During its board meeting today in Sydney, the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced Rod Beckstrom, the former U.S. cybersecurity chief, as the new President and CEO. Beckstrom will be replacing Dr. Paul Twomey who had been serving this position since March 2003 and announced his resignation earlier this year. Dr Twomey has lately been reported as the primary candidate for heading Australian Government's proposed A$43 billion investment in a new National Broadband Network. Dr. Paul Twomey will remain as ICANN's Senior President until 1st Jan 2010.
About Rod Beckstrom (Source)
Throughout 2008, Rod served as the Director of the National Cybersecurity Center (NCSC) at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, where he reported to the Secretary of DHS, and was charged with cooperating directly with the Attorney General, National Security Council, Secretary of Defense, and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). Prior to joining DHS, he served on the DNI's Senior Advisory Group. Rod is unique in having experienced the inner workings of two, highly-charged, often competing, federal security agencies created in the wake of the September 11th attacks, an event that he says, "changed my life."
Rod is widely regarded as a pre-eminent thinker and speaker on issues of cybersecurity and related global issues, as well as on organizational strategy and leadership. He is also an expert on how carbon markets and "green" issues affect business. While Director of the NCSC, Rod developed an effective working group of leaders from the nation's top six cybersecurity centers across the civilian, military and intelligence communities. His work led to his development of a new economic theory that provides an explicit model for valuing any network, answering a decades-old problem in economics.
Rod co-authored four books including The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations.
Rob Beckstrom giving his acceptance speech as the new President and CEO of the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in Sydney, Australian (June 25, 2009). Photo by Kim Davies
Beckstrom who has been involved in the tech community for almost 30 years, in his acceptance speech at the ICANN meeting in Sydney said that he has worked with many organizations and that,
"[ICANN] is a beautifully complex one—and I received many warnings and many of you said to me, 'do you really know what you're getting in for? Are you sure you're ready for this?' But I say where you see and hear cacophony, I see a symphony. Because it's the nashing and the thrashing through all the technical standards processes, through all of the policy processes, through legal issues, the trademark issues, the address issues, the name issues, all of the things that you have handled and you have done has given birth and given rise to the Internet, which is now touching 1.5 billion people on this planet directly through their computers. And another billion—and soon two—through their phones and other devices. And it's the noise and complexity and the lack of any central control in this process that has made it so rich, and so open for the entire world."