OHI interview with Göran Marby
OHI project interviewed Göran Marby on 10th September 2019 in Los Angeles.
Our interview with Göran Marby was conducted in the headquarters of ICANN, where there is no logo on its mansion surface. If you are not familiar with the building, it will be difficult to find the entrance. Luckily this is the third time for me to go to the center of the Internet universe, I managed to find the entrance anyway.
The interview went smoothly and lasted more than an hour.
We talked about the CEO candidate selection of ICANN, how Marby accepted the CEO position and his three years in ICANN. He told us that life in ICANN was full of challenges and enjoyable moments, he has traveled to many countries, attended many ICANN annual meetings (4 times a year) and hundreds of lectures.
Marby was born in Gothenburg, Sweden and used to serve as the Director of the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PST). In May 2016 (more than 3 years ago), he was appointed as the CEO of ICANN. At that time, ICANN was preparing for the management transfer from the U.S. Government to a new non-profit corporation. The reason for the transformation was that the public believed under the management of the U.S. government, it might influence ICANN`s neutrality, which was criticized by many countries around the world, especially after the outbreak of the Prism by Edward Joseph Snowden. Fortunately, Marby’s appointment went well and had been accomplished before Trump officially took office, otherwise, today’s Internet would be totally different.
Marby is a very stable and sophisticated person and he would like to focus on ICANN’s technical stuff instead of political disputes that ICANN was involved in. He believes that the biggest challenge and problem that ICANN is facing are privacy and security rather than political issues. It is his wisdom to stay away from the chaos of politicians. He hardly put a foot wrong in challenging questions and was fine in dealing with all kinds of problems.
For the past three years, Marby has been really helpful in balancing the contradictions and conflicts between the United States and the world. As the saying goes:” The more important the things are, the more you need to keep a low profile, just like being in the center of the storm, the more talented you are, the quieter you are.” I believe that Marby’s style of doing things is described properly in this saying. I still remembered that a famous French scholar said to me: “Compared with the typical Europeans such as German, French and British, the Swedes are not Europeans in terms of their believes and characters, they are closer to the Americans. Maybe this is the reason why ICANN chooses Marby as its incumbent CEO.”
Marby has a very nice Chinese name called MA Yueran (same as a Swedish sinologist), which was given by the Chinese community and reflects the collective wisdom.
In a nutshell, we talked with Marby thoroughly and had the honor to listen to his opinions concerning the development of ICANN. However, the time of our interview is too limited, we hope to interview him again next time and discover more exciting stories about ICANN.
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