The Internet Infrastructure Coalition (i2Coalition) presents the Ron Yokubaitis Internet Community Leadership Award to an individual whose contributions to U.S. Internet policy have helped create a better internet through promoting privacy protections, an open Internet and continued innovation.
The winner for 2020 is i2Coalition Co-Founder and cPanel General Counsel David Snead.
Snead has provided advice and counsel to technology companies since 1995 beginning with a practice based on technology exports. Since 1999, his practice has focused exclusively on the Internet infrastructure industry. Since his practice began, he has worked in large firms, as in-house counsel, and as a solo practitioner. He co-founded i2Coalition at a time when the Internet community had little ability to stand up to lawmakers pursuing legislation like the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and has been a strong voice in Internet politics and policy since then.
Snead was presented the Ron Yokubaitis Internet Community Leadership Award in an online award ceremony on October 22, 2020, where he was joined by i2Coalition board members and i2Coalition co-founder and executive director Christian Dawson.
Jane Shih, i2Coalition Vice-Chair and Deputy General Counsel for Endurance International Group, said, “Truly you are a role model for me and I have appreciated your ability to switch back and forth between understanding the technology but also being deeply steeped in how legislation works. You’re my policy wonk superhero.”
“[Snead] is our spirit guide when interacting with DC and the Hill. It was great to work with at i2C over the past few years,” said Michele Neylon, i2Coalition Board Member and Co-founder, Owner and CEO of Blacknight. “It’s always fun to hang out with him.”
Graeme Bunton, i2Coalition Board Member and Head of Policy at Tucows, said, “My relationship with David has meant a lot to me especially as I was trying to find my feet and my voice within ICAAN and within i2C. David was always there with his kindness and dry sense of humor, and to provide some guidance.”
Frank Stiff, i2Coalition Board Chair and President of Cheval Capital, said, “Over the last 15 years, we’ve seen how your guidance as an attorney has been instrumental in helping companies both very large and very small navigate their though both good and bad situations. Obviously, your co-founding of the i2C with Christian was an important step for our industry. Much more difficult and significant, however, has been all your work giving i2C the standing it has today as a knowledgeable, responsible, and influential group in Washington. A lot of people have contributed to that, but none more so than you. Through those contributions and others, you’ve helped our industry immeasurably for a long time to come.”
Christian Dawson, the other co-founder of the i2Coalition, reflected on how they first worked together when Dawson was running web hosting company ServInt and Snead was his lawyer. It was there when they were first introduced to legislation that would be the precursor to PIPA and SOPA and that would present huge challenges to the industry and the Internet as a whole. Snead arranged a meeting for the both of them with Jayme White at US Sen. Ron Wyden’s office to talk about the bill. “We asked Jayme White what to do about this, and he said ‘Get more of you’. That was his advice to us.”
“Get more of you” was the central idea behind this Internet infrastructure coalition.
Melinda Clem, i2Coalition Board Chair and Vice President, Strategy for Afilias, said, “[Snead’s] story is the story of the i2Coalition. This is someone who saw a problem in the industry and stepped up, met the challenge, organized individuals, consolidated voices.
“He continues to play this role where he helps organizations regardless of their size all meet our goals, all have a unified voice, and to help our sector.”
In receiving the award, Snead said, “The work that I’ve done at i2Coaltion has been among the most rewarding of my life.”