Some Thoughts on IETF Community Leadership
draft-carpenter-community-leaders-01

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Network Working Group                                       B. Carpenter
Internet-Draft                                         Univ. of Auckland
Intended status: Informational                             June 20, 2019
Expires: December 22, 2019

               Some Thoughts on IETF Community Leadership
                  draft-carpenter-community-leaders-01

Abstract

   This is a personal view of what the IETF community might expect of
   its members who serve in leadership positions such as Area Directors
   and IAB members.  It is intended as personal input to the Nominating
   Committee, but posted as a draft since there is nothing private about
   it.  A particular emphasis is placed on the need for such members to
   be responsive to the community as a whole rather than to impose
   personal opinions.

Status of This Memo

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   This Internet-Draft will expire on December 22, 2019.

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   Copyright (c) 2019 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
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Carpenter               Expires December 22, 2019               [Page 1]
Internet-Draft            Community Leadership                 June 2019

   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  Expectations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   3.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   4.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   5.  Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   Appendix A.  Change log . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   Author's Address  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5

1.  Introduction

   The IETF has a relatively open but hardly democratic way of choosing
   those who serve the community as Area Directors, members of the
   Internet Architecture Board, and as IETF Chair.  Job descriptions are
   open and candidate lists are open.  Feedback on individuals is
   intentionally confidential to the NomCom, which tends to limit
   transparent discussion of both abilities and potential problems.
   Indeed, we shouldn't be in the business of naming and shaming those
   who are willing to serve us.  However, as a community, we must make a
   fuss about decisions we don't like, and persist when we see a
   technical error going uncorrected.  In particular we should make a
   fuss about failures to adequately consult the community about
   important decisions, when leaders appear to impose personal opinions.
   We do have a formal appeals mechanism, we do have the opportunity to
   send frank feedback to the NomCom every year, and we do in theory
   have the ultimate weapon of a recall procedure.  But ultimately, if
   the NomCom appoints someone, they are normally there for several
   years.

   However, there's a gap in the above mechanisms.  The job descriptions
   mentioned above are written by the body where there is a vacancy: by
   the IESG for Area Directors and the IETF Chair, and by the IAB for
   its own membership.  That's logical as far as it goes, but it doesn't
   give the community as a whole the chance to say what we think we
   expect of those who serve in leadership positions, beyond their
   obligations to the IETF process rules and their technical expertise.
   Also, even with the best of intentions, those bodies write job
   descriptions to replicate themselves and what they see as a smooth-
   running operation.  There is little scope in the job descriptions for
   describing desirable changes in the status quo.

   To some extent this gap is filled by the formal documents that
   describe the IETF process, in the IESG and IAB charters, and in the
   Tao of the IETF.  But there is little explicit description of how the
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