The Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG) announced today that Don Hollander is retiring from his position as Secretary General at the end of May. Don is a long-time advocate of Universal Acceptance and has served in this role since the UASG was formed in 2015.

Universal Acceptance (UA) is the state where all domain names and all email addresses can be used in all applications. Since the introduction of top-level domains in different scripts, the introduction of new and longer top-level domains, and the availability of email addresses in different scripts, not all application developers and organizations have kept their software and systems up-to-date with these changes to the domain name system.  

“Don was instrumental in launching the UASG and driving much of the progress we have seen to date to advance the universal acceptance of all domain names and email addresses,” said Dr. Ajay Data, chair of the UASG. “I want to extend my sincere thanks to Don for his tireless support and dedication to this important effort – we wouldn’t be where we are today without him.”

“It has been a joy to work with the many UASG volunteers around the globe since the group was established more than four years ago,” said Hollander. “While I am looking forward to semi-retirement and returning to my wee bookshop, I will miss the interaction with my UASG ‘family,’ and wish them the best in their continued efforts to enable people to use the Internet with their preferred identity.”

The ICANN organization’s role with UASG is that of coordinator, catalyst, supporter, advocate and manager of the work streams. Sarmad Hussain, director of ICANN’s Internationalized Domain Names and Universal Acceptance programs, will continue to fulfill this role on behalf of ICANN, as well as fulfilling UASG Secretariat duties, as required. ICANN provides the UASG with significant financial and administrative support.

About UASG

The Universal Acceptance Steering Group is an Internet community initiative that was founded in February 2015 and tasked with undertaking activities that will effectively promote the Universal Acceptance of all valid domain names and email addresses. The group is made up of members from more than 170 companies, governments, community groups and individuals.