Network Working Group                                    D. Crocker, Ed.
Internet-Draft                               Brandenburg InternetWorking
Intended status: Informational                                   S. Brim
Expires: January 27, 2011                                          Cisco
                                                              J. Halpern
                                                               B. Wijnen

                                                                B. Leiba
                                           Internet Messaging Technology
                                                               M. Barnes
                                                           July 26, 2010

  Nomcom Enhancements: Improving the IETF leadership selection process


   Every year the IETF's Nominating Committee (Nomcom) reviews and
   selects half of the IETF's leadership on the IESG, IAB and IAOC/
   Trust.  In the 18 years since the inception of the Nomcom process,
   the Internet industry and the IETF have gone through many changes in
   funding, participation and focus, but not in the basic formation,
   structure or operation of Nomcom.  This paper explores challenges
   that have emerged in the conduct of Nomcom activities, particularly
   due to changing IETF demographics.  The paper reviews the nature,
   causes and consequences of these challenges, and proposes a number of
   specific changes.  The changes provide better communication of Nomcom
   institutional memory, enhance Nomcom membership expertise, and
   produce stronger confidentiality and etiquette practices among Nomcom
   participants.  Some changes require formal modification to Nomcom
   rules; others can be adopted immediately.

Status of this Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
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   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   This Internet-Draft will expire on January 27, 2011.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2010 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
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   ( in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

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Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
   2.  Nomcom Management  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
   3.  Nomcom Member Knowledge  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
   4.  Nomcom Confidentiality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
   5.  Nomcom Independence  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
     5.1.  Liaison Influence  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
     5.2.  Politicking  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
   6.  Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
   7.  Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
   8.  Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
   Appendix A.  Draft IETF Nomcom Independence and
                Confidentiality Policy  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
   Authors' Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

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1.  Introduction

   The IETF conducts an annual process, selecting half of its
   leadership.  Selections are made by a Nominations Committee (Nomcom)
   of randomly chosen volunteer participants.  Each Nomcom spends more
   than 6 months, recruiting nominees, interviewing them and the
   community, and laboring over criteria and trade-offs.  The Chair of
   Nomcom and the liaisons from IETF-related groups are appointed, non-
   voting members.  The selections made by a Nomcom are reviewed by
   Confirming Bodies that consider the conduct of the Nomcom process
   and, to some extent, the adequacy of selected candidates.  The Nomcom
   process was developed in 1992.  In the 18 years since then, the
   Internet industry and the IETF have gone through many changes in
   funding, participation and focus, but not in the basic formation,
   structure or operation of Nomcom.  The only significant changes were
   to add to Nomcom's workload, by creating more staffing positions for
   the recently-formed IAOC/IETF Trust and the RAI area, and to its
   disclosure by making the list of nominees public.  [RFC5680]

   When the Nomcom process was created, most IETF meeting attendees were
   heavily involved in a range of IETF work; most really did see
   themselves as integral to an IETF "community".  Today there is
   significantly greater diversity in IETF participants' background,
   knowledge, and working styles.  Many participants still are deeply
   involved in the IETF, but many others are more narrowly focused, with
   limited IETF involvement.  Often they track only one working group
   and contribute to none of its discussion, writing or leadership.
   Many participants are more familiar with the process and culture of
   another standards body and are therefore more likely to use that
   frame of reference when pursuing IETF work.  This results in
   volunteers with potentially less IETF experience, less understanding
   of IETF culture and less appreciation of the specific strengths (and
   weaknesses) of the IETF approach to standards development.  Instead,
   they bring their own norms, often including a stronger sense of
   loyalty to other groups.

   This can create conflicting goals.  One of the cornerstones to the
   IETF's cultural model is that an individual participates as a private
   individual rather than as a representative of their employer.  The
   IETF Nomcom process requires confidentiality among participants.  For
   example it is not acceptable for a participant to report details of
   the process to their work supervisor.  Violation of confidentiality
   threatens participant willingness to be candid in interviews and
   discussions.  Equally, politicking intimidates participants and makes
   political leverage more important than the skills of an applicant.

   Nomcom decisions are to be based on individual merit, such as quality
   of technical contributions.  The model of personal participation

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   encourages individual assessments based on professional judgment,
   rather than on expedient corporate preferences that are driven by
   current business interests.  Certainly Nomcom takes note of
   organizational affiliation, but this is for better understanding the
   current perspective of the individual and for attempting to ensure
   diversity of views.  Still some participants have difficulty making
   the distinction between their role as an individual, versus their
   role as a corporate representative.

