US Homeland Security director to head ICANN

ICANN, the global internet domain name regulator has selected cyber security expert Rod Beckstrom as its new CEO, replacing outgoing chief and president Dr Paul Twomey.

In March, Australian ex-pat Twomey, who has held the role for a decade announced that he would not seek renewal of his contract and would move on from ICANN at the end of 2009.

Since then the board has been engaged in a global process of recruiting and appointing a new CEO hiring Egon Zehnder International to conduct a world-wide search.

Beckstrom, was most recently the director of the US Department of Homeland Security's National Cybersecurity Centre. He left the role in March. Prior to joining the Department of Homeland Security, he founded a software company and co-wrote a well-received book on business organization, called The Starfish and the Spider.  The appointment, effective from next Wednesday, was announced in Sydney, Australia on Friday following week long ICANN meetings.

ICANN is currently revamping procedures for adding domain name suffixes and allowing entire Internet addresses to be in languages other than English for the first time.

Beckstrom told The Australian newspaper,25197,25693561-15306,00.html that his first goal would be to meet with the many working groups and stakeholders within ICANN. As part of that he would take  a close look at ICANN's organisational plan to see what was "on track and what wasn’t on track.”