I was previously on the board for three terms. My last term ended in September 2017. I learned a lot during my time on the board. CIRA as an organization had tremendous growth and change during that time. The Community Investment Program was instituted. The board changed from a hands-on board to a more strategic board. CIRA grew from 1 million domains under management to over 2.5 million domains. I like to think the board was partly responsible for implementing policies to achieve these milestones. Stepping back for a few years has broadened my perspective. The domain industry has matured. The growth period of a new industry has slowed down. There are many new challenges. My perspective from the past can be put to good use going forward. When elected I will advocate for some small changes in direction. Serving on many boards I have learned that change is slow and incremental. I support slow and incremental. The changes I would like to see are:
• Increased advocacy for a free and open Canadian Internet. CIRA has been an intervenor in CRTC and other governmental hearings. I would like to see more of this.
• Advocating for better environmental policies on Internet related subjects.
• Adding an additional criteria for CIC projects that includes environmental considerations
• Changing the investment funds to ethical funds. Currently some of the funds held invest in energy and industrial companies with poor environmental policies. Over the past several years many investment funds are more ethically based with similar returns to what CIRA gets now. CIRA should investigate and possibly switch to those types of funds.
CIRA does not need a lot of change. The organization is very well managed. I will advocate for CIRA to continue in the current direction with managing the .CA first and developing applications and services that will better the Internet as a whole and Canada in particular, second. The CIRA Canadian Shield DNS resolver was a huge step in the right direction. I will advocate for more services that use CIRA's core competencies to improve the Canadian Internet.
Explain from your perspective what CIRA does and why it matters.
At its core CIRA manages the .CA domain registry. They manage the data, implement and enforce policies around the use of the data, and secure the data. This is an asset for all Canadians. A .CA domain uniquely identifies the domain as belonging to Canadian, person or organization. In addition, CIRA advocates and supports a better Internet for all Canadians. This is an important aspect of CIRA's work. They are an independent expert that can supply governments and other organizations with unbiased reports on Internet related matters.
Why do you want to be on CIRA’s Board of Directors?
I enjoyed my previous time on the board. It was very fulfilling. I believe that after stepping back for several years my perspective has broadened.
I will contribute in several ways.
• I will contribute in board meetings. I have served on several boards (including three terms on the CIRA board) and understand that a consensus must be reached. I listen to all board members, staff, and outside experts before forming an opinion on the subject being discussed. I will use my experience in the subject to voice my thoughts.
• I will participate in committees. Committees are where the hard work gets done. During my time on the CIRA board I participated in almost all of the board committees. I have a keen business sense having started and managed several successful businesses. I maneuvered those businesses through two downturns in the economy. I forecasted the demise of one industry (video rentals) years in advance and pivoted the business to retail sales.
• I can help the board evaluate and understand the technical side of CIRA's business. I have a deep understanding of how the technical aspects of the Internet work. I have worked as an IT consultant for thirty years. For several years I was a speaker at many IT conferences.
• From my nine years on the board I gained a good understanding of the domain industry both domestically and internationally. Not all board members have an in depth knowledge of the domain industry. I can help the board understand the industry.
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?
Challenges - I believe the top challenge to the Internet is climate change. Climate change is likely to cause disruption at a physical level and a political level. CIRA can advocate for increased awareness of how climate change will affect the Internet. CIRA can advocate for increased physical robustness of the Internet within Canada and worldwide. CIRA can direct some Community Investment funds towards research into how climate change will affect the Internet. The next biggest challenge is political. CIRA walks a tightrope politically. They provide expert advice to the government on Internet related subjects. As government priorities change this advice may not be welcomed by some in government. CIRA needs to stay on the tightrope maintaining their independent expert status. Another challenge is developing apps that make the Internet better without impinging on commercial interests. CIRA is a not for profit organization and to compete with commercial organizations would be unfair and could cause CIRA to lose it's not for profit status. So far CIRA has met this challenge but as they continue to step into this realm they end to chart the path forward very carefully.
Opportunities – Challenges are always opportunities. CIRA could become thought leader on Internet related climate change issues. They could provide valuable advice to governments and industry. CIRA can help governments understand complex Internet issues like copyright, and domain takedowns. They can help governments to draft legislation that protects users without impinging on the user's rights. Governments react to press and special interest groups. They need expert advice to sort out the wheat from the chaff. CIRA has done a great job with the DNS Firewall. There is an opportunity to expand on this. Some ideas would be a Canadian certificate authority, an open-source Canadian VPN for use by remote workers. Again, they would be challenged to not impinge on commercial interests, but the opportunity is worth exploring.