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2019 Nomination Committee Candidate

Candidate statement:

I am currently looking for an opportunity to contribute value as a Board Member and I believe my skillsets and experience will be a good match for the Board's desire for an appropriate balance of skills, experience and regional representation within it's Board representation. As a former partner of a national Chartered Professional Accounting firm and the current Chief Information Security Officer of a national insurance company I believe I can offer the following value to CIRA:

• Finance, audit and accounting experience
• Cybersecurity, privacy and risk management experience
• A strong interest in the internet and the supporting infrastructure
• A strong understanding of the governance and strategic role of the Board
• Interpersonal skills developed from working with hundreds of clients, Boards and staff over my career.
• Representation from the Eastern part of Canada (New Brunswick) in line with CIRA’s overall desire to
represent all Canadian users.

I hope my application will be of interest to the members.

Yours truly;

Paul Van Iderstine, CA, CPA, CISSP, GSEC, GCCC, B Eng

Candidate resume:


Answers to mandatory questions:

1. Explain from your perspective what CIRA does and why it matters.

CIRA is member-based, not-for-profit organization that is responsible for operating the .CA Internet country code Top Level Domain as a key public resource for all Canadians in an innovative, open and efficient manner. CIRA also carries out other Internet-related activities for the Canadian Internet community in a similar manner.

Its primary goal is to build a better online Canada. Its vision is to be a world-class Internet Registry that is recognized and valued by the Internet community and Canadians. CIRA is supporting its primary goal through its Community Investment Program by funding innovative projects led by charities, not-for-profits and academic institutions that are making the internet better for all Canadians.

CIRA supports the thought that ensuring all Canadians, no matter their age, income, where they live (or how they live) can be full digital citizens is vital for the future prosperity of both our citizens and our Country and I agree with that position.

2. Why do you want to be on CIRA’s board of directors?

I am currently looking for an opportunity to contribute value as a Board Member and I believe my skillsets, experience and location will fit the Board’s current diversity requirement for specific skillsets and geographical representation (New Brunswick). I also believe in the importance of CIRA as a key public resource for all Canadians and its primary goal and vision.

In summary, I believe I can contribute value as a Board member of CIRA and I would welcome the opportunity to serve other Canadian citizens as they move into a digital future.

3. What specific skills and experience do you have that makes you a qualified candidate for CIRA’s board of directors?

As a former audit and financial advisory partner of a national Chartered Professional Accounting firm and the current Chief Information Security Officer of a national insurance company I believe I can offer the following value to CIRA:

- Finance, audit and accounting experience

- Cybersecurity, privacy and risk management experience

- A strong interest in the internet and the supporting infrastructure

- A strong understanding of the governance and strategic role of the Board

- Interpersonal skills developed from working with hundreds of clients, Boards and staff over my career.

- Representation from the Eastern part of Canada to ensure the regional representation on the Board is in line with CIRA’s overall desire to represent all Canadian users.

4. What do you think are the top 3 challenges and opportunities facing CIRA in the next 3 to 5 years? What approach would you take to addressing these issues?

1) The first challenge/opportunity is maintaining, improving and diversifying the core operations of CIRA to ensure it operates as a world class operation in an environment of constant technological evolution. This has to be a key focus as the core operations fund CIRA’s other mandates of providing a leadership role in shaping Canada’s internet and supporting the engagement of all Canadian citizens, including marginalized groups, as digital users.

The management of the core operations includes many strategic, operational, and risk management components. The strategic oversight of these components is a fundamental responsibility of the Board of Directors in its stewardship of the organization.

2) The second challenge/opportunity is the maximization of CIRA’s impact in its mandate to improve Canada’s internet. This improvement could relate to availability, quality, cost, sovereignty, security or privacy with respect to internet use. The impact will have two key strategic enablers: 1) leverage through partnerships to maximize the impact of the investments, 2) the selection and prioritization of the activities CIRA undertakes. The reality is that CIRA does not have unlimited funds, it must be selective.

3) The third challenge/opportunity is CIRA’s desire to support the engagement of all Canadians as digital users. This includes the marginalized segments of the Canadian population: the seniors, the young, the low income, the Indigenous and the new Canadians. As important as the first two opportunities are, this third opportunity really resonates with me personally. The potential impact of providing access to and education around internet use, security and privacy to a wide range of users to enable their safe use of digital services could be profound and this impact could cover all areas of our country. The ability to fund research, provide grants and provide recommendations to government and educational bodies as a recognized leader in the internet arena could have an impact that is significantly disproportional to the investment.

In summary, the key priority of the Board’s stewardship has to be ensuring the core operations are healthy, as these operations fund CIRA’s other mandates. With this priority in mind, the Board will have to ensure the funding allocation with respect to the three mandates 1) core operations, 2) supporting Canada’s internet and 3) supporting the digital engagement of all Canadians, is strategically appropriate.

The challenge with opportunities in the second and third mandates is identifying areas where CIRA’s contribution could make a meaningful difference. The Board should provide strategic oversight with respect to the focus, funding level and prioritization of those opportunities.

My approach as a new Board member would be to review the strategic and operational roadmap proposed by management. As a collaborative member of the Board, I would then expect to review, challenge and provide input in the subsequent Board discussions and approval of those organizational plans. I would also expect, as part of the Board stewardship responsibility, to receive regular briefings from management on operational, investment, financial and risk management activities along with new developments that may affect the plans already in place.