Heather Dryden

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Region: North America
Country: Canada
Email: heather.dryden [at] ic.gc.ca
LinkedIn: LinkedInIcon.png   Heather Dryden
ICANNLogo.png Currently a member
of the ICANN Board

ICANNLogo.png Currently a member

Userboxcards.png Featured in the ICANN 41 - Singapore playing card deck

Heather Dryden served as the Chair of ICANN's GAC,[1] and the GAC's liaison to the ICANN Board from June 2010 to October 2014.[2]

Ms. Dryden is a Senior Policy Advisor at the International Telecommunications Policy and Coordination Directorate at the Canadian Department of Industry.

Ms. Dryden holds a BSc. (Hons) Degree in International Politics and Strategic Studies.

Governmental Work

Ms. Dryden has worked for the Department of Industry since 2002 where she is responsible for Internet governance and DNS policy matters. Ms. Dryden coordinates and develops Canadian government positions and policy, and represents Canada on the GAC; she also represents Industry Canada on the CIRA Board of Directors, and participates in the American Registry for Internet Numbers – Government Working Group (AGWG).

Ms. Dryden also has worked with the United Nations system on Internet-related matters, including the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). She has been appointed to serve on the Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) since 2008. Ms. Dryden was part of the Canadian delegation to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and its preparatory negotiations in 2004-2005.

Ms. Dryden’s worked at the NATO Information Office in Moscow before joining Industry Canada. She speaks English and French, and has a working understanding of Russian.[3]


Ms. Dryden was selected by the Governmental Advisory Committee to serve as Interim Chair at the Brussels meeting until the conclusion of the first GAC meeting of 2011. Heather has now been elected to a full term as Chair of the GAC. This term will expire at the end of the first meeting of 2013.

GAC Early Warnings

Ms. Dryden issued the most GAC Early Warnings to new gTLD applicants of any national representative in the organization, with a total of 129 warnings. Most of her warnings fall under two categories: warnings issued to applicants applying for generic words with the intent to use them for their own exclusive purposes, and strings related to regulated industries that do not contain enough measures to protect against public confusion and possible harm. The prior group, generic terms registered for corporate use, is perhaps most famously seen in many of Amazon's applications. There was public opposition to such a possibility outside of the GAC, and Ms. Dryden's line of argument is that closed generic TLDs will stymy competition on the Internet and not work in the public's best interest. The full list of warnings can be seen here.[4][5]