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Governance Structures

Membership Criteria

Membership in the GigaNet is open to individual researchers who have contributed to the scholarly literature on Internet governance. In general, members also would hold a PhD or other advanced degree and be affiliated with a university, research institution, or related organization. However, in reviewing membership applications, GigaNet will focus on overall scholarly profiles rather than strict conformity with these degree and affiliation criteria. If you are interested in joining GigaNet, please contact the Membership Committee chair, Dr. Konstantinos Komaitis (k.komaitis at

Governance Structures

The overall governance and decision-making body of the GigaNet is the eight-person Steering Committee. The Steering Committee (SC) is comprised of four executive officers and the chairs of the four standing committees. All minutes and decisions of the Steering Committee shall be recorded and posted on the GigaNet site within two weeks of a meeting.

Steering Committee

Executive Officers

GigaNet has four executive officers: (1) Chair; (2) Vice-Chair; (3) Secretary; and (4) Treasurer. These officers constitute an Executive Committee (ExCom) that is responsible for coordinating the planning and execution of administrative tasks.

Briefly, the responsibilities of each of these officers are as follows:

Chair: Acts as the main point of public contact with the network, leads the coordination of its operations, and prepares the agenda for and facilitates the discussions of Executive Committee and Steering Committee meetings.

Vice-Chair: Assists the Chair and performs the Chair’s functions in her/his absence.

Secretary: Keeps minutes of Executive Committee and Steering Committee meetings and prepares summaries for the general membership. With the support of the Executive Committee, coordinates and tallies the results of GigaNet elections.

Treasurer: Manages funds and other resources received by the GigaNet.

Standing Committees

GigaNet has four standing committees: (1) Membership; (2) Program; (3) Communication; and (4) Outreach and Partnerships. The chair of each committee serves on the Steering Committee.

Briefly, the responsibilities of each of these standing committees are as follows:

Membership: Receives and approves applications for membership; provides recommendations for membership expansion.

Program: Coordinates the program for the annual GigaNet scholarly symposia to be held in conjunction with meetings of the United Nations’ Internet Governance Forum. Develops a Call for Papers, defines session themes, coordinates the review of submissions, and selects papers and presentations for inclusion in symposia programs.

Communication: Develops the web site, coordinates the evaluation of technology, and develops and implements a strategy for communication and collaboration inside GigaNet.

Outreach and Partnerships: Develops partnerships and cooperation with other academic and policy entities and, with the approval of the Steering Committee, oversees use of the GigaNet name by affiliated events, activities and organizations.

Participation in the standing committees is open to all GigaNet members. Ad hoc committees or other organizational structures can be created by the Steering Committee to address any issues that arise, and their time frame will be delimited upon creation.

Elections and Terms of Office

The inaugural Steering Committee takes office and the Start-Up Group is abolished 1 April 2007. The inaugural Steering Committee will serve until 31 January 2008. Within one month after the end of the Internet Governance Forum, GigaNet members will elect new officers and chairs to one-year terms lasting from 1 February to 31 January of the following year. Incumbents may stand for reelection.

To ensure that the election process is as inclusive as possible, the polling period should span a week.

We hope to recruit new members for the GigaNet leadership, especially colleagues from developing countries; the ultimate goal is to have a Steering Committee that is diverse and balanced.
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