Janis Karklins was appointed to the ICANN Board of Directors in March 2007, and at the same time assumed the post of Chairman of the Governmental Advisory Committee and liaison from the GAC to the ICANN Board. 
He has served as the Permanent Representative of Latvia to the United Nations in Geneva for the past seven years. During that time, he served as the First Vice-Chairman and, a year later, as Chairman of the Council of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). He has held several elected posts in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the UN Commission of Science and Technology for Development, and has presided over the Group of Governmental Experts on Cluster Munitions in the framework of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW). He also served as the Vice-President of the Preparatory Committee of the Geneva Phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and President of the Preparatory Committee of the Tunis Phase of WSIS.
Ambassador Karklins takes over chairmanship of a GAC that has grown and evolved considerably since its inception in 1999, and its relationship with ICANN and the wider Internet community reflects both the principles and the international multi-stakeholder model successfully applied during the WSIS.
Prior to taking his current post in Geneva, he served as the Undersecretary of State in Latvia. Previously, he served as Counselor in the Latvian Embassies in both France and Finland. He has an engineering degree from the Riga Technical University in Latvia and attended an executive education program for Eastern European diplomats at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University in the USA.