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Reflecting on Three Years of Board Service and a Commitment to Quality Improvement

Departing Trustee Glenn McKnight looks back at his three years of service as a member of the Internet Society Board of Trustees.

During the past three years we have seen a tremendous amount of productive work by a functional and focused Internet Society Board of Trustees. This included not only the normal board and committee work, but also the extra efforts associated with the selection of a new CEO, creation of the Internet Society Foundation, and meeting the challenges of the proposed PIR/Ethos transaction.

It’s important to learn from these experiences, but it’s also important to focus on achievements and to reassert the core values of the Internet Society as a force of good in the Internet ecosystem. We see the Internet Society focusing its efforts with purposeful strategic direction lead by CEO Andrew Sullivan and his team. As a departing Trustee, I would like to see the Internet Society explore more opportunities for members to learn from one other, including “Meet the Board” to foster improved communication and a means to help teach the community about the role of the Board of Trustees.

During these three years, my work beyond the normal board work has also involved committee work, including volunteering on the Governance and Nominations committees. I was the Nomcom Chair for one of these years. During these years, I witnessed Board Chair Gonzalo Camarillo run Board meetings effectively and on schedule, encouraging a diversity of opinions on the issues we considered. Gonzalo, along with Sean Turner and Richard Barnes as Treasurers and John Levine as Secretary, were key individuals who did a lot of heavy lifting.

Moving forward from the Internet Society, I will be focused on ongoing work in the Internet Governance space, with the launch in September of the Virtual School of Internet Governance. It’s a Massive Open Online Courseware (MOOC) initiative for 400 students in the first year, with the first cohort of 100 students already registered. This free course is a major educational opportunity for Internet Society members, since it’s based upon the extensive taxonomy of the DC Coalition of Schools of Internet Governance and more.

I wish the entire Board (especially the incoming members) a smooth transition and productive years to come. If there is one thing we’ve learned this year, it’s that we need an open, globally-connected, secure, and trustworthy Internet now more than ever.