Back in 1976, along with Stanford University professor Martin Hellman, Whit Diffie produced quite possibly the most important paper in the history of cryptography. That paper, New Directions in Cryptography, laid the groundwork for solving one of the fundamental problems of cryptography, that of key distribution. Now Diffie himself is taking a different direction by joining the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) as Vice President for Information Security and Cryptography.
In his new role, Diffie will provide advice on general security matters related to ICANN's mandate, and to ICANN in the design, development and implementation of security methods for ICANN-managed networks. He will also oversee the continuous improvement and best practices process for information security and cryptography.
ICANN CEO and President Rod Beckstrom expressed ICANN's appreciation for Diffie's exceptional background and the value he brings: "Whit Diffie brings an extraordinary intellect and immense professional achievements to ICANN, and his appointment reflects my strong commitment to improving ICANN's technical security".