Internet Society

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General Information
Industry: Internet Education, Policy
Stakeholder Group: Technical
Issue Areas: Cybersecurity, Internet of Things, Privacy, Access, Inclusiveness, Capacity Development, Gender Equality, Technical Standards
Country: USA
Region: Global
Founded: 1992



The Internet Society (ISOC) is an international, non-profit organization that promotes Internet use and access.[1]


ISOC was founded in 1992 and leads discussions related to Internet standards, policy and education. The main ISOC offices are located in Geneva, Switzerland and near Washington, USA.

ISOC's mission is to ensure and sustain an open development, use and evolution of the Internet for the benefit of all members and users throughout the world.

The Internet Society organizes conferences and events all around the world, including the INET ISOC Conferences. Users, technologists, and operators are brought together at these conferences to focus on the development of local and global Internet issues.[2]

ISOC is considered the parent corporation of Internet Engineering Task Force.

ISOC Purpose

ISOC's founding document, "Announcing ISOC", defines ISOC's purpose as:

  • The support of the Internet's evolution as a research infrastructure and, also to encourage the involvements of specialized and experienced communities (such as the engineering community) in the Internet's evolution.
  • To inform the academic communities regarding the use of the Internet and the latest applications.
  • To represent the home for other groups which are involved in the development of Internet standards such as IETF and IAB.
  • To encourage and promote scientific applications for the Internet for the benefit of all users, including institutions and organizations who use the Internet.
  • Ensure leadership regarding Internet issues related to its future.
  • To create and sustain a forum for discussions and exploration of innovative Internet applications.
  • To coordinate the initiatives related to Internet development and standards from members throughout the world.[3]

ISOC Membership

The members of ISOC are either individuals or organizations such as governments, corporations and others. In the case of individual members of ISOC, there are no membership fees incurred. ISOC's individual and organizational members are bound by a common interest in maintaining the Internets' viability and global scaling.[4] From all around the world, ISOC is comprised today of more than 80 organizations and 28000 individual members.

ISOC Board of Trustees & Chair

  • Walid Al-Saqaf, Governance Committee
  • Richard Barnes, Compensation Committee, Finance Committee, Governance Committee
  • Kathryn Brown, CEO
  • Gonzalo Camarillo, Board Chair, Compensation Committee, Chair, Executive Committee, ex-officio, Finance Committee
  • Olga Cavalli, Board Member, President of the Internet Society Argentina Chapter
  • Hans Peter Dittler, Governance Committee, Chair, Executive Committee, Finance Committee
  • Hiroshi Esaki, Elections Committee, Chair, Audit Committee
  • John Levine, Secretary, IAOC Member, Audit Committee, Chair, Compensation Committee, Executive Committee, ex-officio
  • Glenn McKnight, Governance Committee
  • Alice Munyua, Compensation Committee, Governance Committee
  • Harish Pillay, Audit Committee
  • Desiree Miloshevic, Compensation Committee, Governance Committee
  • Sean Turner, Treasurer, Finance Committee, Chair, ex-officio, Executive Committee, ex-officio, Liaison to IETF Nominations Committee

Next Generation Leaders Programme

ISOC partnered with the DiploFoundation to create the Next Generation Leaders (NGL) Programme, which focuses on helping Internet professionals between the ages of 20 and 40 to "develop their leadership potential where technology, business, policy, and education intersect". The curriculum is both academic and field based, and components can be completed independently or in conjunction with one another. The programme accepts applicants that have already shown a disposition towards leadership in Internet governance in order to further their potential and create more prepared leaders; it is open only to ISOC members.[5]

The inaugural 2010 class received over 200 applications, 23 applicants were chosen to participate in the programme's first key component, the eLearning Course. The NGL Programme is sponsored by Nominet Trust, AFNIC, and the European Commission. Additional support has been provided by Microsoft, Intel, Afilias, and Google for the NGL’s Internet Society Fellowship to the IETF component.[6]

Internet Hall of Fame

The ISOC Internet Hall of Fame is an annual awards program to publicly recognize those who have made significant contributions to the development and advancement of the Internet. There are three categories of awards: Pioneers Circle, for those who were instrumental in the early design and development of the Internet; Innovators, for those who made outstanding technological, commercial, or policy advances which helped expand the Internet’s reach; and Global Connectors, for those who have helped in the globalization of the Internet.

2017 Inductees



2014 Inductees


Global Connectors


For more information about previous years' inductees, visit here.