Recently, Andrew Sullivan, the new CEO of the Internet Society (ISOC), wrote an opening manifesto in which he detailed his thoughts and approach toward his upcoming tenure as the leader of the global organization. In reality, it wasn’t an opening at all, but a culmination of decades of experience.
I have known Andrew as an industry pioneer since before 2012 when he joined Dyn as our director of labs. That was a role we essentially invented for him, because if you can hire someone like Andrew Sullivan, you hire him and worry about the details later. Over the subsequent years, Andrew filled a variety of roles within Dyn and then Oracle post-acquisition, and with each new opportunity showed me he was truly capable of anything.
During my career in the internet infrastructure community I have been fortunate to work with or alongside the best and brightest in the industry. Andrew ranks atop that list.
He is smart — in that way in which he can explain intrinsically complicated and difficult concepts that makes them approachable and digestible by the layman. He is a visionary. He never loses the forest for the trees. He thinks about the internet not just in terms of today but where it is headed in the future. Andrew is also eloquent in his discourse — truly a lost art in today’s climate.
This eloquence was on full display in the piece he penned prior to starting as the new president and CEO of ISOC, which runs the Internet Engineering Task Force. He concluded the article, in which he encouraged us to come together as a global community and advocate on behalf of an open internet, by writing:
We will turn away from fear and narrow interests. We will not allow this tool of endless potential to be ruined, whether by vandal or greed. We will support and foster new technologies for all humans. We will promote the security and safety of all who connect.
I could not agree with this statement more. I have experienced first-hand the devastating impact bad actors can have on the internet. But as I said at that time and have repeated often since: there are more good people working hard every day to make the internet better and to allow it to reach its potential. The good guys will win.
Andrew Sullivan is one of the good guys. We’re all very lucky to have him on our side. Good luck, Andrew!