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Leaving ICANN, off to greener pastures

Category : General · by Oct 15th, 2009

I am leaving my job as general manager of public participation for ICANN on 25 November.

Yesterday, the COO sent round a note to staff; this morning I find myself elevated to the point of wanting to dance. Whenever I leave a job, I get the feeling of a weight being lifted off my shoulders and, shortly after, feel the excitement of future possibilities. This time, it is particularly strong.

I still have a busy meeting in Seoul in just over a week to deal with, and then more work for the Internet Governance Forum in Egypt two weeks after that. But from December I will be free to apply my energies wherever I wish and man does it feels good.

I’ve learnt a hell of a lot over the past two-and-a-half years but with the ending of a big agreement between the organization and the US government (and they said it couldn’t be done), with my boss heading back to Australia, and with a feeling that my ability to effect changes has passed its peak, it is definitely time to move on.

Update: I just found my original post on taking the job. Pleased to see I have managed to stay true to myself, although I may have to evaluate performance against my own goals in December.

What will I be doing?

I have a long list of things that has been building up for a while. My Sex.com book and its film rights, a book on the domain name industry, a book on the cutting edge and revolutionary uses of the Internet. I may write my Great Drunks book. I may write my Rockall disaster book.

I have two business plans. And I have my beloved journalism: the new Internet extensions will be fascinating; I am absolutely itching to get stuck into electric car technology. Two people have been asking me to build their websites for a while. I definitely want to do some consulting on participation and the Internet to save people huge amounts of time and trouble figuring it out for themselves. And I have an overriding desire to do some real good in a broader sense – maybe get into some of the gov2.0 stuff going on.

My head is buzzing with plans; just need to take a week off surfing and fixing up my van and it will all come clear. I’m also getting married to Sapna in April in San Francisco and we will probably move up there in the new year, which I’m also excited about.

So great opportunities lie ahead. In the meantime I need to stop writing this post and get back to the unbelievable list of things to do for the ICANN Seoul meeting.

Below is the note that the COO generously sent to staff yesterday re: my heading off.

Hello all,

Kieren McCarthy has decided to leave his role as general manager of public participation at ICANN.

Kieren has been with ICANN since February 2007, initially working from the UK and then moving to Los Angeles. In that time he has worked tirelessly and won frequent plaudits from the community and Board for improving ICANN’s interactions with its community and lowering the barriers to participation in the organization. He will be leaving at the end of November, following the ICANN Seoul meeting and Internet Governance Forum in Egypt.

Some of Kieren’s achievements have been to revamp the ICANN website, restructure the public comment process, greatly expand and improve remote participation at meetings, produce monthly magazines, encourage and assist the production of a range of other newsletters and updates to the community, introduce professional photography and video, create a meeting question box, and oversee many of ICANN’s web presences including the blog, public participation site, meeting sites, mobile site, and the front page of the main ICANN site.

Kieren has been pivotal in the introduction of ICANN’s translation and interpretation programs, its consultation principles, and its document deadline policy. He has also introduced ICANN to a range of social networking tools, used to improve interaction and communication with the community, as well as a number of innovative sessions at international public meetings, including a joint meeting of representatives of all ICANN’s arms.

Kieren is leaving to work on a range of projects. He will be partly returning to journalism and will continue to cover Internet and green technology issues within California for the foreseeable future.

I’m sure you all join me in wishing Kieren great success in these next projects.

Thanks!

Doug

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(21) comments

Kim Davies
5 years ago ·

Good job, mate. Your levity, above all else, shall be missed :)

Joanna
5 years ago ·

Congrats! And a fantastic day to leave too ;-)
I know what you mean about the weight lifting. I have 10 days left at the Beeb and am itching for a new challenge or three! xx

Suneet
5 years ago ·

Change we can believe in :)

Richard Sexton
5 years ago ·

Keep in touch a bout the electric car stuff. Similar work goes on up here. I’m not sure we’d get away with publishing what really happened in a book about the domain industry. Those guys leave no fingerprints.

[...] who officially is ICANN’s general manager of public participation, announced today that he is leaving the organization at the end of [...]

