Kilmer, Hank

This nominee has


statements of support.

Affiliation: Cogent Communications, Inc.

Nomination Committee Evaluation: Well Qualified

Candidate Speech

Nominee Questionnaire

1. Board of Trustees Qualifications and Responsibilities

Please review the ARIN Board of Trustees Expected Qualifications and Responsibilities thoroughly. Please describe, providing specific details, any barriers you foresee to your fully meeting those qualifications and undertaking those responsibilities. A Trustee’s responsibilities have usually required about 5-10 hours per week.

None foreseen.

2. Conflicts of Interest

a) Please disclose any conflicts of interest you may have, real or perceived, that would impact your ability to perform your duty as a member of the ARIN Board of Trustees. (If no conflicts, please enter “N/A”)

None known.

b) How do you propose to resolve any conflicts identified in (a)? (If no conflicts identified, please enter “N/A”)


c) Are you currently eligible to serve on the Board of Trustees according to the Conflict of Interest Requirements and the eligibility requirements?


d) If not currently eligible, describe how you will become eligible to serve, if elected (i.e., “If elected, I will resign from the position of ____________  before 31 Dec 2022”). If currently eligible, please enter “N/A”.


3. Education

a) Please list any degree(s) you received, the institution and the date issued.

  • Bachelor of Arts from Rutgers University (1991)

b) Please list any professional designations, certifications, or development education (non-degree) and the dates completed.


4. Employment and Experience

a) Please provide the name of any company or organization you currently are employed by, or from which you receive directly or indirectly a material portion of your compensation. Please describe the business of each such entity, your current title, and the office address of the organization.

VP of IP Engineering

Cogent Communications, Inc.

Cogent is a global Tier 1 Internet service provider offering Internet access over a fiber optic network solely built for Internet traffic.

Cogent also operates 54 data centers globally.

b) Please refer to the ARIN Board of Trustees Guidance to the 2022 Nomination Committee in answering this question: Please describe your relevant professional experience and expertise and explain how this background will make you an effective trustee.

With over 30 years of engineering and management experience in the Internet industry, I bring extensive skills, perspective, and traits.  Currently, I am Vice President of IP Engineering at Cogent Communications–a $5.0 billion public company running one of the world’s largest carriers of Internet traffic operating in 216 major markets and 50 countries. Prior to that, he was the CTO at GPX Global Systems–a global leader in next-generation Tier 4 data centers in developing markets. He also spent many years in engineering, operations and management including senior roles at Abovenet/MFN, Intermedia/Digex, Sprint and UUNET where he crafted his focus on simple, scalable, efficient design. At Abovenet/MFN, his direct responsibilities included research, optical engineering, Internet engineering, planning, data center management, software development, IT, and network operations. His experience in covering all aspects of engineering and operations for optical networks, routed networks and facilities as well as the emerging markets provides him with unique insights into Internet businesses.

In addition to the personal and technical aspects being brought to the table through my experience, I am also responsible for a significant quantity of legacy IPv4 address space much of which pre-dates ARIN presenting challenges needing to be overcome for the industry to continue the successful adoption of technologies like RPKI.

Attach a resume, curriculum vitae, or other biography highlighting your experience most relevant to the duties of the ARIN Board of Trustees. (PDF, DOC, DOCX files only)

You may also optionally include additional web links to external websites (e.g., social media), though not as a substitute for your biography. One URL per line.

5. Governance Experience

a) Please identify any boards on which you currently serve that carry fiduciary duties, whether at a for-profit or non-profit organization. Please note how long you have served and what offices, if any, you have held.

I am not currently serving on any boards.

b) Please identify any other boards on which you have served in the past 10 years that are not included in answer to (a), listing your dates of service.

  • Board Member, Ballet Theatre of Maryland, 2019 – 2020
  • Board Member (and CTO), GPX Global Systems, Inc., 2003 – 2014
  • Board Member, Chesapeake Shepherd & K-9 Rescue, Inc., 2005 – 2017
  • Program Committee, NANOG, 2005 – 2006
  • Advisory Council, ARIN, 1998 – 1999

c) What is the role of ARIN’s Board of Trustees?

ARIN’s Board of Trustees is charged with corporate governance and oversight ensuring policies and processes are in place to fulfill the fiduciary duties and core governance responsibilities on behalf of the constituents. Protection of its members interests and Internet number resources along with oversight in furthering ARIN’s mission are key elements.

d) How does your past governance experience prepare you to help fulfill that role by serving as an ARIN Trustee?

I have served on both corporate boards as well as non-profit boards.  While similar functions, they do have different requirements, restrictions and regulations.  I will bring this experience, along with significant Internet knowledge, to help fulfill the role of an ARIN Trustee.

6. Understanding of ARIN’s role in the Internet governance ecosystem

a) What is ARIN’s role in the Internet governance ecosystem?

ARIN plays an integral role in the Internet governance ecosystem.  By facilitating open communication and consensus-based policies, ARIN is a critical element in the overall governance of the Internet and its future.  In addition, its support, participation, and cooperation with other Internet governance efforts, forums and organizations (ITU, IGF, etc.) will continue to be a critical role for ARIN.

b) Describe any past experience or involvement with ARIN or other Internet governance bodies.

I was a member of ARIN’s advisory council previously.  I have also been a member of The Internet Society (ISOC), participated in many IETF groups, NANOG, etc.  Additionally, as a DNS root operator, I have been a member of ICANN’s Root Server System Advisory Committee.

