About Internet Society 4 November 2020

Message from Internet Society Audit Committee Chair

By Heather WestMember, Internet Society Board of Trustees

As Chair of the Internet Society Audit Committee, I wanted to share an update with you.

As you may know, the Audit Committee reviews the Conflict of Interest forms filed by members of the Board of Trustees and officers of the Internet Society to ensure that we are in compliance with our Conflict of Interest (“CoI”) policy.

The CoI policy states that members of the Board of Trustees cannot hold a position in the policy development process in another organization operating in the Internet Society’s areas of engagement, and we are evaluating a situation where this restriction may be relevant. One of our Trustees has been appointed as a non-voting member to the GSNO Council, the Generic Names Supporting Organization – a policy-development body that develops and recommends policies relating to generic top-level domains (gTLDs) to the ICANN Board.

The Internet Society has a long history of collaborating with our diverse community from around the world, and is committed to having vibrant and robust global engagement. We work across countries and cultures and seek diverse cross-organizational expertise. This makes us stronger—sound practices and clear policies are a critical part of that.

We recognize that the expertise of our trustees is also valued by other groups. At the same time, our community is best served when board members are able to maintain their independence from other organizational interests that are in the Internet Society’s areas of engagement.

While our CoI policy was adopted unanimously by the Board of Trustees earlier this year, the Board has determined that a section addressing a conflict under the “Independent Policy View” section needs further review. The Governance Committee will evaluate this section with the goal of providing its assessment and recommendations to the Board for further discussion.  We anticipate this work will be concluded by the time of our next Board of Trustees meeting.

Below is the link to our Conflict of Interest policy on the Internet Society website. 


Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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