During the 2023 OARC Annual General Meeting OARC Members will be electing four seats on the OARC Board of Directors. The seats becoming available are doing so on the following basis:

  • The Board seat held by Ray Bellis, who has served for two years, is up for election by rotation.
  • The Board seat held by Joao Damas, who has served for two years, is up for election by rotation.
  • The Board seat held by Paul Ebersman, who has served for two terms over four years, is up for election due to his stepping down, no longer being affiliated with an OARC Member.
  • The Board seat held by Benno Overeinder, who has served 2 terms over four years, is up for election by rotation.

Note that Board seats are held in an individual rather than Member organization capacity. Candidates however must have been nominated by, and employed by or affiliated with, a DNS-OARC Member in good standing. No Member organization may nominate more than one candidate.

As the Bylaws specify that one-half of the 6-person Board is to rotate each year, we intend to re-balance this to 3 in 2024 by appointing the 4th-ranked candidate in the 2023 election for a 1 year term only.

The candidates and their election platforms are given below.


Ray Bellis (ISC)

I am a current Board member (elected in 2019) and wish to continue to serve in this role. I believe that a high degree of board continuity is important, especially so now with a new President due to take over in the coming months, and hope to have the opportunity to work closely with them.

I have over 30 years experience working with the internet, much of that in managerial roles. Initially working in academia, I then moved into the commercial Internet working as the Technical Director of a B2B ISP. After 11 years there I moved on to Nominet (the .uk ccTLD operator) as a Senior Researcher working primarily on DNS and related technologies such as ENUM. As a result of the latter I was appointed to the board of NICC Standards - the UK's telecom standards body.

For the last four years I've been a member of the executive team at ISC where I'm responsible for the technical operations of F-Root. I've previously served three terms on the DNS-OARC Programme Committee - two of those as PC Chair.

Joao Luis Silva Damas (APNIC)

Currently my main activity is as Sr. researcher at APNIC, focusing on DNS and other network protocol measurements.

Additional activities include consultancy and running the Spanish NOG (ESNOG) and chairing the RIPE DNS working group.

In past activities, while at the RIPE NCC, ISC, Hivecast, Dyn, etc I have been directly operating or managing groups of technical people who operate critical DNS and network infrastructure, as well as actively participating in multiple technical and policy organisations (IETF, NOGs, etc) by writing documents, RFCs, delivering tutorials, etc

I have been involved with, and support, DNS OARC since it's very beginning while it was still within ISC.

As a Board member I will work on your behalf to continue to evolve the organisation together with the community. If elected, this would be my second term and I am very keen in providing continuity at the organisation as we will be welcoming a new President to DNS OARC as this term begins. In these last two years DNS OARC has evolved its workshops to the new post-COVID hybrid reality and has caught up with some of its technical debt. Together with a new president the coming years should allow OARC to deliver even more to its members and the community at large.

APNIC itself has been a long time supporter of DNS OARC and remains committed to support its ongoing work in the belief that OARC’s strength is that it provides a unique forum that brings together DNS researchers and DNS infrastructure operators, data and tools.

Benno Overeinder (NLnet Labs)

I am a senior research engineer and the managing director at NLnet Labs. My primary focus lies in ensuring the stability and security of infrastructure, particularly in the context of DNS and routing. These areas are closely aligned with our daily work at NLnet Labs, where we develop open-source software and actively contribute to open standards for the Internet. Additionally, we frequently engage in research projects, often in collaboration with various partners. Many of these research initiatives rely on data collected by organizations like OARC, measurements from the RIPE Atlas platform (see also the DNSThought portal), or data from platforms such as OpenINTEL, where we collaborate closely with other partners.

Over the past four years, I've served as a member of the OARC board, and it has been a rewarding experience contributing to the OARC organisation and its vibrant community. OARC has consistently proven itself as an exceptional platform that brings together experts for the analysis and research of DNS-related operational practices and challenges. OARC meetings serve as a valuable blend of DNS standards, operational insights, and research discussions, fostering the exchange of ideas and insights. I am actively engaged in standardisation efforts (such as IETF), participate in operational community meetings (e.g., RIPE meetings, *NOG meetings), and collaborate on research with other organizations and universities. I recognise the pivotal role that OARC plays as a platform that unites these three intersecting communities.

