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[rpd] Recruitment of AfriNIC CEO

Bill Woodcock woody at
Fri Nov 21 23:34:06 UTC 2014

On Nov 21, 2014, at 1:13 AM, Douglas Onyango <ondouglas at> wrote:
> While internal knowledge of the community is key, I think it may confines our search team to only the community, which may or may not deliver the very best candidate. 

To my observation, an executive who’s able to represent an RIR autonomously, without carting around a planeload of technical advisors, is a great economy and efficiency.

The down-side is that, as you say, that means recruiting from “within the community” which limits the pool, and may mean that you don’t get someone who _also_ has the very best management skills.

But RIRs are medium-to-small organizations, so a top-flight manager is probably a lot less important than someone who can address policy issues with authority, and speak for the RIR in Internet governance meetings.  

To some degree, ARIN has addressed the issue by bifurcating the senior managerial role: John Curran, our CEO, is the public face of the organization, and consequently has to be on the road at meetings a lot.  Nate Davis, our COO, provides much of the day-to-day management of the staff and business operations.  So that’s one approach, and it works well for ARIN.

It also costs two salaries.  So, it seems like the ideal CEO candidate for AfriNIC would be a single person who embodies experience with the community and organization (perhaps a past board member, or active community member?), managerial experience, and the financial experience needed to guide AfriNIC through its current difficulties.  Someone who wears a suit well and can easily project a reassuring demeanor to the many governments and regulators in the African region, would be an added benefit.


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