IGF Advisory Group Renewed, Expanded

The IGF’s Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) has been renewed, adding 17 new appointments, which brings the total number of advisers up to 50.

A quick review of the new appointees:

  • The addition of four civil society appointees includes 3 individuals affiliated with the Association for Progressive Communications – Valeria Betancourt, Natasha Primo, and Graciela Selaimen of Núcleo de Pesquisas, Estudos e Formação (NUPEF) – and also Y.J. Park of Delft University (and former Syracuse University doctoral student). With the addition of these four, the total number of civil society MAG members is 8, accounting for only 16% of the “multistakeholder” advisory group.
  • Eight new government appointees – including representatives from France, Canada, Brazil, Lithuania, Indonesia, Chile, Switzerland, and notably, Iran – will likely offer a diversity of viewpoints with respect Internet governance issues, and could provide good balance to USG interests manifested in MAG members affiliated with the current Internet governance institutions (e.g., ICANN, IETF).
  • Two individuals involved in Internet governance institutions were appointed – including one from the Czech ccTLD registry and one involved in the UDRP process. The MAG also added a member affiliated with ISOC-Morocco. In this regard, the so-called “Internet community” seems to be the most organized group on the MAG and influential in determining the IGF program.
  • Finally, three individuals were added from the private sector, including one consultant based in Kenya, the Chairman of systems integrator giant EDS, and perhaps most interestingly, the VP for Technology Policy & Regulation at Lockheed Martin Corporation, the absolutely massive US Defense Department contractor which has pushed the deployment of IPv6 to help support DOD's focus on “net-centric warfare.” The person is likely the USG's replacement for the departing Michael Gallagher, President of the Entertainment Software Association (and former NTIA Director).

Overall, no big surprises for the expanding MAG.

A notable departure from the MAG is the former Co-Chair of the Internet Governance Caucus, Adam Peake. Peake has been tireless in his support of the IGF and MAG, and steadfast in his efforts to ensure that the caucus was kept informed and its voice heard in MAG discussions. Sad to see him go, but it’s also good to see that the Secretariat understands the need to rotate MAG members. It’s too early to tell, but hopefully it applies that approach equally and consistently across the stakeholder groups.

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