With my nomination, I aim to serve a final two-year term, during which I will continue to guide and support the transition to new OARC leadership, advance data privacy policies, and ensure the ongoing continuity of the OARC organisation.

Ralf Weber (Akamai)

I’ve been fascinated by DNS since helping to build a small ISP back in 1994 and have spend most of my career since then running or helping others to run DNS services at Colt Telecom, Nominum and now Akamai.

During that time I was involved in lots of communities relating to DNS like the IETF, RIPE or DENIC and since 2013 DNS-OARC, which I consider the best community regarding DNS as it covers all aspects and geographies.

As such I would be honoured to serve this community as a board member and help to drive DNS-OARC forward as the best place for knowledge, data and software sharing regarding DNS. DNS-OARC brings together the development, operational, research and standardisation groups and gives them a forum where we all can work together to make DNS and hence the internet better, as DNS is critical piece of the internet infrastructure.

All of that can only be done in an open, transparent and cooperative manner so I am always interested in communication with other members.

You can find my professional profile at https://www.linkedin.com/in/fl1ger/

Jacob Zack (CIRA)

I am Jacob Zack, DNS Architect at CIRA, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, the not-for-profit organization responsible for the operation of the .CA ccTLD. Over my tenure, I have architected and built CIRA’s zone publication, two generations of zone signing (first signed 2013 with AEP Keypers, refreshed in 2018 to use Safenet Luna HSM’s), zone distribution, and the transition from a handful of unicast servers inside Canada to a global anycast network that now serves 524 TLD’s (including ccTLD’s of 38 nations under contract), a little over 1/3rd of all TLD’s delegated from the root zone. This infrastructure handles nearly 60 billion DNS queries/day.

In addition to my leading CIRA’s Authoritative DNS Team, operating both our TLD and non-TLD (> 1 million zones) authoritative anycast services), I provide technical oversight and direction for CIRA’s Recursive DNS infrastructure. This includes our enterprise-level “DNS Firewall” product (which protects over 3 million users across governments/universities/schools/hospitals/businesses), as well as our free offering “Canadian Shield”, which provides both security and content filtering for millions of Canadians, and is the default DoH provider in the Mozilla web browser inside Canada.

I have been involved with DNS-OARC since the September 2008 meeting hosted by CIRA in Ottawa, am a regular attendee and presenter, and have recently concluded a three-year stint on DNS-OARC’s Program Committee (term-limited). During such time, I (hope) I demonstrated both my personal commitment and CIRA’s commitment to DNS-OARC, through the time contributed towards planning, selection of presentation submissions, rehearsals, and the chairing of multiple workshop sessions, both in-person and during the wee hours of the morning while the world was shut down.

I have sat on boards previously, having been the founder of the Ottawa Internet Exchange (now defunct and replaced by the Ottawa-Gatineau Internet Exchange), have contributed to the launching of Internet Exchanges across Canada, and currently sit on a handful of technical advisory committees (Fleming College's Computer Security & Investigations (CSI) Program Advisory Committee(PAC)).

After reading over other candidate statements submitted for every AGM since 2017, I’ve come to realize that no recent candidate has submitted a platform. Here is mine:

  1. Governance – Ensure that all member organizations are heard, represented, and treated equally.
  2. Diversity/Equality – Ensure that all members, attendees, speakers, guests, and stakeholders are heard, represented, and treated equitably.
  3. Accessibility – Ensure that DNS-OARC continues and extends it’s commitments towards hosting workshops globally so that all interested parties share the convenience of having a meeting in their region on a regular basis.
  4. Sustainability – Ensure that DNS-OARC continues to be a community focused on collaboration and building membership, keeping focus on it’s mission, and minimizing risk.

On a personal note, I want to say that I recognize that I (we) stand on the shoulders of giants. The Internet has given me everything I have, and to fail to act as a steward, to fail to pass a better DNS-OARC, Internet, and world on to the next generation, would be a tragedy.

Disclosure: CIRA donates colocation space and transit to DNS-OARC for their backup infrastructure.