Maureen Hilyard

Country: Cook Islands
Email: hilyard [at]
LinkedIn: LinkedInIcon.png   Maureen Hilyard
ICANNLogo.png Currently a member

ICANNLogo.png Formerly a member

Maureen Hilyard is a project manager and consultant for development projects in the Cook Islands. She has a Master of Management although her former career was in Education. She worked as a Regional Advisor with the New Zealand Correspondence School facilitating distance learning for home-based students working with their teachers in the school in Wellington.


Hilyard moved to the Cook Islands in 2004 under an NZAid contract as the Distance Learning Facilitator with the Cook Islands Ministry of Education working with outer islands students completing their studies through the Correspondence School teachers in Wellington. As part of this project, she helped to establish the internet in all the schools in the outer islands and persuaded the Correspondence School to digitise their learning programmes so that students could use the internet to complete and return work. This saved months of turnaround time of hard copies of school work from students on their small far-flung islands in the Pacific to the school in New Zealand.

Following this contract, Hilyard has worked for the Cook Islands Government and private contracts on a range of development contracts. She founded an NGO - the Cook Islands Internet Action Group (CIIAG), which advocates for internet development focusing on accessibility and affordability. CIIAG became an ALS in 2011. Hilyard is a member of the Telecommunications Advisory Committee that advises the Minister.

Internet Governance

Hilyard joined the Pacific Islands Chapter of the Internet Society (PICISOC) in 2006 after meeting Vint Cerf at a PacINET in Samoa. She ran PacINET in 2008 and joined the Board in 2009. She was Board Chair from 2011 until 2014 and was Secretary in 2015. Her interest in Internet Governance was spurred by a Diplo Course on IG[1] in 2008. Soon after, she was awarded a fellowship to attend her first IGF in Hyderabad. The following year she was an ISOC Ambassador at the Sharm el Sheikh IGF.

ICANN Involvement

In 2010 Hilyard was awarded an ICANN Fellowship[2] to attend her first ICANN meeting, ICANN 39, in Cartegena. She was soon captured by ALAC and a Working Group that was reviewing the regions. The Pacific became more integrated into ICANN. Before attending her next ICANN meeting in 2012, ICANN 43, which was in Costa Rica, Hilyard maintained contact through APRALO and ALAC meetings as well as joining into other working groups.

Maureen has now attended 24 ICANN meetings and is into her fourth term as one of the APRALO representatives on the ALAC. For five years, she was the ALAC liaison to the GNSO. At the 2017 AGM she was appointed the Vice Chair of the ALAC and became the Chair of the ALAC at the 2018 AGM in Barcelona. She established the At-Large Plus Leadership Team, which includes not only ALAC members but also RALO Chairs and ALAC Liaisons to enhance the At-Large Community's involvement on ICANN's Multistakeholder Model approach to decision-making. Hilyard also chaired the Third At-Large Summit in Montreal in November 2019, which was the last face-to-face ICANN meeting held before COVID-19 engulfed the world.

Other involvements

In 2012, Maureen became a member of the Multistakeholder Steering Group of the Asia-Pacific Regional IGF after she attended her first APRIGF in Tokyo. She has been a regular participant in subsequent conferences held throughout the region. (2012 - present)

In 2015, Maureen was elected onto the Board of DotAsia. In June 2020 she was elected as the Chair of the DotAsia Board. Prior to a restructuring of the Board which was led by Maureen Hilyard and Atsushi Endo to ensure that the Board and the DotAsia Organisation was made more accountable for its Governance, Finance and Community Project responsibilities. (2015- present)

In 2018, Maureen was invited to be a member of the Public Interest Registry Advisory Council. Her term will end in 2021 (2018-2021). She has since been added to the new DNS Abuse Institute Advisory Council representing the At-Large Advisory Committee of ICANN (ALAC) (2021 -present)

In 2018, with Caribbean Islands colleague, Tracy Hackshaw a member of ISOC Trinidad and Tobago, they co-founded the Dynamic Coalition of Small Island Developing States in the Internet Economy (DC-SIDS) to bring issues of concern to regions of SIDS to the Global IGF. Each year participants from the two regions gather to explain Internet governance-related activity and progress in their regions.

In 2021, along with other regional leaders she is a newly appointed leader to the APNG (Asia Pacific Next Generation) Advisory Council.