This is the workspace for the Root Server System Governance Working Group (RSS GWG). 

Purpose and Mandate

The Root Server System Governance Working Group (GWG) is the core of the community-driven process to develop a final cooperation and governance model for the RSS. The GWG shall embrace the principles outlined in “RSSAC037: A Proposed Governance Model for the DNS Root Server System” (RSSAC037).


In fulfilling its purpose and mandate, the GWG shall respect the independence of the Root Server Operators (RSOs) as defined by the Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC) in “RSSAC042: RSSAC Statement on Root Server Operator Independence.”


The GWG shall develop a final model (“GWG Model”) of cooperation and governance for the RSS and present its deliverable to the RSSAC, ICANN Board, ICANN community, IETF/IAB, and RSOs. The GWG shall refer to RSSAC037 and the Concept Paper as source documents, as well as feedback from Public Comment.

The GWG Model will inform the discussions and deliberations of the ICANN Board in responding to RSSAC037 and determining next steps in the evolution of the RSS in conjunction with the RSSAC and RSS stakeholders. 


The GWG shall comprise nineteen (19) members due to their subject matter expertise:

  • Two (2) from the Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO)
  • Two (2) from the Internet Engineering Task Force/Internet Architecture Board (IETF/IAB)
  • Two (2) from the Registries Stakeholder Group (RySG)
  • One (1) from each of the 12 Root Server Operators (RSOs)
  • One (1) from the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC)

The GWG shall also comprise three (3) liaisons:

  • One (1) from the ICANN Board
  • One (1) from the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA)
  • One (1) from the Root Zone Maintainer (RZM)

The members and liaisons will provide input that informs GWG discussions and decisions. Every member of the GWG will provide a statement of interest and disclose potential conflicts of interest. GWG members are not compensated.

Membership on the GWG will not be the only source of stakeholder participation. Rather, the GWG is expected to undertake proactive engagement and consultation with the wider community as part of its process. The GWG will seek informed contributions when necessary. 

The At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC), Address Supporting Organization (ASO), Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC), broader Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) community, and global Internet community will be invited to provide input on the outcomes of the GWG through Public Comment.


The GWG shall elect from its members a chair to manage its work and preside over GWG meetings.


The GWG shall operate on the basis of consensus. For the purposes of GWG work and outcomes, consensus, to be determined by the chair, is based on general agreement without any formal objections. 


The GWG shall work openly and transparently. GWG mailing lists shall be publicly archived. GWG meetings shall be recorded and publicly archived; minutes of GWG meetings shall be published as soon as possible following approval by the GWG. The GWG shall conduct its work remotely and align any meetings with existing events already supported by ICANN org.

Work Plan and Reporting

The GWG shall adopt, publish, and adhere to a work plan. The GWG shall provide a monthly report to the ICANN Board (through its Technical Committee) and a report to the ICANN community ahead of every ICANN Public Meeting.


The GWG shall dissolve after the RSSAC, ICANN Board, ICANN community, IETF/IAB, and RSOs consider its outcomes.

Resources and Support

ICANN org shall provide necessary resources and support staff for the GWG. The support staff are designated by ICANN org and report to ICANN org.

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