Jothan Frakes

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Jothan FrakesP.jpg
Jothan FrakesC.jpg
Affiliation: GNSO
Stakeholder Group(s): ,|xyz|xyz|
Region: North America
Country: USA
Email: jothan [at]


LinkedIn: LinkedInIcon.png   Jothan Frakes
Google+: jothan
Twitter: TwitterIcon.png   @foap
Userboxcards.png Featured in the ICANN 42 - Senegal playing card deck

Userboxcards.png Featured in the ICANN 54 - Dublin playing card deck

Userboxcards.png Featured in the ICANN 76 - Cancún playing card deck

ICANNLogo.png Has attended 10+
ICANN Meetings

Jothan Frakes is a trusted New gTLD industry expert who understands the registry and registrar industries and secondary marketplace for new Top Level Domains and has held a number of senior leadership positions within the industry.

Known for being the co-founder of the primary conference for the domain industry, NamesCon, Jothan currently co-chairs the CPH TechOps and is Vice Chair of the Registrar Stakeholder Group and maintainer of the Public Suffix List. He is the CEO of ICANN Accredited Registrar PLISK.COM and the Co-founder and content producer of the popular MERGE conference, as well as a consultant for registry/registrar strategic and operational projects, and expert witness services requiring ICANN and domain name experience.

Jothan serves as vice-chair, TechOps for the RrSG and as the Co-Chair of the CPH Techops group, which is RrSG and RySG Technical / Operational in nature, and is an informally organized group meeting that gathers on periodical meetings to discuss standards development, technincal aspects and feedback to implementation review teams (IRT) and working group (WG) upon request.

A strong advocate of new Top Level Domain names and Internationalized Domain Names, and advisor to numerous web3 projects, Jothan is co-founder and executive producer of MERGE! and co-founded the NamesCon conference, which was acquired by GoDaddy in 2016. Jothan is active in media and at industry conferences such as ICANN Regional Meetings and the ICANN GDD Summits, as well as NamesCon, MERGE, Cloudfest, DomainingEurope, IoN.Asia, DOMAINfest, T.R.A.F.F.I.C.,, dot-nxt, as a respected speaker, panelist, moderator, and event emcee.[1] He has been a highly active ICANN participant since ICANN's inception.

Recent Work

Jothan works tirelessly to help bring Domain Names out of the background, to educate, evangelize and engage about the benefits, value and utility of domains and DNS as crucial Internet technology. He served part time as the Executive Director of The Domain Name Association, from 2018-2020, and speaks frequently at ICANN and Hosting conferences, adjacent industry events, and operates the MERGE conference as co-founder. Jothan co-founded the NamesCon Domain Industry Conference as well as a number of other events that promote the industry of domain names. Jothan took a very low industry profile from early 2012 through mid 2014 to serve as an external subject matter resource on the project of Initial and Extended Evaluation, consulting with KPMG for ICANN's New TLD program Technical and Financial Evaluation. Prior to that, he was the Senior Vice President of Channel Management at Sedari, and previously was a co-founder of the COO of Minds + Machines (from February 2009 to April 2010); he is currently working to help new top level domain applicants understand the process and make the best solutions for their specific needs.

He is formerly the Senior Director of Strategy and Registry Relations at in the Domain Management division, where he worked with SnapNames and Moniker, and with the Corporate Development team at in the area of Domain Portfolio Acquisitions and Industry Relations.[2]

Conference Participation

Jothan is well known for co-founding NamesCon, Domain Roundtable, CMS Summit, DomainFest, nxt and MERGE!, but he is also is a public speaker on the domain marketplace, having spoken and moderated in multiple domain name trade shows. In addition to speaking at CENTR in 2006 and 2008, the Domainer Meeting in Paris, Jaipa's BOF at the 2007 Interop in Tokyo, and the 2006 Technical Workshop in Frankfurt for Denic, he recently moderated panels at DOMAINfest, TARGETED TRAFFIC in the US and Australia, and the Domain Roundtable, as well as special workshops on the domain marketplace at the Sao Paulo, Brazil and Marrakech, Morocco ICANN meetings in December and July of 2006; he moderated a tutorial panel on the domain aftermarket at the meeting in Lisbon, Portugal in March of 2007, and participated in an ALAC tutorial on Domain Tasting at the San Juan, Puerto Rico meeting in June of 2007, and spoke at both INTEROP Tokyo and HostingCon 2007 Chicago on the overall domain name marketplace.[3] Jothan was the executive event producer for the 2005 and 2006 Domain Roundtable Conferences, responsible for all content, speakers, keynotes, sponsorship, and topics. He has also been involved in both .nxt conferences held in 2011.[4]

Career History

in 2010 Jothan was brought in as founding COO of Minds and Machines / mmx to assist in launching a number of geographic and generic Top Level Domains

From 2006-2009 Jothan worked at developing their customer appreciation industry events, helping navigate policy and compliance with ICANN for the numerous registrar accreditations they held after the acquisition of SnapNames, buiilding and expanding their ccTLD-focused business lines, and growing their international business lines, as well as M&A and corporate development.

Previously, Jothan was the Vice President of Business Development at Name Intelligence, operators of Domain Tools. He worked there from from September 2004 to July of 2006, and prior to that he was a senior manager at Verisign's Naming and Directory Services in engineering, and completed a 7 year career there in June of 2004.

Joshua, Jothan's son, attended the March 2011 ICANN Meeting in San Francisco.

He has specialized in Domain Name technical operations and DNS since 1993, with a particular career focus on ccTLD and gTLD operations and the ccTLD industry, NANOG, and the ICANN process.

In the past two decade, Jothan has been Technical Operator of 5 ccTLDs, and CTO of a registrar/registry company, and is versed in the provisioning and delivery systems for registration and resolution systems used in TLD operations.

Jothan is a member of ISOC, a consulting member of CoCCA, a frequent contributor to CircleID, this Wiki, and ICANNWatch.[5]

Mr. Frakes invented a number of Verisign's technology patents. He is also a volunteer with the Mozilla foundation.[6]

Video Interviews

Jothan was interviewed by Drew Roesner on DomainSherpa's 10/20/2020 episode about the power of domains and their future. Jothan is frequently on the domainer social as a guest.

Jothan was interviewed by Ray King during ICANN 50 in London:

Frogans Technology Conference 3 - NamesCon 2015 Recap Session

Fun Fact

Jothan toured with the top-40 band Stevie 'B' in the late 80s, and to this day works with celebrities in the creative space of music, television and film. Throughout the years, Jothan has made a habit of meeting 2-3 new people who are newcomers at ICANN meetings and helps them acclimate and mentors them. Because he takes the time to do this, he has often been referred to by the nickname "The Mayor of ICANN".[7]

Special Caricatures

ICANN 76 Playing Card Illustration

Jothan is drawn jumping like spiderman with rhino horns on his shoulder armor, a PSL on his chest, and dressed like a red medieval superhero with a crossbow in one hand.

ICANN 42 - Dakar Illustration

Jothan was featured as the King of Spades in the Senegal Playing Card Deck.