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Hedera Hashgraph Governing Council Names Brett McDowell as Executive Director and Vice Chair, Establishes Council Committees

February 2019 by Marc Jacob

Hedera Hashgraph, a next-generation public ledger designed to have highly diversified governance and the most distributed consensus at scale, today announced it has named Brett McDowell as the Founding Executive Director and Vice Chair of the Hedera Hashgraph Governing Council.

McDowell brings over 20 years of IT industry coalition experience to the new role, including founding executive roles at the Kantara Initiative, IDESG,, and FIDO Alliance, where he still serves. In addition, McDowell has extensive multi-stakeholder governance experience, having served on the board or advisory board of MAAWG, NCSA, StopBadWare, and PCI SSC, among other industry coalitions.

The announcement comes on the heels of unveiling the first set of Hedera Governing Council members at Hedera’s first Annual Assembly and the initial Governing Council meeting, both held last week in Seoul, South Korea.

McDowell was previously head of ecosystem security at PayPal, where he developed strategies and launched initiatives to improve internet security. He is a fellow at the National Center for Digital Government at UMASS and serves on the Boston Federal Reserve Bank’s Mobile Payments Industry Workgroup.

Establishing Council committees

During the Governing Council meeting, the following Council committees were proposed and are now in the process of being formally chartered for approval at the next Council meeting:
• Finance Committee. The Finance Committee will maintain oversight responsibility with respect to financial affairs of the Council and review the financial objectives, financial policies, capital structure, and financing requirements of the Council.
• Technical Steering & Product Committee. The Technical Steering & Product Committee will focus on improving the Hedera network’s underlying technology.
• Membership Committee. The Membership Committee will recommend objective qualifications and criteria for identifying organizations qualified to serve as members of the Council.
• Legal & Regulatory Committee. The Legal & Regulatory Committee will advise Hedera on a variety of global legal, regulatory, and compliance matters.
• Marketing Committee. The Marketing Committee will advise the Council on marketing, public relations, and other outreach matters.

Hedera network roadmap

During its inaugural meeting, the Governing Council also discussed the ongoing development of the Hedera network and approved plans and the timeline for expanding user access to the network.

After launching the Hedera network in August 2018, Hedera opened the network for initial users to participate in a community testing program. During the initial phase of the testing program, 5,000 users created accounts and tested the platform’s cryptocurrency services, and hundreds of developers began to test and build applications on testnets.

Hedera will next launch phase two of the community testing program, opening the network to significantly more developers and users to create accounts and test the Hedera smart contract and file service components of the Hedera platform.

After testing programs are complete, Hedera expects to open access to the beta version of the network so that anyone can sign up for a Hedera account, use the network, and develop applications on the platform. The Council authorized Hedera to provide this “open access” to the network once certain technical and regulatory milestones are met, which is expected to occur in the summer of 2019.

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