New plan, renewed focus, new roles

Jordan Carter3 April, 2019
A blog post by Jordan Carter, InternetNZ Chief Executive

On 29 March, our Council signed off InternetNZ's Annual Plan and Budget for the year last Friday, 29th March. This plan includes a couple of step changes that are relevant to the new strategy, the work we do and the unique role we play as guardian for the .nz space and helping New Zealand harness the power of the Internet.

Firstly, and long-signalled, this plan allows for an increase in our resourcing and approach to security. This is also directly relevant to our strategic goals, specifically an upgrade to the security framework of the .nz domain name space, and in the many policy debates which involve security and trust (one of our focus areas) - not least following the terrorist attack in Christchurch last month.

Our approach to this is to start by appointing our first ever Chief Security Officer. This person will build a new team and function focused on ensuring that .nz is world-class in its approach to security, and will help us improve our approach to security in the .nz domain name space and in our organisation, as well as bringing subject expertise to our work in advancing a more secure and trusted Internet for New Zealanders. We will be looking for a specialist that can lead and advise us on our approach; that can also work with stakeholders and represent the organisation with these stakeholders.

This is important work that we need to get started on as quickly as possible. We are currently refining this role, and are aiming to kick off a permanent appointment process in the coming months. Ideally, we will be able to confirm the permanent resourcing of this role in July.

Secondly, I believe a key part of delivering this plan will be continuing and increasing the effectiveness and outcomes from our International presence. Our engagement with multistakeholder platforms like ICANN, the Internet Governance Forum, and others has never been more important as we continue our work to maintain the open foundations of the Internet and as we stay abreast of conversations about the global network of networks that is the Internet. International engagement is an important aspect of our strategic goals to improve the policy foundations of .nz and to engage on the maintenance of an open Internet.

To help make sure we are coordinated, influential and connected on this international stage, I have created a new role - a Chief Advisor, International. This is a senior role reflecting the importance of this work, intended to be of sufficient mana to represent the organisation internationally alongside myself as Chief Executive. The focus of the role is supporting me in getting our strategy right in the Internet Governance environment, and making sure we have the best approach and contributions in these environments. The role will also help me lead the coordination of all of our International work across the organisation.

It is a role that requires the credibility, capability and excellence to work with our wide range of domestic and international stakeholders that are part of our international stakeholder set. Adding another set of capable hands is intended to help all of us manage our workload on our international commitments, and aim our international engagements right to enable our strategy.

I’m pleased to announce that we already have an excellent person to fill this role, in Dr. Ellen Strickland. Ellen will move into this role from her current role as Policy Director.

Ellen has been involved in international multistakeholder forums for over a decade; she has been working in the area since the original World Summit on the Information Society process which created the Internet Governance Forum. She has also been an important part of our engagement and leadership internationally over the last six years. She has a doctorate in multilateral internet policy, and prior to being at InternetNZ has substantial experience in research and teaching about global Internet governance and policy.

I can’t think of anyone better to work with me in  our new focus and delivering a step change in this International work, and I’m delighted that she’s up for taking on this role. We will be looking to make this transition to this new Chief Advisor role in May or June. That also then means we will be looking for a new Policy Director, of which you will see more information in the very near future.

The Policy Director role will be more focused on domestic policy matters, and I expect that the next person in that role will be Wellington-based. As part of managing this transition, I want to assure you all that I’m conscious of demand and leadership in our Policy team, particularly given the workload already present here.

Both of these new roles, Chief Advisor and Chief Security Officer, will report to the Chief Executive. They will work with our Senior Leadership Team, leading important areas where we are investing in step changes to grow our capabilities, aligned with our strategy. Top quality subject matter knowledge will be vital to making the impact we need to make, and these roles and the people in them will work across the organisation to bring us the dedicated, expert capacity we need to deliver to our strategy.

Congrats to Ellen on the new role, and - if you know anyone who would make a good Chief Security Officer for us - let them know a role is on the way.

(Policy Director job advertisement is at