Bruce Tonkin

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Country: Australia
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ICANNLogo.png Currently a member
of the ICANN Board

ICANNLogo.png Currently a member

ICANNLogo.png Currently a member

Userboxcards.png Featured in the ICANN 53 - Buenos Aires playing card deck

Dr. Bruce Tonkin is the Chief Strategy Officer of Melbourne IT. He plans the strategies for long term benefit of the company.[1] In June 2011 he was appointed Vice Chair of the ICANN Board.[2]

Conflicts of Interest

Dr. Tonkin has excused himself from multiple votes on ICANN's new gTLd program as per a conflicts of interest policy passed in 2011 and his employment with a company involved in new gTLD consultancy.[3]

On September 19, 2012, ICANN President and CEO Fadi Chehadé sent a letter addressing criticisms from Senate and Congress regarding ICANN's approach to new gTLDs. Chehadé noted many ways in which ICANN's policies on trademark politics and the 60-day time window for protections offered through Trademark Clearinghouse were unlikely to change.[4] However, according to Tonkin, if groups pushing for stronger new gTLD trademark protection mechanisms could identify five areas of consensus, at least two could be made before new gTLDs go live in 2013. One area of agremeement cited by Domain Incite includes the extension of the mandated sixty days. Tonkin also says that a faster and cheaper Uniform Rapid Suspension system could be implemented.[5]

Past Experience

Mr. Tonkin joined Melbourne IT in 1999 as Chief Technology Officer. Prior to this he has worked as:

  • Chief Technology Officer at WebCentral.
  • Deputy Director, ANSPAG at Monash University.
  • Consultant at AT&T-Bell Laboratories.[6]

On the behalf of Melbourne IT, Tonkin has participated in ICANN Meetings since 2002 and has been on its Board of Directors since 2007.[7][8] He also manages his company's participation in international internet bodies including GNSO meetings.[9]

Bruce represented the ICANN Board on the issue of "Morality and Public Order Objections" before the US government.[10] He is also a member of the oPOC Working Group[11] and a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He was elected Chair of DNSO and GNSO Councill in 2002. In 2006, GNSO selected him as a Board Member for ICANN.[12]


Bruce has a degree of Bachelor of Engineering. He is also a PhD in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.[13]


Gray Chynoweth interviews Bruce at ICANN 42 in Dakar, Senegal, on the contention between law enforcement organizations, ICANN's GAC, registrars, and the Multistakeholder Model.