President and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA)
- Involved with the Internet in a variety of capacities for more than 20 years, as an end user for his technology-based businesses, as a leader of a country code top-level domain (ccTLD) and as an active participant in international Internet governance.
- Involved in numerous Internet governance fora in a variety of roles at ICANN, including as vice-chair of the ccNSO, and at the Internet Governance Forum.
- A champion of grassroots participation in the development of the Internet.
- A supporter of the free and open Internet, Byron is an outspoken supporter of the multi-stakeholder model for governing the Internet.
- A leading edge, strategic thinker who sees the benefits of integrating technologies into the private and public sectors for economic and social prosperity.
- An entrepreneur, with extensive experience in corporate governance, financial management and strategic planning that has demonstrated significant positive results for both private sector businesses and not-for-profit organizations.
Byron G. Holland is an accomplished, strategic, business leader with more than 20 years of experience in the global domain and Canadian consumer loyalty, finance, and retail industries, including 15 years at the senior executive level. He has been involved with the Internet for most of his career, as an end user for his technology-based businesses, as a leader of a country code top-level domain (ccTLD) and as an active participant in international Internet governance.
As President and CEO of Canada’s .CA domain registry, a position he has held since 2007, he has fundamentally transformed the organization. His private sector experience has influenced CIRA’s corporate culture, resulting in a customer-focused philosophy aimed at improving the experience of .CA Registrants, Registrars and CIRA’s Members. The transformation of CIRA started with a renewed strategic direction, followed by an overall modernization and maturing of CIRA’s people, processes and technology.
Byron has instilled a consultative approach to the new initiatives at CIRA, seeking input from a cross-section of key stakeholders on numerous large-scale projects, such as the implementation of a new registry. This project involved the wholesale rewrite of the .CA registry, related policies and business rules and deployment of a new technology infrastructure. The net result was that a .CA domain became significantly easier to register and manage while reinforcing .CA’s core brand values of being a domain that is safe, secure and trusted.
Under his leadership .CA has become one of the fastest growing ccTLDs and experiences high customer satisfaction levels among Registrants, Registrars and Members.
Byron is a valued participant and contributor in the Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO) body within the ICANN structure created for and by ccTLD managers. This body provides a platform to nurture consensus, technical cooperation and skill building among ccTLDs as well recommend global policies to the ICANN Board, the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). He has been engaged in this community in several substantive roles: by facilitating and contributing to discussions, and by conducting research and formalizing processes and procedures for ccNSO interactions with ICANN.
Byron is also a regular contributor to the United Nations co-ordinated Internet Governance Forum, and other international Internet governance fora. As a champion of grassroots participation in the development of the Internet, he oversaw the creation of the Canadian Internet Forum (CIF), a broad discussion on the development and deployment of the Internet in Canada. Now entering its third year, the CIF is regarded as the benchmark for a collaborative, grassroots-driven, national Internet governance forum.
A supporter of the free and open Internet, Byron has published a number of blog posts in support of the multi-stakeholder model for Internet governance. His 2011 blog post, The Model is the Message (http://blog.cira.ca/2011/10/the-model-is-the-message/) captures his vision for the need to preserve the multi-stakeholder model. He has also been interviewed by the media on Internet governance and the need to preserve the multi-stakeholder model, including with Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper.
In the same edition, the Globe and Mail published an opinion-editorial piece that he wrote: Do we really want Iran or China in charge of the Net?
Byron is actively engaged with social media and uses it to provide perspectives and illicit feedback on the Internet and related topics. CIRA is now widely recognized as the standard for ccTLDs’ participation in social media, and has become a ‘go to’ source for Internet- and technology-related information for the media, government and other groups.
His experience in corporate governance, financial management and strategic planning is directly linked to the success of his work prior to joining CIRA. Byron helped found Futura Rewards, a Canadian coalition loyalty rewards program. As the Chief Operating Officer at Futura, he oversaw the development and growth of the company from a small upstart to a publicly traded company. Under his leadership, Futura was able to successfully leverage Internet technologies to become the third largest loyalty program in Canada, with more than 100 brand partners and 400,000 members.
Byron is a firm believer in an open Internet that benefits all Canadians and global citizens. He has worked diligently since becoming involved with CIRA in building the Internet community, supporting technology, standards and protocols. In addition, he believes that as Internet citizens we should all nurture the development of this important resource and foster the further development the next generation of Internet users to ensure the continued economic, social and cultural benefits of the global community. It is in this capacity that Byron wants to continue to contribute as a member of the ISOC community.
Byron received a Bachelor of Arts with Honours from the University of Western Ontario and a Master of Business Administration from Queen’s University. He also holds his ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.
Byron’s blog, Public Domain can be found at cirablog.ca. He can also be found on Twitter at @CIRA001.