After a little less than 12 years at Afnic, as my term of office comes to an end, I can say without hesitation that there are many ways of describing Afnic: a registration office as seen by the law, an association as defined by its articles of association, a non-profit SME in practice, a registry operator from the customer’s point of view…
But what actually summarizes Afnic best is the richness and diversity of its community.
That community consists first and foremost of its members and various stakeholders, with whom it interacts on a daily basis. As an open association, Afnic values the diversity of its members’ points of view, and must remain attentive to one and all, be they big or small, companies, corporations or individuals alike. For the Chief Executive Officer, that diversity is a constant source of enrichment, and a constant challenge to continually try to understand all their expectations, and to seek in those expectations the options that can serve as a basis for compromise and consensus.
At the international level, Afnic has the immense privilege to be one of a network of extremely close communities, through the Council of European National Top Level Domain Registries (CENTR) for its relations with our European counterparts in the broad sense, and the worldwide ICANN community on the other hand. The members of these communities are more than colleagues, they are partners with whom, over the years, ties of friendship have developed, based on sharing, trust and sometimes sheer hard work, as was the case with the transfer of the IANA function in 2014-2016.
Finally, Afnic’s teams are characterized by their dedication to the service of that community at large, and through it, to the common good. I can testify to their constant commitment, their tenacity, and their extraordinary competence and capacity to adapt to the many changes in our business lines. I have had the honor of serving alongside them, and of achieving with them a number of extraordinary challenges, such as the .fr tenders, the submission of our 17 technical registry operation files to ICANN, or the successive go-lives of the upgrades in our information system, each time to make it more automatic and simpler to use. Even the crises and inevitable conflicts we have faced have strengthened our ties, and have always been seen as opportunities to progress.
In fact, what has most impressed and attracted me about Afnic, and which every new employee has always confirmed, is the common good it represents. Individuals serve the group, the community. As a result, its objectives and assignments do not depend on any one individual, whatever their position in the organization.
Since 2005, Afnic has considerably grown and has considerably changed, but its values have remained equally sound and strong. Its executive committee is experienced and united, and I have every confidence in Pierre Bonis’ capacity to manage the interim period: I know that he will continue the association’s efforts to serve the common good, and that Afnic will continue to strive for an Internet that is secure, stable, open to innovation, and in which French stakeholders will continue to play a leading role.
It is with great emotion that I wish every success to the Afnic community as a whole, and to each of its employees. I feel privileged to have worked within such an unusual but highly efficient organizational model, and to have helped to make it so exemplary. I feel confident I shall continue to help Afnic achieve its assignments in other ways, and that our paths will continue to regularly cross.
So see you soon!