Maria Farrell

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Country: Ireland
Email: maria.farrell [at]


LinkedIn: LinkedInIcon.png   Maria Farrell
Twitter: TwitterIcon.png   @mariafarrell
ICANNLogo.png Formerly a member
of ICANN's NomCom

ICANNLogo.png Formerly a member
of the ICANN Staff

Userboxcards.png Featured in the ICANN 50 - London playing card deck

Maria Farrell Maria Farrell is a writer and independent consultant; her expertise is in Internet policy development, communication, and community-building.[1] She currently serves as a Communications Consultant and Task Manager of Electronic Waste (Brazil) for infoDev, an IT division within The World Bank.[2]

Maria Farrell has been the representative of the Non-Commercial Users Constituency on ICANN's NomCom for both the 2011 and 2012 committee.[3][4]

She is a contributor to the blog, Ms. Farrell is a former ICANN staff member.

ICANN Involvement

Ms. Farrell represents the Non-Commercial Users Constituency on the Nominating Committee,[5] she has been a part of the NomCom since December, 2010.[6] At ICANN San Francisco, Maria Farrel noted at the public comment forum how Rod Beckstrom was forcing the departure of a large number of experienced staffers under his management of the organization, herself included; she openly criticized this "hollowing out" of expertise within the body and decried the degradation of its international reputation.[7] That opinion was met with sustained applause a the forum, and was seconded by Nominet CEO Lesley Cowley.[8]

From 2005 to 2010, she was a member of the ICANN Staff, first as the Policy Support Officer for the GNSO and later as the Director of Information Coordination. She was promoted from the former to the latter in 2007. That role saw her taking on significant responsibilities, including: managing corporate affairs, internal communications with the Board and other departments, and the management of staff involved with the President's Strategy Committee, the Translation Unit, and the NomCom.[9][10]

There was a general disapproval of closed door meetings convened in November, 2012, by new ICANN CEO, Fadi Chehadé, at the bequest of ICANN's Intellectual Property Constituency and Business Constituency, and Ms. Farrell was the first to submit an official complaint to the ICANN Ombudsman.[11] In a public post she went on the explain, "The complaint is not simply about lack of consultation of constituencies, but about secrecy of the process re. notice, transcripts and documentation, and how it undermines the existing processes whilst privileging a particular interest group." The complaint was brought up by the Ombudsman who asked for further input. However, ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé admitted some 2 months later that convening the meetings and producing the Strawman Solution to the Trademark Clearinghouse was the biggest mistake of his first months as CEO.[12]


Maria Farrell has work in IT and Internet policy outside of ICANN as well, including International experience in London and Paris.[13] For two years she was the Policy Manager of IT, e-commerce, and telecommunications for the International Chamber of Commerce. She has also worked as a Policy Executive for the Law Society of England and Wales, and as a Policy Adviser for the confederation of British Industry.[14]

Early in her career she was also involved in Irish film and television production.[15]


Maria Farrell recieved her MA in Interactive Media from Dublin University in 1999; she had previously studied abroad at McGill University in Montreal, where among other activities she took part in a Debate team that saw her placing in competitions at Harvard, the University of Toronto, and Concordia. She recieved her MSc in Government and Comparative Politics in 2000 from the London School of Economics.[16] From, 2004 to 2006, while she was working with ICANN, she was also pursuing a MBA with Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School.[17]