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.
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.