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Goodbye Marilyn Cade

In memory of Marilyn Cade, 1947-2020

Marilyn Cade was an exceptionally hardworking, always gracious leader in ICANN and IGF. She was a strong supporter of U.S. interests at ITU and a member of the U.S. delegation at the WCIT.

Dozens have spoken of her at a memorial site, including Vint Cerf:

Marilyn was an elemental force in the ICANN, IGF and policy worlds. She was an advocate who could be counted upon to speak passionately for the causes to which she was dedicated. As I read all the “Marilyn stories” in these comments, I cannot help but think that we should say these things to our friends while they are still with us. I wish I had known of her health challenges sooner and now, of course, it is too late. She will be missed but not forgotten by the communities that knew her and benefited from her dedication.

Veni Markovski wrote:

I don’t remember when I met Marilyn for the first time—was it at an ICANN meeting, or at the WSIS, but I do remember her smile and kindness towards a newcomer from Eastern Europe. During the next couple of decades I’ve interacted countless number of times with her, and she would constantly show knowledge (which she was happy to share) and interest to learn even more (on issues that she was an expert in). I also witnessed an extremely kind gesture of hers towards another person, and that made me realize that she was not only ready to go above and beyond normal friendly gestures, but she was actually doing it. She was helping friends in need, and was doing it, because they needed it. She was also tough arguing with, but was doing it gently and in a way that wasn’t upsetting in anyway. In some cases I would lose an argument with her, and feel… happy about it! You are already missed, Marilyn. Rest In Peace.

Mike Nelson adds:

I was so sad when I heard the news that Marilyn Cade had died. Marilyn and I met in the late 1980s when I helped Senator Al Gore organize hearings on high-performance computing and the NSFNET, a core of the early Internet. In the following years, she played a critical role in building support for the “Gore computer bill”, which expanded Federal funding for networking. More recently, she was the driving force behind the IGF-USA and then turned her attention to helping other countries organize their own national Internet Governance Forum conferences. On Tuesday, I was part of a briefing for Internet policy leaders from Afghanistan and elsewhere in south Asia. Marilyn was scheduled to talk, too. Several of the participants mentioned Marilyn’s leadership and commitment. She will be missed by many people in many places.

David Olive, Senior Vice President, Policy Development Support at ICANN, writes:

On behalf of ICANN, it is with great sadness that I offer condolences on the passing of Marilyn Cade. ... “Marilyn Cade helped build ICANN to where it is today,” said Maarten Botterman, ICANN Board Chair. “She cared about ICANN, and she cared about people. She earned our deepest respect and gratitude for her tireless contributions.” ... “Marilyn had strong views and opinions on many matters but always supported the multistakeholder model,” said Göran Marby, ICANN President and CEO. “She wanted people to be involved in ICANN and to maximize the potential of the Internet.”

By Dave Burstein, Editor, DSL Prime

Dave Burstein has edited DSL Prime and written about broadband and Internet TV for a decade.

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