My background takes me from entrepreneurship, through technical tracks and into leadership. Much of my career has been supporting small and medium businesses with the mindset of a value added reseller. My specialty is running network systems. At Camosun College we ensured reliability of networks and deliver advanced services to thousands of users. To do that, we partnered with BCNET and Canarie. That is when my understanding the challenges facing the broader internet changed and I got involved. Giving back and sharing knowledge is important to me. I have been encouraged by peers to get actively involved in governance and share my knowledge. To meet that challenge, I have presented and coached organizations on topics ranging from culture, network security, blockchain, and even deepfakes. I am well versed in emerging technology, business, strategy, and culture. In recent years I've spent time supporting community growth. I was a board director for the CIPS BC Chapter and sit on the board of CIPS National. Currently, I am on the advisory cabinet for Our Place Society in Victoria, which supports homelessness in Victoria. Also locally, I am a director for ISACA Victoria. Several years ago, I joined the Best Practices Forum for Cybersecurity with the Internet Governance Forum. For the last couple of years, I have been in committees for the Canadian Internet Governance Forum. Visit https://canadianigf.ca/ for info. Over the next few years, I will be increasing my engagement with higher education to ensure technology students are prepared to lead. I would contribute to CIRA by encouraging stretch goals. CIRA Staff are incredibly talented, passionate people that tackle complex issues. They thrive on making a difference. Being a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors, part of my purpose would be to maintain a balanced and thoughtful approach to governance. The board needs to keep focus on strategic direction and organizational stability while paying close attention to culture.
Explain from your perspective what CIRA does and why it matters.
I believe that CIRA provides balanced, gentle guidance to the internet community in Canada and around the world. While the primary role is to maintain the .ca TLD registry, CIRA is a gateway to those interested in how the internet works in political and technical spheres. With the growth of both personal and business domains, education is important to ensuring digital safety and CIRA provides tools for businesses to learn and protect themselves. CIRA does advocacy for countless individuals that will never know the work done on their behalf. The special interest projects are important to ensuring awareness, internet safety, and connectivity. The DNS work is important as we continue to see DNS attacks globally. Guidance provided by CIRA protects Canadian citizens and businesses from threats. The Canadian Shield is a great offering that helps keep the internet in Canada safe. All of these help to protect Canadians. Focusing on the Community Investment Program, it has made significant contributions to dozens of organizations that directly benefit Canadians. Each year the grants lead to a more robust and diverse internet ecosystem. Many of the programs focus on youth and education which directly impact how people connect and communicate. CIRA is making a difference where it matters. CIRA maintains an understanding of market conditions to maintain excellent service to members. The participation in international decision-making arenas helps to solidify the value that CIRA adds. These contributions shape the rules around how the internet evolves through votes and opinions. While the general populous may never know the extent to which they are being represented, it is important to continue to pursue the best interests of CIRA members and to maintain the ethical standards held by Canada. Last but not least, CIRA provides the greatest collection of Canadian stock images. This brought serious attention to the statistics of moose attacks and our strategic maple reserves. The world needs more Canada.
Why do you want to be on CIRA’s Board of Directors?
Being on the CIRA Board would give me the opportunity to support and direct the great work they do. They are able to navigate the bureaucracy of regulation and drive forward change for the better. I believe that challenge is needed to improve outcomes and refine ideas. My technical skills in networking, software management, and project management prepare me to work with this organization. Compliment that with governance and leadership skills and I can provide a unique contribution on the how CIRA works. A global perspective is needed for this position. I am part of the Best Practices Forum in Cyber Security under the UN IGF which looks at ways of addressing norms in multi-stakeholder scenarios. We have evaluated many agreements to see what the rules are for the internet in this global environment. This awareness of global landscape through the IGF broadens my view of the challenges facing the internet. In the past few years, I have worked on several not-for-profit boards, to help build community. This experience crosses into the awareness work at CIRA. CIPS is responsible for the accreditation of post-secondary schools under the Seoul Accord to ensure that computer science programs around the world meet the same standards. We are also an active member of the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP). Closer to home, I am a member of the Advisory Cabinet for Our Place Society which supports those in need of shelter and housing. The Cabinet provides advice on strategic decisions, evaluate marketing opportunities and raise interest in fundraising events organized by the society. My role on the ISACA Victoria board raises awareness of events and initiatives. Having been an active director on boards for many years gives me an understanding of the governance needed to steer strategic decisions at CIRA. In recent years, I have built and been part of building corporate and organizational strategies. We look at emerging trends and signals in the marketplace to position ourselves for success. There are several frameworks that are effective to communicate and build understanding of the complex ecosystems of technology. With the opportunities of hyper-scale cloud and automation from AI, organizations need to be particular about which spaces they enter. CIRA has built D-Zone secure DNS service and has become a world leader in providing registry services, yet there are many other challenges for CIRA to overcome. Digital identity, threat sharing, and similar services are possible areas where CIRA can expand and I am versed on many of these technologies.
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?
Last year showed us that things can change faster that we expect. It took large organizations weeks to find ways to allow workforces to work from home. With this massive shift, we will see a faster adoption of technologies. I tend to see the challenges as opportunities as well. Top Challenges: • Cybersecurity: Attacks are more sophisticated and dangerous than ever before. CIRA needs to continue to develop and offer advanced security products possibly like a cloud SIEM.
• Internet connectivity: In many parts of Canada, there are towns with limited connectivity. This damages the ability to earn and to contribute to the Canadian economy. Even where there is connectivity, the average costs are among the highest in the developed world.
• Outside forces: This is a broad area which could consist of cyberwarfare, commercial takeovers (like the attempted .org purchase), or government policy changes. There is also a race to the lowest price for services like cloud hosting that may encroach on services that CIRA offers. Top opportunities: • Digital Identity: Especially now that we are seeing more users embracing digital, identity is a key pillar. CIRA could play a pivotal role in design and implementation. • Expertise: CIRA has incredible expertise in handling domain registries and already is a service provider. Continue to build out these services and expertise internationally.
• Community Investment: Even though CIRA is already doing community investment, this needs to continue and grow. This includes greater awareness and education for Canadians. The work with regional IXPs is also very beneficial in lowering connectivity costs.