Membership Balance Plan
Cuba Internet Task Force
U.S. Department of State
1. Name. Cuba Internet Task Force
2. Authority. 22 U.S.C. §2656; NSPM-5.
3. Mission/Function. The Cuba Internet Task Force (“Task Force”) is established by the Department of State to implement the June 16, 2017, National Security Policy Memorandum (NSPM-5) on Strengthening the Policy of the United States Toward Cuba. The Task Force will examine the technological challenges and opportunities for expanding internet access in Cuba, including through federal government support of programs and activities that encourage freedom of expression through independent media and internet freedom, so that the Cuban people can enjoy the free and unregulated flow of information.
4. Points of View.
(a) Perspectives that should be represented on the Cuba Internet Task Force. Members will be representatives of relevant U.S. government departments and agencies, internet- related non-governmental organizations, and private-sector entities.
(b) Approximate number of individuals that should represent each area of expertise or perspective. The Task Force will have not more than 12 members. Of this number, it is anticipated that 10 will be from relevant departments and agencies of the U.S. government, including the Department of State, the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, the Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development. One member should be a representative member from an internet-related non-governmental organization, and one member should be a representative member from an internet-related private-sector entity. The factors to be considered in selecting the non-government members of the Task Force are the same as those used in selecting members for the working groups. See paragraph 7.
(c) How appointments are made. The Secretary of State will appoint representatives of interested U.S. government agencies and offices to the Task Force, as well as representatives of internet-related non-governmental organizations and private sector entities. These individuals need to have strong interest in the technological challenges and opportunities for expanding internet access in Cuba, including through federal government support of programs and activities that encourage freedom of expression through independent media and internet freedom so that the Cuban people can enjoy the free and unregulated flow of information.
5. Other Balance Factors. None.
6. Candidate Identification Process. The Secretary of State, who is the appointing authority, determines the balance on the Task Force, with the advice of the Office of the Legal Adviser. The Secretary will select specific U.S. government agencies and offices, which will identify the appropriate representative to serve on the Task Force. The Secretary will also identify representatives of internet-related non-governmental organizations and the private sector. The officers of the Task Force consist of a chair, three vice chairs, an executive secretary, and such other positions as the Secretary shall determine. Appointments will be for a period of two years or less, and vacancies will be filled as they occur.
7. Subcommittee Balance. The Charter provides that the Secretary may establish appropriate subcommittees or working groups to carry out assigned responsibilities. It is anticipated that there will be two such working groups, which will be expected to submit reports to the Task Force on the technological challenges and opportunities for expanding internet access in Cuba. The first working group will include U.S. technology firms and industry representatives focused on technological issues and solutions for Cuba’s limited internet landscape; the second will include NGOs and program implementers with a focus on activities that encourage freedom of expression in Cuba through independent media and internet freedom.
Candidates for membership to the working groups are considered from individuals with experience or interests relevant to the subject matter of the Task Force who are either known for possessing such experience or viewpoints, recommended to the Department or the Administration, or who express an interest in serving on the working groups and possess the required expertise, as determined by the Department. The primary factor for selecting candidates for the working groups is whether the individual has an understanding of relevant subject matter, has experience considering and representing relevant interests, and whether the individual’s selection would maintain a membership balance among perspectives from industry, academia, legal, labor, or other professionals.
Date Prepared: 11/01/2017