[...] Kieren McCarthy announced on his own blog that he will leaving ICANN on November 25th. According to his blog post he’s got many items on his todo list, some related to his Sex.com book and new business ideas. He joined ICANN as General Manager of Public Participation in November of 2007 and worked on restructuring its website, revamping the publc comment process and greatly improved ICANN’s public outreach. We wish Kieren all the best for his future endeavours. [...]

[...] who officially is ICANN’s general manager of public participation, announced today that he is leaving the organization at the end of [...]

John McCormac
5 years ago ·

Good luck Kieren,
You made ICANN more credible. The domain industry is too weird for a book. Besides, nobody would believe some of the stuff that goes on in it every day.

[...] Kieren McCarthy announced on his own blog that he will leaving ICANN on November 25th. According to his blog post he’s got many items on his todo list, some related to his Sex.com book and new business ideas. He joined ICANN as General Manager of Public Participation in November of 2007 and worked on restructuring its website, revamping the publc comment process and greatly improved ICANN’s public outreach. We wish Kieren all the best for his future endeavours. [...]

Cheryl Langdon-Orr (CLO)
5 years ago ·

While I’m wishing you all the Very Best for your future plans (work / project wise) and a long, healthy, happy, loving and rewarding life with Sapna; I wanted to take a moment to encourage people reading this to just S T O P for a moment and think back to where we were in terms of public participation in ICANN pre 2007, then compare to where we are now (and indeed heading for with the future plans and intentions being reviewed and reveled so much recently) and say that, from my POV at least, what I see is a great movement forward (in the right direction that is) towards where many of us believe we should be i.e. in a {yet to exist} socially networked (2.0 tooled); and crowd sourced or ‘Public Sphere’ style utopia of Public Participation in ICANN, where language, location and access is no barrier to involvement —> and that my dear is very much the mark of your contribution in the landmark role you took on and have run with to date (and I do know it has not been an easy task, having caused you more than the occasional ‘headache’ myself ;-)… Thanks Kieren!!! I look forward to catching up more in Seoul… CLO

Rod Beckstrom
5 years ago ·

Thanks for all you have done for ICANN Kieren!
I greatly enjoyed our brief time working together.
Please keep us posted on your next moves and stay in touch.

Ram Mohan
5 years ago ·

Congrats, Keiren. Has always been a pleasure working. Exciting times ahead.

Jothan Frakes
5 years ago ·

Kieren, you’re a great asset to whatever you’re doing. And you’ve done wonders on solidifying a better public image for ICANN, IMHO through your efforts. Hope you’ll stay in the space and I’m priveledged to know you. -Jothan

Mike Silber
5 years ago ·

Congratulations and good luck in all your endeavours.

All good things must come to an end – fortunately just a chapter this time around!

Annalisa Roger
5 years ago ·

When it comes to surfing in San Francisco, my 15 year old son could be the guide for you – especially if you have a van and a driver’s license! Also, I heard you are looking for a meaningful and green Internet project in the SF area ? See you again soon in Seoul.
- Annalisa

Tim Ruiz
5 years ago ·

Congrats Kieren. Job well done. Sounds like some exciting prospects ahead. Wish you the best. – Tim

Kieren
5 years ago ·

Cheers for your comments – much appreciated.

I’ll thank you all in person in Seoul, save on pixels.

Kieren

Katim S. Touray
5 years ago ·

This has come like a bolt from the blue! But then again, that’s what life is all about: we meet to part, and we part to meet. I hope we meet again many more times, Kieren. It’s been great working with you, given your infectious enthusiasm. I wish you all the best in your new ventures, and in your impending marriage. And may you be forever happy!

Vittorio Bertola
5 years ago ·

Good luck :)

Susan Reynolds
5 years ago ·

Kieren, thanks for your great work! I’ve attended a few ICANN International meetings, and I could see you’ve really tried to improve participation within ICANN meetings, especially remote participation, so thanks for reading out our comments when we couldn’t make it. All the best in your new projects and adventures in life!

Daustin
5 years ago ·

Mate, I will miss your tremendous enthusiasm, passion, sense of fun and the absolute ridiculous–you’re a very good egg to have around. All the best.

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