Global Domains Division

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Global Domains Division or GDD is a division of ICANN which oversees generic domain operations, domain name industry engagement, and Web services, with the goal of having all of these pieces coming together under one umbrella in order to improve efficiencies and to serve both registries and applicants better.[1] The GDD has a technical services team that supports registries and registrars under contract with ICANN. The services include Emergency Backend Registry Operators, registry and registrar Data Escrow, the Centralized Zone Data Service, and Registry Services Evaluation Process. The GDD team also supports IDNs by managing the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process, the IDN Guidelines, the IDN Variant Program, the Root Zone Label Generation Ruleset, and the coordination of Label Generation Panels. The GDD portal, which went live in March 2014, offers access to Registry Onboarding Information Requests (ONBIR), Sunrise processes, Registry contact information, and TLD startup information.

At ICANN 51 in Los Angeles, the division's growth resulted in a record number of programmed sessions.[2] To expand upon this further, it held its inaugural GDD Industry Summit in September 2015 in Santa Monica, CA.[3]


  • Theresa Swinehart, Senior Vice President, Multistakeholder Strategy & Strategic Initiatives (MSSI), is also the permanent leader of the Global Domains Division and MSSI functions.[4]
  • VP, GDD Accounts and Services
  • Senior Director, GDD Communications
  • GDD Operations Manager
  • Director, GDD Services: Amanda Fessenden
  • GDD Services Program Directors: Dennis Chang, Karla Hakansson