Harald Alvestrand

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Harald AlvestrandCaricature.jpg
Country: Norway

LinkIcon.png   www.alvestrand.no

LinkedIn: LinkedInIcon.png   Harald Alvestrand
Twitter: TwitterIcon.png   @alvestrand
ICANNLogo.png Formerly a member
of the ICANN Board

Harald Alvestrand is a prominent Computer Scientist and International IT Policy Developer. He is currently the IETF Liaison to ICANN's Board of Directors.

Alvestrand has served in numerous official ICANN positions, been a part of WIPO panels, and worked for the Norwegian ccTLD Registry; he also has extensive experience with the IETF, eventually acting as its Chairman. He was born in Norway in 1959.[1]

Mr. Avestrand currently works as a Tech Lead for Google, a Board Member at UNINETT Norid AS, a Board Member at the Unicode Consortium, and as the founder and Executive Director of the Linux Counter Organization. While he has worked on a variety of projects at Google, he has most recently been engaged in leading the team developing Google Alerts.[2]


Norwegian Internet

Harald Alvestrand continues to serve as a board member of Norid, the .no domain name registry.[3]

Harald worked for Norsk Data, UNINETT (the University Network of Norway), EDB Maxware, and Cisco Systems.[4]


Harald has been active in Internet standardization with the IETF since 1991, and has written a number of RFCs, including RFC 1766, the first standard for language tags in Internet protocols.

He has held a number of formal positions within the IETF. He was the Director of the Applications area from 1995 to 1998, the Director of the Operations & Management area from 1998 to 1999, and a member of the Internet Architecture Board from 1999-2001. At that point, he became Chair of the IETF, serving until 2006.[5]


Mr. Alvestrand was the Alternate Chair of ICANN's DNSO General Assembly, serving from December, 1999 to April, 2001. He was selected by ICANN's NomCom to serve on the ICANN Board in 2007; he served through the 2010 Annual Meeting in Cartagena.[6]

Other Industry Participation

Harald was a part of WIPO's panel of experts on the DNS from 1998 to 1999. He is a current Board Member of the Unicode Consortium,[7] and has served on that body since 2001.[8] He created the Linux Counter Organization in 1993, has served on its board, and is acting as its Executive Director.[9][10]


  • Best Current Practices
    • RFC 2148 (BCP 15) Deployment of the Internet White Pages Service
    • RFC 2277 (BCP 18) IETF Policy on Character Sets and Languages
    • RFC 5226 (BCP 26) Guidelines for Writing an IANA Considerations Section in RFCs
    • RFC 2438 (BCP 27) Advancement of MIB specifications on the IETF Standards Track
    • RFC 1766 + RFC 3066 Tags for the Identification of Languages (was BCP 47)
    • RFC 3932 (BCP 92) The IESG and RFC Editor Documents: Procedures
    • RFC 3935 (BCP 95) A Mission Statement for the IETF
  • Other important RFCs[11]
    • RFC 2130 (this memo prepared the UTF-8 50-years plan in RFC 2277)
    • RFC 2157 Mapping between X.400 and RFC-822/MIME Message Bodies
    • RFC 3282 Content Language Headers (draft standard)
    • RFC 4450 Getting Rid of the Cruft (major RFC cleanup work)
    • RFC 5242 A Generalized Unified Character Code: Western European and CJK Sections (with John Klensin) April 1, 2008

All of his RFCs can be seen here.


He graduated from the Norwegian Institute of Technology in 1984.[12]


He lives in Trondheim, Norway with his wife and three children.