November 17th, 2005, I was a young participant in the United Nations’ World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), trying to find my way to get introduced to the leading world technology experts visiting my home country Tunisia. As a founder of the yet be-formed Internet Society (ISOC) chapter of Tunisia, I organized a dinner for the representatives of ISOC chapters participating at this second phase of the WSIS in the suburb of the capital Tunis.
After that two-week-long event, the WSIS, my life has entirely changed. My life mission has become dedicated to the Internet and driven by how much I can contribute to the immense and continuous effort done by an amazingly diverse community through different organizations and entities.
The first natural endeavor was to found the ISOC chapter in Tunisia in 2007. The Internet Society mission “The Internet for everyone” was capital in my efforts to bring to the local and regional community attention the importance of technical norms and policies around things like IP Address, DNS, VoIP, …. and organizations such as IETF, ICANN, W3C, …
Things got accelerated after joining the Advisory Board of the Public Interest Registry ( .ORG Registry ) in 2008. I was elected as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Internet Society global in 2009. Later, as a member of the Board of Directors of AfriNIC ( the African Internet Registry ) in 2010. And I continued my volunteering involvement with these organizations until September 19th, 2011, which also coincided with my birthday, when I received an email from Google congratulating me for my new position as a Public Policy Manager for North Africa.
In 2012, I began a new and different journey at Google working on Internet Policy issues in North Africa and later in the MENA region. With the firm belief in the Google mission, “Make the world’s information universally accessible and useful.” I have been able to support the Multistakeholderism and the Internet Governance Forum in different ways. As a founding MAG member, I helped in the creation of the Arab IGF. I founded the Tunisian IGF. I also helped the North Africa IGF as a member of the Nomination Committee and an active participant in the Africa IGF. As part of the Google team in charge of the International relation, I played an active role in Google’s active participation in the Global IGFs.
In 2016, I had the honor to be selected by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Nominating Committee to become a Board Director. During the three years of my term, I enjoyed working with an amazingly diverse community unified under the ICANN slogan “One World, One Internet”. As a board member, I held several positions within the Board committees and Working Groups, including Chairing the Organisational Effectiveness Committee and Member of the Board’s Internet Governance Working Group.
My journey serving the Internet continued, in 2019, when I joined Facebook as part of the Public Policy team in charge of North Africa. A remarkable group of firm believers in the Facebook mission to “give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together” ensures the region’s users have a voice, build their communities, and stay safe.
Today, and precisely fifteen years after that dinner, I am humbled to be selected by H.E. United Nations Secretary-General to join the Internet Governance Forum ( IGF ) Multi-stakeholders Group ( MAG ). A group of representatives from governments, the private sector and civil society, the academic and technical communities advising the Secretary-General on the theme, the program, and the schedule of the Internet Governance Forum meetings.
The journey continues as a representative of Facebook and the private sector on the IGF’s MAG to shape emerging internet public policy issues and protect the future of the global Internet. As a proud African, Arab, and Muslim, I will continue to bring a diverse voice to the global Internet Governance discussions. A personal commitment, backed by my company and the tech sector, is to preserve an open internet that allows for the free flow of information and enables sustainable innovation and economic development.