Markus Kummer recently announced his decision to depart the Internet Society following the 2014 Internet Governance Forum (IGF) meeting in September. For his remaining time with ISOC, he has accepted a new role as Senior Vice President, with a focus on further strengthening the IGF.
Last November, ISOC’s Board of Trustees agreed to set up a support organization to facilitate the funding of the IGF, including regional and national IGF initiatives. The details of the proposal that Markus developed were approved by the ISOC Board today. In his new position, Markus will work to bring resources to this important effort.
This is a pivotal year for the Internet ecosystem and also the IGF, which must pick up the momentum from the recent NETmundial meeting in Sao Paulo. Markus will be able to bring his substantial understanding of and experience in the development and evolution of the IGF to serve as an advisor to IGF MAG Chair Janis Karklins to support him and the IGF Secretariat to prepare the 2014 IGF meeting. Last year, ISOC agreed to second Markus for part of his time to serve as the Acting MAG Chair for the 2013 IGF, which also came at a critical period, following the disclosures of mass surveillance. Markus was instrumental in the IGF’s inception and, in our view, there is no one who brings greater insight, energy and experience to the IGF than Markus.
It was almost inevitable that the Internet Society and Markus joined forces three years ago, as our organization’s values, principles and goals match his on so many levels, including our common belief that a strong, sustainable, multistakeholder IGF is the best guarantee for the future of a global, open, vibrant and accessible Internet.
I fully appreciate his decision to leave ISOC in September to explore other interests. I’m grateful that he has chosen to work with us, and advise me, and in the interim to help us see the IGF through this important period and to create an IGF support association. We are all grateful at ISOC for the strong Public Policy team and presence that he has built for us, positioning the organization as a respected thought leader in the Internet governance and public policy domain. We will not yet say good-bye to Markus, as he will remain an important part of the Internet Society, continuing to help us pursue our very high priority of a strong IGF.