Mike Roberts

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Michael Roberts.JPG
Michael Roberts Caricature.jpg
Country: USA
Email: mmr [at] darwin.ptvy.ca.us
Userboxcards.png Featured in the ICANN 54 - Dublin playing card deck


ICANNLogo.png Formerly a member
of the ICANN Board

Michael "Mike" Roberts is a policy consultant in the field of internet technology, services, and development, specializing in research and development. He is the current President of the internet policy consulting firm Darwin Group, Inc and Chairman of the United States Unified Community Anchor Network (U.S. UCAN) Task Force.[1] He served as Interim President and CEO of the ICANN from 1998-2001.[2]

Mr. Roberts was the Business Constituency (Small) representative to ICANN's 2011 NomCom.[3]


  • Liberal Arts Graduate - Stanford University
  • Masters in Business Administration (MBA) - Stanford Graduate School of Business

Career History

Mike Roberts held different positions in networking industry and non-government organizations before his election as Interim President and CEO of ICANN. His former jobs include:

  • Vice-President, EDUCOM
  • Staff Director, EDUCOM Networking and Telecommunications Task Force
  • Organizer/Director, Internet2
  • Founder/Executive Director, Internet Society (ISOC)
  • Deputy Director, Stanford University Information Technology Services
  • Founder, CAUSE[4]


Mike Roberts published the following reports and journals:

  • "Information Highways and the NREN, Turning Concepts into Action," EDUCOM Review, March-April 1993
  • "Why Is the Internet So Cheap?", EDUCOM Review (Archives), January 1994
  • "Range War in Cyberspace: A parable of competition and Regulation," EDUCOM Review (Archives), January 1994
  • "Finding a Middle Ground on Encryption," EDUCOM Review (Archives), January 1994
  • "Building the NII: Challenges for Higher Education," EDUCOM Review (Archives), January 1994
  • "Closing the Books on 1993," EDUCOM Review (Archives), January 1994
  • "The Global Information Infrastructure," Testimony on behalf of Internet Society to U.S. Commerce Department Hearing, August, 1994
  • "Range War in Cyberspace," EDUCOM Review, September-October, 1994
  • "Why is the Internet Cheap?," EDUCOM Review, November-December, 1994
  • "Trackage Rights on the Cyber-Railroad," EDUCOM Review (Archives), January 1995
  • "The Internet and the 3 Ds," EDUCOM Review (Archives), January 1995
  • "What is Fair about Fair Use?", EDUCOM Review (Archives), January 1995
  • "Telecom Deregulation: A Phoenix from the Ashes?", EDUCOM Review (Archives), January 1995
  • "Higher Education and the NII, from Vision to Reality," Proceedings of the 1995 Monterey Conference. Co-author and publisher
  • "The Internet, the NII and Higher Education," Invited Address, Conference on High Speed Computing, April, 1995
  • "Internet II: The Next Generation University Network," EDUCOM Review (Archives), January 1996
  • "The Telecommunications Act of 1996: What's in this Bill for Higher Ed?", EDUCOM Review (Archives), January 1996
  • "The End of Telephony," EDUCOM Review (Archives), January 1996
  • "Leveraging Change," EDUCOM Review (Archives), January 1997
  • "Shared Infrastructure and the Future of University Networking," EDUCOM Review (Archives), January 1997
  • "Internet2 - Mission, Goals and Objectives," Policy briefing, January, 1997
  • "Management of the Domain Name System," EDUCOM Policy comments on proceeding initiated by U.S. Department of Commerce, February 1998
  • "The Case for Broadband Evangelism," EDUCAUSE Review, January 2004
  • "Lessons for the Future Internet: Learning from the Past," EDUCAUSE Review, January 2006[5][6]

ICANN Involvement

Michael Roberts was appointed by the initial members of the ICANN Board to serve as Interim President and CEO for the new private non-profit corporation, to oversee as it took over management of the Domain Name System (DNS) from the United States government. Esther Dyson, ICANN's Interim Chairman, explained that Roberts was very much qualified for the position because of his extensive background and experience in the networking industry and his involvement in various non-government organization. Dyson said, "His reputation and credibility will be important assets for ICANN. He knows most of the relevant people and organizations worldwide, but he is known for being nonpartisan."[7]

During Roberts' term as Interim President and CEO, he worked with the initial ICANN Board to establish short and long term mechanisms for ICANN's funding, organize the staff and support for ICANN activities, and quickly establish ways to make the new internet governing body accessible to the global internet community. Roberts and the initial members of the Board also created the specific terms of the transition agreement between ICANN and the Department of Commerce as well as the policies and procedures regarding ICANN's final membership structure, election of Board members, recognition and certification of the specialized Supporting Organizations for Addresses, Protocols, and Domain Names. He was also responsible in communicating and representing ICANN to the different organizations and internet stake holders. In July 28, 1999, Roberts testified before the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Courts and Intellectual Property about the relationship between Internet domain names and intellectual property rights. During his testimony, Roberts informed the Congress that the ICANN Board had started to consider the recommendations stated in the Final Report of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) trademark/domain name dispute resolutions. He informed the US Congress that the WIPO recommendations regarding domain name registration procedures had already been incorporated in the ICANN-Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA). Furthermore, he informed the Congress that the Domain Name Supporting Organization was instituted to handle the evaluation of policies related in creating a uniform dispute resolution policy for domain names.[8]

At present, Roberts was a member of the ICANN Nominating Committee (NomCom), representing the Commercial and Business Users Constituency[9]


  • {{{_pageName}}} - (24 September 2023 - 1 March 2001