November 23, 2010

Job Posting: Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers

ICANN has opened a search for an experienced professional Ombudsman. The winning candidate will have the responsibility of managing the Ombudsman conflict resolution program, fielding and resolving issues and complaints arising from the Internet community, and acting as a functional partner to augment and enhance the mission and goals of ICANN.

Applicants must have at least five years of recent experience as an Executive or Classical Ombuds or mediator; experience and sensitivity dealing with multi-cultural and multi-lingual stakeholders; and an understanding of the technical issues involving the Internet. The position requires up to 50% travel and can be based anywhere in the world as office has robust and dependable Internet access. No salary or closing date indicated. (ICANN Employment Listing.)


  1. Some have wondered whether the ICANN Ombuds is truly "Organizational." This job description seems to answer the question definitively.

  2. Anyone who wondered if the ICANN position was organizational had never read the posted description of the program nor the analysis conducted on it. (Disclaimer - some of which I conducted).

    All of this information has been publicly available since the inception of the ICANN program. More than perhaps any other Ombudsman (organizational, classical, executive or other) the ICANN program has presented its operating structure, purpose and evaluative analysis to all via the web.

    As the program with the largest and most diverse potential user set in existence (anyone with an internet address)totaling in the billions literally, versus an organizational population of 105 (as of 2/10) any consideration of the ICANN position as an "organizational" role wasquite simply under-informed.

    This is a growing issue. Recent discussions and statements regarding the Dodd/Frank required "ombudsman" in the SEC's newly formed Office of the Investor Advocate also failed to recognize the distinction between that position's conceptualized functionality and the organizational model.

    The organizational model is not the dominant concept that most unaffiliated parties think of when they hear the word ombudsman. I am consistently having to educate past this reality in approaching organizations to consider and employ organizational ombuds.

    John W. Zinsser

  3. All true, but the ICANN Ombuds was a full "member" of IOA, implying that he practiced to IOA (ie, organizational ombuds) standards.