Paul V. Mockapetris


Paul V. Mockapetris
Boston, MA, USA
Associated organizations
University of California
Fields of study


Paul Mockapetris was born on 18 November, 1948 in Boston Massachusetts. He received BS degrees in Physics and Electrical Engineering from MIT in 1971, and a PhD in Information and Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine in 1982.

Paul’s earliest professional work was while he was an MIT student: an early multiprocessor operating system for the Architecture Machine Group; virtual machine operating systems for IBM; and simulation work at Draper Labs.

At UC Irvine for his PhD, Paul worked on the Distributed Computer System where he built one of the earliest ring LAN hardware systems and matching network operating system.

At USC’s Information Science Institute, Paul started as a research assistant and eventually headed the Communications division. During this time Paul’s research included work on many of the fundamental internet protocols, including development of the first SMTP server, and later the invention of the Domain Name System, and deployment of early root servers and DNS operations. The DNS is an essential part of all web and email addresses and essentially every application on the internet.

Paul has been active in internet community service, spending 3 years as program manager for networking at ARPA, and 2 years as IETF chair, as well as numerous other roles.

In 1995, Paul left academia, and took leadership roles at startups including cable internet at @Home, email at, integrated SONET and IP products at Fiberlane/Cerent/Siara.

At present, he is Chairman and Chief Scientist at Nominum, where he has returned to his interest in DNS, advancing naming and directory systems for the internet. He also serves and advisor and board member for various other startups. Paul continues to believe that the internet’s future is ahead of it.

Paul is a member of the ACM and IEEE.