Masanobu Katoh

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ICANNLogo.png Formerly a member
of the ICANN Board

Masanobu Katoh served as Chair of the Internal Working Group, Chair of the IDN Committee, Chair of the President's IDN Registry Implementation Committee, and Chair of the Committee of the Board Conflict of Interest. He was also a member of the Board Governance Committee and the Reconsideration Committee.


Katoh began serving as ICANN director starting in November 2000, after being selected to represent the Asia-Pacific region in the At-Large voting process conducted in October 2000. Prior to joining the ICANN Board, Kotah served as the Asia-Pacific representative of the business constituency on the Names Council of the former Domain Name Supporting Organization (DNSO).[1]

In October 2003, the ICANN Board issued a resolution thanking Katoh for his service. It read, in part: "Whereas, Katoh-san has served with honor and distinction as Chair of the Internal Working Group created by the Board to investigate facts and identify issues that may arise concerning Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs); as Chair of the IDN Committee since its creation and until this meeting, which continued and formalized further the work for the Internal Working Group; as Chair of the President's IDN Registry Implementation Committee composed of interested registries, registrars, and technical experts to consider and exchange information on ways to resolve the issues associated with implementation of IDN capabilities in existing top-level domains, created by the Board; as Chair of the Committee of the Board Conflicts of Interest; member of the Board Governance Committee; member of the Reconsideration Committee; Whereas, Katoh-san served in all these functions, as well as in Board meetings and in contact with the ICANN community, with unfailing loyalty, unsinking good humor, unvanishing smile, the will to solve conflicts constructively, clarity of thought, clear sense of ICANN's mission and priorities, and a well-centered, principles-based pragmatic approach; Whereas, Katoh-san has been exemplary in bridging cultures: between his native Japanese and others; between his legal training and technical concerns; between business and broader social concerns, to the benefit of ICANN and its community; Whereas, Katoh-san earned the appreciation of his fellow Directors and many in the community for the above-mentioned qualities and a friendly, open attitude; Therefore, the Board of ICANN resolves [03.174] that the Board expresses its thankfulness and recognition for Katoh-san's company, work, and accomplishments; and wishes him all the best success and happiness in his endeavors, together with a happy family life."[1]

Education and Career

Katoh earned his Bachelors of Law degree at the University of Tokyo and his Masters of Law degree from the University of Michigan Law School. His career began at the Legal Division of Fujitsu Limited, a Japanese global information technology company. He then worked at a multinational law firm in San Francisco for two years, where he worked on international arbitration property laws. Katoh relocated to Washington, D.C. to work on "all public policy issues such as intellectual property policy and legal matters, international trade disputes, science, and technology policy, competition policy and electronic commerce issues".[2]

At the time he was nominated to the ICANN Board (2003), Katoh served as Chairman of the Electronic Commerce Committee of the Forum for the Global Information Infrastructure (GIIC), Chairman of the Internet Law and Policy Forum (ILPF), the U.S. Japan Business Council, the World Information Technology Services Alliance (WITSA), the International Information Industry Congress (IIIC), and the Alliance for Global Business (AGB).[2]

Katoh has published numerous articles on intellectual property laws and co-wrote the book Interfaces on Trial (1995). He supports multiple organizations addressing public policy issues affecting the information technology industry.[2]



  1. 1.0 1.1 2003-10-31 - Thanks to Masanobu Katoh, ICANN. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Nominees of the 2003 Nominating Committee to the ICANN Board, GNSO Council, and At-Large Advisory Committee (June 16, 2003), ICANN. Retrieved November 11, 2015.