When this opportunity came to my attention I was overcome by a sense of purpose. Like many, my passion with computers and the internet began as a child. Unlike many, I then followed a technical path through the military where I was involved for many years in proving interoperability between discrete platforms and technologies. Today, as a lawyer, I am actively involved in web 3.0 as a principle at the BanklessDAO legal guild and LexDAO, where we build legal narratives around decentralized governance models to support community blockchain ventures, privacy and data self-sovereignty.
We are together now at the edge of new era that comes about every thirty years in technology. Important decisions will have to be made to evolve to meet the challenges ahead that intersect with web 3.0, artificial intelligence, data self-sovereignty, the internet of things, augmented reality and 5G to name a few. Shifts in the status quo and shifts to exponential thinking will be needed so we can ensure that everyone can participate in the next layer of the internet experience. I have spent my whole life engaged in front of the status quo believing its better to be a maker than a taker and my interest in contributing to the CIRA board is no different.
I do have director experience. I am currently on the boards of the Credit Union Atlantic, a for-profit enterprise with $741M in assets under management, and I am also the Chair of the board of directors at Sail Nova Scotia, a not-for-profit amateur athletic association. In both cases I am helping the organizations to be first movers by migrating to enabling technologies to reduce to barriers to entry and increase participation access through reduced transaction costs and modernizing governance.
Before I became a lawyer, I was an aviator in the Air Force. I spent half of my career in experimental test flight and the proving and evaluation of systems and platforms. From that, I have a well developed comfort to working with ambiguity and uncertainty. In that career I participated in more than 70 real world risk assessments and accumulated thousands of hours of planning experience.
My current law practice is selective. It began at a chartered bank in the General Counsel's office. Since 2018 It has been increasingly in blockchain, freedom of information and privacy law.
I am a continuous life-long learner and I have a genuine interest in joining CIRA as a director where I believe I can contribute as much as I would grow and learn.
Yours very truly,
Explain from your perspective what CIRA does and why it matters.
CIRA is a caretaker for Canadians to access the internet. It provides predictable stable experience and standards to facilitate the acquisition of .ca domains. Scarcity of .ca domains means that disputes will arise and it also provides dispute resolution so members can expect fair or equitable use of .ca domains. CIRA also lowers barriers to access by funding infrastructure to access the internet. Recently CIRA began to provide cybersecurity at the source to contribute to safe internet access and protect Canadians from cyber threats.
CIRA matters because the internet grows each day in importance it becomes central for many to earn an economic livelihood, for market places, and for creative commons. The success of those activities and others require reliable, predictable barrier free onramps and access to, and safe use of the internet.
Why do you want to be on CIRA’s Board of Directors?
I am passionate about collaborative teamwork and governance and I like to be part of making history. I find the future of the internet exciting and I would love to be part of the team that plays a pivotal role that brings the experience to Canadians.
How would I contribute? First I would listen. No one is an expert in everything. One learns so much more when one is not talking. I have a lot of different experience than most but I only contribute when I have some relevant to add, reasoning or true experience to bring forward that informs the conversation. I enjoy committee work and I would volunteer for special mandates.
I have board experience in CEO compensation, governance, nomination, and credit committee work. In addition to board work I have 20yrs+ experience in institutional leadership, strategy and risk management. As a lawyer I am well versed in many aspects of corporate law, and the intersections of the law and the internet. Although I prefer truth data and analysis one skill I have in spades is the ability to work with ambiguity. This was as true in test flying in the Air force as it has proven to be as lawyer.
What do you think are the top 3 challenges and opportunities facing CIRA in the next 3 to 5 years? What approach would you take to addressing these issues?
Definitely competition from non-country TLDs and streaming or content aggregators ie if one can earn a living on TictTok, YouTube, Medium or Substack , one has less need for a website. Many of the biggest internet influencers do not have websites. Also, there is an emerging behavioral trend towards decentralization and global participation and engagement and there is less importance placed on country domains in favour of domains that are ethnic, geography, religion and language neutral. There is also the emergence of the dual integration of crypto wallets and web3.0 domain names where the address can function both as a payment gateway and a website simultaneously. These present challenges to growth and should place pressure on new .ca domains. Another challenge is enabling fair access for all to self actualize through participation in the internet.
The introduction of 5G and the launch of internet satellites, and blockchain are definitely opportunities. Blockchain will increase the number of users and the frequency of use while lowering transaction costs and digital waste. The bandwidth from 5G will enable augmented realities and the internet of things while satellites will bring access to everyone anywhere anytime. In this new developments there will be new security opportunities.