Kathryn A. Kleiman

Kathryn A. Kleiman


  • Harvard University, B.A., cum laude
  • Boston University School of Law, J.D., cum laude


  • Virginia State Bar
  • US Supreme Court
  • US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

Ms. Kleiman is passionate about shaping Internet law and policy, improving rules for the domain name system, supporting the rise of a robust domain name industry and bringing diverse voices into the Multistakeholder process. She is part of the group that founded ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, responsible for management and oversight of the domain name system) and is a key drafter of ICANN’s Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy for international, online resolution of domain name disputes. She is a writer/editor of policies for New Generic Top Level Domains (New gTLDs) and ICANN’s New gTLD Applicant Guidebook (rules of the road for obtaining them).

Fun Fact

Kathy represents Registries, Registrars, Registrants, Community Members, organizations, companies and individuals in the rapidly expanding areas of Internet law and policy.  She led successful Community Objections for New gTLDs before the International Chamber of Commerce. She is internationally known in the Multistakeholder community for helping negotiate some of ICANN’s most sensitive policies, including those balancing privacy, intellectual property, speech rights and fair use.

Her practice at FHH includes:

  • New Generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) -- application, contention, roll-out
  • Legacy gTLD (e.g., .COM, .ORG and .NET) – policies and procedures, contractual obligations
  • Domain Name Disputes & Resolution
  • Intellectual Property and Free Speech Protections Online
  • Special concerns of Internet operators, including extraterritorial jurisdiction  
  • Internet Entrepreneur advice, counsel & incorporation.

Kathy’s Leadership Roles Include:

  • Vice-Chair, ICANN’s Whois Review Team, a global review team established under the Affirmation of Commitments between ICANN and the Department of Commerce (2009) to review access and privacy policies for the large database of domain name registration data.
  • Director of Policy, .ORG The Public Interest Registry (PIR), represented PIR in meetings with White House on rogue pharmacies and international law enforcement meetings on domain name “takedown” issues.
  • Co-led NCSG Teams on ICANN’s Proxy/Privacy Accreditation Working Group (wrote ICANN’s first rules for accreditation of proxy/privacy services providers/2015) and Special Trademarks Initiative (STI) Team (writing rules to create Trademark Clearinghouse and Uniform Rapid Suspension to balance trademark and freedom of expression protections in New gTLD roll-out).

Overall, Kathy has worked closely with Registries, Registrars, Registrants, Intellectual Property Attorneys, Noncommercial Organizations, Governments, ICANN Board Members, Law Enforcement representatives and Data Protection Commissioners to create a robust domain name system that serves a wide array of users.  

Technical Experience (Prior to Attending Law School)

Price Waterhouse (NY). Audited data security for New York banks, investment banks and check clearinghouses; prepared disaster recovery plans; wrote banking privacy policies.  

Morgan Stanley Information Services Division (NY). Managed international private data networks and programmed large-scale databases.


Heroines in Technology Lifetime Achievement Award from March of Dimes and Women in Technology for finding and recording the stories of the ENIAC Programmers (six young women who programmed world's first all-electronic, programmable computer, ENIAC, as secret WWII project).

Testimony before Congress

The Future of the Domain Name System, US House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Trade, and Consumer Protection's Hearing on Electronic Commerce: Future of the Domain Name System, June 10, 1998, Washington DC.

Speeches around the world include

Upcoming: South by Southwest 2016 Interactive Festival, Austin, Texas (March 2016).
Google panels worldwide on diversity, opportunities in technology and lessons from the ENIAC Programmers (2015).
Lessons from History, Inspirefest2015. Dublin, Ireland. 
Five Techmakers and a Microphone, Google I/O, San Francisco (2013). 
Whois Review Team Report, speeches and presentations to ICANN Community, Costa Rica, March 2012
Trademarks, UDRP and Takedowns: Lessons Learned and Upcoming Challenges, Internet Governance & the Global Public Interest Summit, San Francisco (2011).
Registry Takedown Procedures and Questions Raised by Arab Spring, .ORG Presentation, Cybercrime Meeting of International Law Enforcement, Registries and Registrars, February 25, 2011, Brussels, Belgium.
What's next for WHOIS?, 43rd CENTR General Assembly (Council of European National Top Level Domain Name Registries), October 7, 2010, Brussels, Belgium.

Legal Education Courses
Ms. Kleiman has spoken as part of continuing legal education courses on Internet law and policy for over the 15 years, including before the Virginia State Bar, Virginia Bar Association, DC Bar Association and Federal Communications Bar Association.

Advisory Boards
Ms. Kleiman serves on the Advisory Boards of Bloomberg/BNA's E-Commerce & Law Report, the Internet & Jurisdiction Project (France) and The Internet Commerce Association.

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