About Maarten Botterman 


It is time to open into a new reality: change is upon us, and we are now in a step change from what we used to know. Whereas we can hide from it successfully, for a while, ultimately it will affect us. At the end of the 19th century, water carriers in Paris, France, were on strike as the waterpipes infrastructure that the city was building, bringing fresh water in every home, would take them out of business. Too often, it feels like that is what we are trying to do, today. As nations, protecting what used to be important against change. As organizations, trying to continue to do what was needed, once - even if this is not what the market needs today, or tomorrow. And as people, just because we know what we have, and do not know what we would get if we change.

My aim is to recognise this new reality and live my life to the fullest.

Maarten Botterman

My focus

The world we used to know is history. It has formed the fundaments of today’s societies, as we are shaping the fundaments of the societies our children and their children will live in. Let’s open up in the new reality for today, and take the best decisions we can to ensure that our children can live in society that supports them in fulfilling their dreams. My passion is to help provide this opening towards the best possible future – a future we want our children to live in. Whereas we cannot predict the future, what we do today is shaping the world of tomorrow – let’s do the best we can!

My role

As Chairman of the Board of ICANN I work with my colleagues on our mission of a secure and stable unique identifer system to the Internet - which is a critical element of ensuring that it is possible for people around the world to reach websites and services. I joined the ICANN Board in 2016, which is a solid part-time commitment, and I was elected by my peers to be Chair in November 2019. Next to this priority role I consult governments and businesses on subjects relating the impact of technologies on societies, as far as not conflicting with my ICANN role.

Over time, my role has often been as leader and/or advisor to inspire teams by aiming at alignment of vision and passion. I have also carried the responsibility for projects and budgets, ensuring timely delivery to stakeholders, on budget and in a way that is useful. I work as independent policy analyst and consultant on policy and strategy issues relating to our global, networked, knowledge based society. I have worked as Board Member to several organizations with a focus to contribute to internet development and usage and still do so as Chairman of the Board of ICANN. And I have been professional counterpart to professionals and executives that want to make a positive contribution to the world and feel good about life at the same time.

My experience

My work has always been “in the public interest”, with 12 years in the public service (7 years Dutch Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management; 5 years European Commission DG Information Society), and 20 years as independent analyst (6 years at RAND Corporation, European office, and 14 years independent, as GNKS) and consultant (in addition to analysis, helping making things happen, as GNKS).

Over time, I have contributed to more than 50 studies as team leader, co-author and/or advisor, ranging from the introduction of telework in the public service to review of the EU’s audiovisual content directive, from the set-up of a Supreme Council for ICT in Qatar to Fostering IoT Enterpreneurship and IPv6 readiness monitoring. For a full list, see “references” on this website.

Next to this work I have contributed with part-time commitments as Chairman to the Board of the Public Interest Registry (from 2008 to June 2016), as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the NLnet Foundation (from 2013 to 2019), and as Chairman of the IGF Dynamic Coalition on the Internet of Things (from 2014 to 2019). And I have been on the ICANN Board since November 2016. With these functions I am strategically involved with the development of the Internet at global and European level.

In the past, I have been active part-time as interim-CEO of the Public Interest Registry (2009), CEO of the Information Assurance Advisory Council (IAAC, 2003 - 2006), as Member of the ENISA Permanent Stakeholder Group (2010 – 2012), as Member of the Public Sector Advisory Board of UNISYS (2007 – 2009), and I have been teaching candidates for Master in Information Security Management at the TIAS/NIMBAS Business school (2006 – 2009).

My education and training

Following a bachelor degree in Economics at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, I obtained my Masters’ Degree (drs in Dutch) in Business Economics in 1994. During my studies, I was mostly interested in strategic and organizational management approaches (Philip Kotler, Michael Porter, Peter Drucker, Henri Minzberg, Stafford Beer e.a.), and my final thesis was on Introduction of Telework (place independent work organization making best use of new networking technologies) in the Public Sector – which I wrote in parallel to introducing telework throughout the Dutch public service in the early 1990-ies, thus able to benefit from combining pioneering experiences with theory.

Following my study as Business Economist, my focus in the early days of my career was on ICT implementation and usage in work organization, and I followed a number of courses and trainings in data structures design, system development methodologies, Information Management and ICT project management (1987 – 1992). This, together with my working experience in those days, has provided a solid base for understanding how information systems work and affect interaction with people.

Following my experiences a manager, interim manager and team leader at many occasions, I actively engaged in enhancing in self-development and coaching skills since 2006. Honors obtained include certification as Journey Practitioner (2007), certification as Conscious Coach (2009), and I obtained my diploma for Medical Base Knowledge (2015). In this period, I have been inspired by visionary leaders as Joseph Jaworski and Peter Senge, e.a. The skills obtained have improved my ability to lead teams and communicate effectively, both in direct communications and in reports, meetings, and public speeches. From a self-development perspective, it has given me the inner peace to accept life as it shows up, so I can focus on where I can make a difference and do so in full presence.

As a Board Director, I followed courses including "Governing for Non-Profit Boards" from Harvard Business School (2016) and "Courageous Leadership: Becoming a Transformational Leader" from Kellogg/Northwestern (2018); obtained a CERT Certificate in Cybersecurity Oversight from Carnegy Melon University (2019) and did a course on "Global Leadership and Communition" from INSEAD (2020). I also visited conferences on International Integrity & Anti-Corruption (ICC) and leadership (President's Institute). I am committed to contiuous learning.

My interest in you

For many years, life has pulled me to my “next thing to do”. Whereas I have been recognized as a skilled team leader and manager, much of my life has been dedicated in cracking the nut in complex situations, finding sustainable ways forward towards a future we want. Whoever you are, whatever you do: if you have a “nut to crack” don’t hesitate and contact me: together we have what it takes!

My full CV is available from LinkedIn.