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Hilyard makes history as first Pacific rep on Internet Society Board

Tuesday 25 June 2024 | Written by Supplied | Published in National, Technology


Hilyard makes history as first Pacific rep on Internet Society Board
Cook Islands’ Maureen Hilyard, fourth from left in front, with Internet Society Board and staff members. SUPPLIED/ 24062430

The Internet Society, is an American nonprofit advocacy organisation founded in 1992 with local chapters around the world, recently held its annual general meeting in Washington DC in the United States.

At this year's AGM, three new members were introduced to the Internet Society Board of Trustees.

Maureen Hilyard of the Cook Islands, and a member of the Pacific Islands Chapter of the Internet Society (PICISOC), was elected by ISOC Chapters from around the world as a new ISOC Board of Trustees Board member, the first Pacific Islands representative on the Board.

Hilyard joined the regional group at a PacINET in Samoa in 2006. She had been persuaded to do so by a special guest at the event, Vint Cerf, who was not only one of the founders of the Internet Society, but also of the modern-day internet itself.

She ran a PacINET on Rarotonga in 2008 when she was the eGovernment Project Manager at the Office of the Prime Minister, and again in 2014. Both times, she was given personal sponsorship support for these events from Vint Cerf.

Hilyard became a member of the PICISOC Board (2009-2017) and was the Board Chair (2011-2016).

“The Internet Society is an internationally-constituted not-for-profit organisation based in the United States, which was originally established soon after the internet, to support and promote the internet as a resource that could enrich people's lives and as a force for good in society,” Hilyard said.

“The Board of Trustees of the Internet Society creates policies and provides strategic direction and goals. In coordination with the CEO and staff, the Board develops a high-level strategic action plan that will help staff to meet its ISOC goals.”

In 2010, Hilyard also attended the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers meeting as a fellow and soon after her second fellowship in 2012, she became a member of the At-Large Advisory Community (ALAC).

On her appointment to the ALAC, she was also tasked with the role of ALAC Liaison to the ccNSO (the organisational meeting place at ICANN of country code Top Level Domain members, such as .ck). 

Hilyard was the chair of the ALAC (2018-2022) and retired from the ALAC in 2023 after 10 years on the Advisory Committee.

During 2024, she was appointed as the Asia-Pacific Regional At-Large Organisation delegate to the ICANN Nominating Committee which selects and appoints candidates from the community, to specific leadership positions within ICANN, including the ICANN Board of Trustees.