Barbara Ann Clay

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ICANNLogo.png Currently ICANN Staff

Barbara Ann Clay is the former Vice President for Communications and Marketing at ICANN.[1] Her tenure at the organization ran from 2010 until she resigned in September, 2012.[2]

ICANN Dakar PR Mishap

Following ICANN 42 in Dakar, Senegal, Ms. Clay sent a letter to local authorities complaining about the hotel that they had been recommended for their stay. She wrote to IT Minister Moustapha Guirassy that the poor accommodations at Hotel des Almadies compromised the reputation of ICANN, not to mention the hotel and the whole country of Senegal. The letter, which can be seen here, was also cc'ed to ALAC members, GAC members, and the Senegalese GAC representative, Ndeye Maimouna Diop Diagne. The letter accompanied a larger ALAC survey and report that was undertaken by a number of members of that community, including work from Olivier Crepin-Leblond, and Evan Leibovitch, Chair and vice-Chair respectively. The ALAC report listed a number of problems, from seemingly minor to potentially harmful, with the hotel and its personnel. The report effectively closed by noting that, while ICANN certainly should hold its meetings around the world and in developing countries, that the proper authorities should be involved, and the sufficient research should be done, when selecting venue and accommodation location. The survey resolved that the ALAC chair should have the right to convene a vote should improper accommodation be provided, the vote would allow the ALAC members to leave immediately and require ICANN to pay any extra, necessary expenses. [3]

Exactly a week later, on November 30, 2011, Barbara Ann Clay sent an apology letter to Minister Guirassy, stating, "The [prior] letter was sent without appropriate clearance by ICANN's leadership and so it was not an official statement of ICANN's position."[4]

Career History

Prior to joining ICANN, Barbara was Director of Communications at Transparency International in Berlin, Germany, a position she held from 2005 until 2007. From 2001 to 2002, she served as Director of Communications at the Committee on Ways and Means, a tax-writing committee of the House of Representatives in the U.S. Congress. From 1992 until 2000, Barbara was the Director of Communications at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London, a multilateral institution that helps to finance the transition of post-Communist Eastern Europe. From 1990 to 1992, she was Director of Public Affairs at the U.S. Treasury, and prior to that held several positions at the White House Office of Management and Budget.[5][6]


Clay received a B.A. in Theater in 1979 from the State University of New York College at Oneonta, and did graduate work in Public Administration at The George Washington University. She also studied at the Université de Neuchâtel in Switzerland.[7]


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