the areas of on-line dispute resolution and Ombuds office assessment.
Working for the high-profile, international non-profit, however, has its drawbacks and Fowlie has found himself at the center of several controversies over the years. Moreover, the position required extensive travel. (Fowlie said he spent nearly 2½ years out of the past six on the road.) Despite the demands of the job, Fowlie was active in several professional organizations, including the International Ombudsman Association and the Southern California Ombuds Group. ICANN said that it will begin a search immediately to find a successor and Fowlie has agreed to stay on long enough to help with the transition. (ICANN Announcement.)