   Whatever their causes, some significant problems are affecting the
   operation of Nomcoms.  (For example, see [Nomcom2009].)  The
   recommendations made here cover four basic areas of concern:

      Knowledge of IETF culture, rules and processes

         IETF leaders do work that is substantial and difficult.  It is
         not possible to choose among different nominees without knowing
         the depth and breadth of that work, since different nominees
         will have different skills and limitations.  Some IETF
         leadership work is managerial, some is conceptual, some is
         administrative and some is legal.

         A Nomcom voting member must understand which position requires
         which talents.  By itself, attending a few IETF meetings cannot
         ensure enough experience with IETF leadership work to
         understand the current demands.

      Nomcom Confidentiality

         Nomcom performs a human resources personnel hiring, firing and
         retention process for the IETF.  In order to obtain accurate
         and meaningful input from the community and in order to have
         full and frank discussions about nominees, the details of a
         Nomcom's work must be restricted to the current members of the
         Nomcom.  The need is not merely for confidentiality of the
         comments made about nominees but also those made about everyone
         else.  For example it can be extremely destructive to have a
         candid comment about the IESG get back to the IESG.  Any
         pattern of such leakage makes it unlikely that candid comments
         will be offered.

      Nomcom Independence

         Since Nomcom is tasked with selecting IETF leadership,
         credibility in the Nomcom process relies on having Nomcom's
         operation be meaningfully independent of the current IETF
         leadership.  At the same time, the process requires oversight,
         to ensure that it is fairly conducted.  One source of tension,

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         given these two requirements, is in having liaisons from
         leadership groups be responsible for oversight.  They represent
         core IETF authority.  Particularly within interviews, the fact
         of their role with those groups can sway participants away from
         full candor.  This threatens the ability of Nomcom to obtain
         sufficiently complete information that is needed for making
         truly independent assessments.

      Politicking for Nominees

         An organized campaign that seeks selection of a particular
         nominee directly works against the Nomcom effort to select
         candidates based on merit.  The use of political leverage is
         destructive to efforts at evaluating skills and
         accomplishments.  However such politicking is common in some
         other standards groups and has been observed in the IETF.

   The basic concepts of confidentiality and protection against conflict
   of interest are intended to ensure that those entrusted with an
   important process are free to perform it, without any appearance or
   reality of external pressures and with strict focus on the quality of
   the process.  This is not a question of individual integrity, but
   rather of inherent confusion created by any participant exerting
   undue influence on the Nomcom process.

   This note discusses some of these challenges and offers
   recommendations for alleviating them.  The recommendations are
   specific.  However the reader should distinguish between a suggested
   framework for action, configured according to a number of types of
   choices.  That is, definition of parameters, versus the specific
   values assigned to those parameters.  Therefore, the reader should
   separately consider the approach being suggested for solving an
   issue, versus the specific details suggested when using that

   For example, there is a suggestion to have two different pools for
   selecting Nomcom members and criteria that would distinguish between
   the pools.  It is possible to debate whether to have multiple pools,
   as distinct from debating whether the number should be two or whether
   the offered criteria for the second pool compose an acceptable set.
   Readers are encouraged to separately consider the broader
   recommendations versus the details that make the recommendations
   concrete.  Equally, some recommendations lack complete detail.  The
   details matter, of course, but first there must be agreement about
   the approach.  The details should be developed after that.

   Readers are encouraged to offer alternatives and garner support for
   them, should they consider specific recommendations problematic.

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2.  Nomcom Management

   There are informative specifications for the selection of Nomcom
   participants, for Nomcom's primary deliverables and for its major
   deadlines.  [RFC3777] [RFC5078].  The documents provide little detail
   about Nomcom internal operations, and each Nomcom is both free and
   required to make many decisions about the details of the way it will
   operate, in terms of meetings, interviews, nominee analysis,
   decision-making methods and candidate selection criteria.  Much of
   this flexibility is useful, to allow each Nomcom to determine the
   operating style that best suits the current year's Nomcom
   participants, as well as the current year's priorities that should
   guide its selections.  However the fact that each Nomcom starts from
   what is essentially a clean operational slate makes its initial
   organizing efforts rather daunting.

   In order to develop sufficient understanding of the task and to
   review and resolve the logistical details, each Nomcom must scale a
   very large, initial hurdle.  Although a Nomcom has the considerable
   benefit of on-going participation by the previous Nomcom's chair,
   there is no organized documentation to help Nomcom's benefit from the
   long history of Nomcom's useful or problematic self-management
   choices, although Nomcom Chair reports may contain some examples of

      RECOMMENDATION -- Nomcom Operations Guide

         A collection of past Nomcom chairs and participants should
         write non-normative guidance about common Nomcom operational
         process choices that have been made, when these choices seemed
         to work and what their limitations appeared to have been.  A
         Nomcom remains free to make its own organizational decisions,
         but it has the option of simply adopting procedures and
         milestones recommended by a group that has had extensive
         experience in the process.

