A few blogs and a swarm of tweets have announced that former President Bill Clinton will speak at ICANN’s Silicon Valley-San Francisco public meeting in March. Some are asking why ICANN hasn’t announced this yet.
While it’s true that we have invited and he has accepted, we’re still working on a contract, and without it a formal announcement cannot be made.
We are also aware that ICANN meetings are highly structured, work-intensive events, and we want to be sure that an appearance by President Clinton enhances the meeting’s outcomes rather than distracts from them.
We’ve seen some wildly inflated figures of what President Clinton would be paid to speak. His speaking fees are a matter of public record, and you can rest assured that the half-million and million-dollar figures some have reported are way out of line. The fees, by the way, will be covered by a targeted sponsorship donated specifically for this purpose. In other words, ICANN’s budget is not financing this speaking engagement.
We hope to quickly and successfully conclude the process to allow President Clinton to take part in the meeting. His impressive track record of emphasizing the common humanity of all world citizens blends perfectly with ICANN’s mission of enabling the entire globe to unite online. Stay tuned for further developments – but don’t believe everything you read.