The overall governance and decision-making body of the GigaNet is the eight-person Steering Committee. The Steering Committee (SC) is comprised of four executive officers and the chairs of the four standing committees. All minutes and decisions of the Steering Committee shall be recorded and posted on the GigaNet site within two weeks of a meeting.
GigaNet has four executive officers: (1) Chair; (2) Vice-Chair; (3) Secretary; and (4) Treasurer. These officers constitute an Executive Committee (ExCom) that is responsible for coordinating the planning and execution of administrative tasks.
Briefly, the responsibilities of each of these officers are as follows:
- Chair: Acts as the main point of public contact with the network, leads the coordination of its operations, and prepares the agenda for and facilitates the discussions of Executive Committee and Steering Committee meetings. Currently this position is held by Marianne Franklin, her term ends in 2018.
- Vice-Chair: Assists the Chair and performs the Chair’s functions in her/his absence. Currently this position is held by Dmitry Epstein, his term ends in 2017.
- Secretary: Keeps minutes of Executive Committee and Steering Committee meetings and prepares summaries for the general membership. With the support of the Executive Committee, coordinates and tallies the results of GigaNet elections. Currently this position is held by Daniel Oppermann, his term ends in 2018.
- Treasurer: Manages funds and other resources received by the GigaNet. Currently this position is held by Madeline Carr, her term ends in 2017.
GigaNet has four standing committees: (1) Membership; (2) Program; (3) Communication; and (4) Outreach and Partnerships. The chair of each committee serves on the Steering Committee.
Briefly, the responsibilities of each of these standing committees are as follows:
- Membership Committee: Receives and approves applications for membership; provides recommendations for membership expansion. Currently this position is held by Joanna Kulesza, her term ends in 2018.
- Program Committee: Coordinates the program for the annual GigaNet scholarly symposia to be held in conjunction with meetings of the United Nations’ Internet Governance Forum. Develops a Call for Papers, defines session themes, coordinates the review of submissions, and selects papers and presentations for inclusion in symposia programs. Currently this position is held by Milton Mueller, his term ends in 2018.
- Communication Committee: Develops, updates, and maintains the web site and its content, as well as any related social media. Develops and implements a strategy for communication inside GigaNet and, in liaison with the Outreach and Partnerships Officer, facilitates collaboration among GigaNet members. Currently this position is held by Isadora Hellegren, her term ends in 2017.
- Outreach and Partnerships Committee: Develops partnerships and cooperation with other academic and policy entities and, with the approval of the Steering Committee, oversees use of the GigaNet name by affiliated events, activities and organizations. Currently this position is held by Carolina Aguerre, her term ends in 2017.
Participation in the standing committees is open to all GigaNet members. Ad hoc committees or other organizational structures can be created by the Steering Committee to address any issues that arise, and their time frame will be delimited upon creation.
Elections Process and Terms of Office
[Developed by the Steering Committee in July 2008, and sent to membership for review. Updated by the Steering Committee in December 2016]
1. The term of appointment of Steering Committee members is two years.
1.1. The election takes place in staggered form:
- Chair, Secretary, Membership, Program are elected in odd years, with the first time for a two year term in 2009.
- Vice Chair, Treasurer, Outreach, and Communication are elected in even years, with the first time for a two year term in 2010; the term of these four positions lasts one year in 2009.
- Any GigaNet member may nominate any other GigaNet member as a member of the Steering Committee. Prior to submitting a nomination, the nominating GigaNet member has to make sure that the nominated GigaNet member is willing to accept the nomination, if elected. Self nominations are also welcomed.
3. [2016 update] All candidates need to be nominated, or self-nominate on the list. All nominations require one seconder only (no “plus one” messages on the list).
3.1. [2016 update] The above applies to any SC members who wish to stand again for office, or who are standing for another SC position.
3.2. [2016 update] Current SC members do not formally nominate or second any candidates.
4. A GigaNet member may only be nominated for a single position/function.
5. [includes an update from 2016] The election process is done by electronic voting. The Vice-Chair and Secretary will act as Election Officer for the year in which either role is not open for election. The Election Officer is charged with managing the election process and with providing a report to the membership following the election, ensuring transparency and accountability.
6. Election takes place on the basis of a relative majority of votes. In case of equal numbers of votes, the Communications Chair will randomly select a ballot, if no amicable settlement is reached otherwise.
7. It would be desirable if the members of the Steering Committee would reflect diversity including geographical origins, gender, and disciplines. Additionally, it is desirable that Steering Committee members do not remain in the same position for more than two terms.
8. In the case of a vacancy after an election has been held, the GigaNet Chair may appoint a GigaNet member to the open position, with confirmation by a majority of the Steering Committee and notification to the membership.
See list of Past GigaNet Officers