7. Board Discussion Topics

a) Risk Oversight and Management

i) Understanding and overseeing organizational and environmental risk is an important responsibility of Trustees. What do you see as potential risks to the organization, and which are newer risks that have emerged more recently?

Fundamentally, the Board’s responsibilities regarding risk are in oversight and not its management.

Recent global events highlight some risks for ARIN.  While targeted data penetration and exploitation have been a concern, recent events has increased this type of activity significantly.  Another aspect of recent events has been the large increase in cost of electricity resulting in a focus on power reduction, delivery methods, and cost impact all technology businesses including ARIN.

ii) How should the Board best discharge its responsibilities regarding risk oversight and management?

The Board should ensure that the policies and procedures designed and implemented by ARIN’s executive risk management team are consistent with its strategy. Staying focused on ARIN’s charter and strategy helps guide the risk assessments.  It is important to validate policies and procedures against the mission as well as their functional efficiency. 

In addition to staying in alignment with ARIN’s mission, recognition of the principal risks along with the necessary focus on their proper handling require that the executive team be fully engaged in risk management as an integral component of daily operations. Ensuring that this is part of the culture extends to the Board’s oversight so efforts are comprehensive and worthwhile.

iii) How will you contribute to strengthening risk oversight and management at ARIN?

As an ARIN Trustee, I would take an active role bringing to my experience in risk management, oversight and reduction.  Working closely with ARIN’s management team and membership will ensure continued success.

b) Strategy

i) Supporting and reviewing the strategic direction identified by ARIN’s management, in consultation with its membership, is an important responsibility of Trustees. Based on your understanding of ARIN’s current strategic plan and the environment in which it operates, what opportunities or challenges do you foresee for the organization?

There are many challenges to fulfilling ARIN’s charter and strategy.  First and foremost revolves around data integrity and availability.  The provision of registry and routing security services depends heavily on accurate data and the reliable access to this validated information.  This has always been a primary focus and must remain so constantly.  Operational outages and security attacks are a real challenge and highlight the value in the information that ARIN provides.

ARIN’s data governance impacts all aspects of Internet services.  Technical advances like RPKI and DNSSEC are clearly linked to the trust, accuracy, and availability of services.  However those are not the only needs of ARIN’s community.  Roles revolving around transfers, privacy, regulation, security, education, and Internet governance are prominent aspects as well.

ii) How might these challenges and opportunities influence current or future strategic plans?

It is important to remember that ARIN is a flexible organization.  As the industry evolves, so will ARIN.  Underneath all the potential changes in the Industry,  ARIN’s role will be key.  It functions as a data steward, educator, and facilitator and will remain performing those core functions.

iii) Please explain how your background and experience would help in addressing what you believe are ARIN’s greatest challenges.

Since starting working on networking in 1986, I have always been driven to listen, understand, and adapt.  I have both the management and governance experience as well as the technical experience to understand the challenges facing ARIN.  I will bring a deep understanding of the history, infrastructure, and thought processes of core Internet services to help guide ARIN to address its challenges and have continued success.

5 responses

  1. Mark Schleifer

    Hank just “Does the Right Thing.” When we worked together at DIGEX/Intermedia, when he was on the ARIN AC back when ARIN was founded, when he was fostering dogs at the dog rescue, and when we worked together at Cogent, time and time again I’ve witnessed him do what’s right even when it’s not in his personal best interest to do so. He’s one of the few people I know who steps back, looks at the entire picture from multiple sides, really listens to opposing viewpoints, and then makes the choice that’s best for everyone. I think that approach above all else will make him an exceptional addition to the ARIN Board.

  2. Stephen Stuart

    I have known Hank Kilmer for 25+ years. In the late 1990s, we worked for different companies toward common objectives in making the Internet a more robust ecosystem. We worked together for a while at MIBH and AboveNet, and I came to greatly appreciate Hank’s support as a co-worker – trustworthy, reliable, transparent, with excellent technical and business judgement. Later, in the 2010s, we collaborated on work to measure and improve the Internet, Hank approached the problem space with genuine curiosity and desire to make the Internet function well for everyone. I believe Hank will be a valuable addition to the ARIN Board.

  3. I have known Hank Kilmer for well over a decade. His unique combination of deep technical knowledge and executive leadership skills make him an ideal candidate to serve on the ARIN Board of Trustees. His experience with Internet policy and infrastructure come from practical knowledge gained through engineering and operations and some of the world’s largest Tier 1 Internet operators. I would like to offer my full endorsement for Hank and look forward to his meaningful contributions to the Internet community.

    Marty Fierbaugh, Principal Architect – Cisco, Americas SP (US, Canada, Latin America)

  4. hank is brilliant and sensible. we worked together while he was at uunet, sprint, and gpx; while we were both at MIBH and AboveNet; and during his time at cogentco where i’m a volunteer on the c-root team. during my 12 years on the ARIN Board i learned a lot about who we needed to be and what we needed to do. who we needed to be was “more like hank kilmer please”.

  5. Leo Bicknell

    In the past I worked for Hank Kilmer. To this day he is one of the best, brightest, and most compassionate executives I have ever met. He cared, he listened, made informed decisions and was transparent about why. He always took the time to mentor during the process. I have no doubt that he would excel as an ARIN Board Member.

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