We are about to bid farewell to a special board member at CIRA. Paul Andersen is both our longest-serving director and the longest-serving chair of our Board of Directors in the organization’s history.
Paul was elected to the Board during the very first Board of Directors election in 2000, and has served almost continuously since then. For the past five years, Paul has been the Chair of the Board.
It’s a rare thing for an organization – especially one in high tech – to have a consistent voice and vision on its board, but that’s exactly what Paul has provided. His fingerprints are all over .CA. During his tenure as Chair, we undertook some of the most complex and forward-looking projects in the history of .CA:
- In 2008, CIRA undertook a wholesale redesign of the entire .CA registry system. Not a single aspect of the registration process was left untouched, from technological processes to policies and business practices. The result? A streamlined registration process from start to finish. As Chair (and as an experienced .CA Registrar), Paul helped guide this project – the largest one in the history of .CA – from inception right through to its implementation.
- Paul was instrumental in championing the implementation of DNSSEC, a set of extensions that provide an extra layer of security to the domain name system (DNS). This past January, Paul was on-hand as we took a major step forward in making .CA more safe and secure when we published a signed .CA zone file.
- While I’m on the technological front, anyone who knows Paul knows he is an outspoken advocate for IPv6, the next generation Internet Protocol. CIRA’s website was made permanently IPv6-ready in 2011 as part of World IPv6 Day, in part at Paul’s behest .
- At the recently held Canadian Internet Forum and CIRA AGM, Paul announced a major new funding initiative by CIRA aimed at strengthening the Internet in Canada. Once it is officially launched, CIRA will distribute up to one million dollars in total through its Community Investment Program (CIP) over the next year to community groups, academics and not-for-profits for projects that makes the Internet even better for all Canadians.
Of all of his accomplishments over his time with CIRA, I think this is the one he is most proud of. He has always championed CIRA’s social mandate, encouraging us to ensure .CA performed well as a top-level domain in order that we may give back to the Internet community, either through strategic investments or expertise. This is definitely evident in our work in facilitating Internet Exchange Points in Canada.
Paul played a role in each of these projects, from advocating for CIRA to implement DNSSEC and to adopt IPv6 to championing CIRA’s social role with the CIP. Under his leadership, CIRA became a forward-looking, world class registry.
While Paul’s tenure with CIRA may have come to an end, he’s a common sight at a myriad of tables where the future of the Internet is discussed. As a true champion for the Internet in Canada, I’m sure he will continue to shape its development for years to come.
Paul: from all of us at CIRA, thank you.