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The GAC regularly considers a broad range of public policy issues impacting the DNS and other matters regarding the functions of ICANN. This work can result in consensus advice for the ICANN Board or public comment guidance to the ICANN community. This part of the website shares information related to those ongoing topics and activities.

GAC 2017 Election

Last Updated: 12 Apr 2019
Status: Completed
Lead: Outgoing GAC Chair, Thomas Schneider and ICANN GAC Support

An election will be held for the position of GAC Chair only.
As there are five candidates for Vice Chairs nominated, these candidates have been appointed by acclamation.
Please find below the list of nominees: 

GAC Chair:
Ms Olga Cavalli, Argentina
Ms Manal Ismail, Egypt

GAC Vice-Chairs:
Ms Milagros Castañon, Peru
Dr Cherif Diallo, Senegal
Mr Guo Feng, China
Mr Pär Brumark, Niue
Mr Ghislain de Salins, France

The official 2017 voting period will commence on Thursday 28 September 2017 and close on Monday 30 October 2017 at 23:59 UTC

The election results will be announced on Tuesday 31 October 2017 at the GAC morning plenary session in Abu Dhabi, UAE at ICANN60.

Related Content

Background - GAC Chair

The GAC Leadership Team currently comprises the GAC Chair and five Vice Chairs. The GAC Chair is elected for a two-year term and is eligible to stand for re-election to one subsequent two-year term. The current GAC Chair, Thomas Schneider, was re-elected for a second two- year term at ICANN 57 in Hyderabad. During ICANN 58 in Copenhagen, he announced that he will step down as Chair at the end of 2017. Accordingly, a new GAC Chair needs to be appointed before the end of the year, To this end, a nomination period will be opened, followed by an election process if there are more than one candidate for this position.

Background - GAC Vice Chairs

The five (5) current GAC Vice Chairs all formally complete their first one-year term of office at the end of the Puerto Rico meeting (ICANN61, February 2018). All have served a single term of one (1) year and may be re-elected.

If there are more than five candidates for the positions of Vice Chairs, an election must be held.


For this year any election that is required will be held in the lead up to and during the Abu Dhabi Meeting (ICANN60, 28 October - 3 Nov 2017). The results of the election will be announced at the end of the vote counting process during the Abu Dhabi Meeting and will formally take effect at the end of the Puerto Rico Meeting.

The provisions for the election process can be found in the GAC Operating Principles (https://gac.icann.org/operating-principles/operating-principles-june-2017). 


The nomination period for the positions of one (1) Chair and of five (5) Vice Chairs opened during the Johannesburg Meeting (ICANN59, June 2017). 

The nomination period will close 45 days before the start on 28 October 2017 of the Abu Dhabi Meeting, where the elections are due to take place. For this year that means that the nomination period will close on Wednesday 13 September 2017. When the nomination period closes, the following scenarios are possible:

  • If there is only one candidate for Chair, this candidate will be appointed by acclamation.
  • If there are more than one candidate for Chair, there will be an election to appoint the Chair.
  • If there are five or less candidates for Vice Chairs nominated, these candidates will be appointed by acclamation.
  • If there are more than five candidates nominated for Vice Chairs, there will be an election to appoint the Vice Chairs.

The outcomes in these regards, as well as the nominated candidates for each position, will be posted to the GAC website within 14 days after the end of the nomination period (by Wednesday 27 September 2017).

As the Operating Principles are silent on the subject of self-nomination, self-nominations, as well as nominations by others, will be accepted.

To the extent possible, the Vice Chairs should appropriately reflect the geographic and development diversity of the membership (Principle 21).

Nomination Process

GAC Representatives making a nomination will be asked to send an email to the GAC Support Staff (specifically to gac-staff@icann.org). Representatives are asked to include:

  1. The name of their nominee,
  2. The name of the GAC Member the nominee represents, and
  3. Whether the nomination is for the position of GAC Chair or GAC Vice Chair;

The GAC Support Staff will then formally check to ensure:

  • That the nominee is the accredited Representative of a GAC Member (Principle 14);
  • That the GAC Member in question holds current GAC Membership (Principles 15 & 17); and
  • That the nominee of the GAC Member has voting rights (Principle 16).

All valid nominees will be made public via the GAC website by Wednesday 27 September 2017 as well as communicated to the GAC using the gac@icann.org mailing list.

Nominees will be invited by the GAC Support Staff to share their CVs and any comments about their claim to the position via the GAC email list.


If required, elections for the position of Chair and the positions of the five Vice Chairs will be held in the lead up to and during the Abu Dhabi Meeting (October 2015).

Votes shall be taken by secret ballot and will be cast electronically between Thursday 28 September 2017 and Monday 30 October 2017. Voting will officially close at 23:59 UTC on Monday 30 October. It will be a matter for each voting Representative to decide if they wish to make his or her choice public (Principle 34). The GAC Support Staff will provide a secure, online voting facility.

There will be no physical voting available for this election. All votes will need to be cast electronically which allows for vote casting at a date and time that suits the individual voters, between the opening and closing dates.

After the election has closed the GAC Support Staff will scrutinize and declare the result of the election under the supervision of the outgoing Chair (Principle 34). This will include checking to ensure that all votes are cast by eligible GAC Representatives. Election results shall be determined by simple majority. For the election of Chair, the candidate that gets the most votes will be appointed as the new Chair, and for the election of Vice Chairs, the five (5) candidates who gather the most votes will be appointed as Vice Chairs.

Tied Ballots

In the case of a tied ballot, either between two or more nominees for the Chair position or to determine the final (fifth) Vice Chair position, a second, in-person, ballot shall be held during the Abu Dhabi Meeting. The second ballot shall be restricted to the candidates who are subject to the tied vote for the remaining position. If this second round of voting is required, only those GAC members present and able to vote in-person during the session will be eligible to vote. (Principle 32).

Eligibility to Vote

Only GAC Representatives are eligible to vote (Principle 16). GAC Representatives, Alternate Representatives, and Advisors are listed on the GAC website at https://gac.icann.org/about/members. Votes placed by any person whose name is not listed on the GAC website will be deemed invalid. The system used for the electronic election will be charged with the electorate by pre-loading the email address of the Representative for each Member. The system then sends invites for election participation to these emails.

GAC Members have until Friday 25 September to ensure the details listed on the website are correct. Any revisions or corrections to the list should be sent in an email to gac-staff@icann.org. Refer also to ‘How to Change a Nominated GAC Representative’ at https://gacweb.icann.org/display/gacweb/Resources.

Some Representatives may opt to defer to one of the Member’s other listed names to fulfill the voting role. This must be notified by the Representative the same deadline as above to gac-staff@icann.org. The email address listed on the website will be used unless a notification of another email address for this purpose is received by the same deadline as above.

The current Chair and Vice Chairs are eligible to vote.

GAC Observers are NOT eligible to vote (Principle 16). GAC Observers are listed on the GAC website at https://gac.icann.org/about/members

Any questions about the voting process should be directed to GAC Support Staff at gac-staff@icann.org