Final Report of Independent Examiner

Westlake Governance Limited, the independent examiner for the review of the Generic Names Supporting Organization has issued its final report. This marks an important milestone in ICANN's commitment to continuous improvement, accountability and transparency. After extensive consultation with the GNSO and the broader ICANN community, including a formal public comment process and ongoing engagement and participation of the GNSO Review Working Party, Westlake Governance formulated their conclusions.

Westlake determined that the GNSO has made good progress in implementing a Working Group model as the foundation for consensus work, in restructuring the GNSO Council and in improving communications and coordination with the ICANN Board and other structures, among other improvements. Recognizing that organizational effectiveness is a process of continuous improvement, Westlake offers 36 recommendations in the areas of: participation & representation, continuous development, transparency and alignment with ICANN’s future.

In preparation for the eventual implementation of Board-approved recommendations, the GNSO Review Working Party provided their input on feasibility, focusing on prioritization of recommendations and alignment of implementation with other improvements already planned or underway. The ICANN Board took action on the findings and recommendations in June 2016 after consideration of all community input.

Final Report of Review of the GNSO is available here; it can be accessed from the recently updated GNSO Review web page.

Draft Report of Independent Examiner

The Draft Report of Westlake Governance was posted for Public Comment on 1 June 2015.  The Public Comment period was extended and closed on 31 July 2015.


Jen Wolfe, Chair of the GNSO Review Working Party, published a blog on 8 June 2015 to encourage feedback on the Draft Report published by Westlake Governance: "GNSO Review Draft Report Posted for Public Comment – Provide Your Feedback and Make Your Voice Heard!".

360 Assessment

360 Assessment Questionnaire

GNSO Review 360 Assessment: Participate and Make Your Voice Heard! 


GNSO Review Working Party Charter

Webinars and Presentations

22 March 2014Initial Presentation was made by Ray Plzak to the GNSO Working Session during the ICANN meeting in Singapore
7 May 2014

Briefing About the Upcoming Review of the General Names Supporting Organization (GNSO)

This briefing provided the GNSO community with information about the GNSI review process, collected feedback from the community, and answered questions concerning this process. The webinar was recorded and is available for those who were not be able to join the session live.

October 2014Presentation during ICANN50 (London)Presentation - pdf


13 June 2014

SIC Response to Request for Clarification from GNSO Review Working Party relating to structural aspects of the GNSO

Memo from SIC 
16 January 2015

NCPH Meeting in Washington, D.C. to the ICANN Board of Directors - letter from participants

Letter from Participants
16 May 2015Response to Letter from Participants from Steve CrockerResponse from Steve Crocker
24 September 2015

Email from Larisa Gurnick to GNSO Council following up to items addressed during the 24 September 2015 Council meeting.

27 April 2016

Transmittal Letter from James Bladel, GNSO Chair, to Rinalia Abdul Rahim, Chair of the Organizational Effectiveness Committee, on the Working Party's Feasibility and Prioritization Analysis of the GNSO Review Recommendations

29 April 2016

Summary of Recommendations Issued by Independent Examiner; GNSO Review Working Party Feasibility and Prioritization Assessment; Feedback from GNSO Council and Community - document transmitted to the Organizational Effectiveness Committee providing them with a complete overview of all pertinent information in connection with the GNSO Review Recommendations.


Board Resolutions and Organizational Effectiveness Committee Actions

28 September 2013The ICANN Board adopted Resolution 1e, which directs the Board Structural Improvements Committee to schedule the review of the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO), which is mandated by ICANN Bylaws Article IV, Section 4, to commence in 2014, and that preparations for this Review commence as soon as feasible.Resolution 1e
15 May 2016The OEC agreed to make the recommendation to the Board to accept the Final Report of the independent examiner and to adopt the recommendations as recommended by the GNSO Review Working Party, including the modification of the GNSO Council.OEC Minutes
25 June 2016Board receipt and action on the Final ReportResolution
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