         (Implementation) This requires no formal authorization to start
         happening.  While it might be appropriate to publish as an RFC
         and therefore might need a degree of formal IETF approval, it
         appears better to pursue this as an IETF wiki, to encourage
         continuing enhancement by the community.  A basic wiki could
         easily be in place for the 2010-2011 Nomcom.

   Each Nomcom is created as a new group.  One challenge in the
   management of new groups is to ensure that fair and thorough
   discussion takes place.  Any group has the risk of excessive
   participation by one or another participant.  This is exacerbated
   when that participant carries additional power, such as being the

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   liaison of a confirming body.  However the general concern about
   dominating discussion applies for all participants.

      RECOMMENDATION -- Nomcom Discussion Management

         It is primarily the job of the Nomcom Chair to ensure that no
         individual dominates the group.  All participants in Nomcom
         discussions are encouraged to assist the Chair in assuring that
         no participant dominates Nomcom discussions.

         (Implementation) The conduct of meetings and the staffing of
         interviews is already under the control of the Nomcom chair.
         So this topic requires no change to Nomcom rules.  However it
         will probably be helpful for the operations Guide and an RFC
         3777 revision effort to emphasize this issue.

      RECOMMENDATION -- Selective Exclusion

         The Nomcom Chair may selectively exclude any participant from a
         single Nomcom activity.  This action may be overridden by a
         majority of Nomcom Voting Members.  Reasons for exclusion
         include, but are not limited to a conflict of interest,
         potential for violation of confidentiality, and potential for
         intimidation of other participants.

         (Implementation) This is a formal change to rules concerning
         Nomcom "members", which will require a modification to RFC
         3777, presumably as an enhancement to an RFC 3777 revision

3.  Nomcom Member Knowledge

   Anyone who merely attends a few recent IETF meetings is allowed to
   volunteer for Nomcom.  This rule has the considerable benefit of
   being highly inclusive, but it does not guarantee that a volunteer
   has any meaningful, direct experience in the IETF's technical or
   leadership processes.  That is, the criteria and the selection
   process for members make it quite easy to have a Nomcom in which no
   voting members have ever written RFCs, participated in formal reviews
   of drafts, chaired working groups, or served on the IESG, IAB or
   IAOC/Trust.  In fact given the proportion of IETF participants that
   have low levels of IETF process experience, the statistical
   probabilities over time make it virtually inevitable.

   The issue is a matter of insights and skills, not of motivations.
   Direct participation does not guarantee an understanding of what is
   needed to make the IETF work successfully, but it makes it more

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   The danger of a Nomcom with voting members who have little experience
   in making the IETF work is that they will have little direct
   knowledge of the qualities necessary for the people being selected to
   run the IETF.  Job descriptions exist for the positions that are to
   be filled, and the descriptions are generally viewed as being useful.
   However they cannot provide insight into practical aspects of
   performing the jobs they describe, nor problems with the way those
   jobs are done.  In addition, the jobs being filled are for leadership
   and oversight activities, yet Nomcom members often only have
   experience as individual contributors.  So the nature of leadership
   skills also is not within their direct experience.

   A special comment should be made about filling the IAOC/IETF Trust
   position.  The IAOC and IETF Trust perform the administrative and
   legal work of the IETF.  The work, and the members doing it, tend not
   to be in the spotlight of the IETF and very few IETF participants
   have much understanding of the required knowledge or activities.
   Hence, even very active IETF participants are likely to have little
   insight into the details of that position.  That makes it extremely
   difficult to evaluate nominees.  The most recent Nomcom pursued a
   series of tutorials with IAOC/Trust, in an effort to improve Nomcom's
   ability to assess candidates.  The tutorials were extremely helpful.

      RECOMMENDATION -- Nomcom Tutorials

         In order to select personnel for the IAB, IESG, and IAOC/Trust,
         Nomcom members need to understand the current responsibilities,
         activities and problems with these groups.  To this end, it
         would be extremely helpful to hold a series of scheduled
         tutorials, during the first IETF meeting of a new Nomcom, by
         representatives of IAB, IESG, and IAOC/Trust.  They should be
         closed, to permit more candid discussion.  These tutorials will
         be important, independent of the knowledge level of a Nomcom's
         voting members.  In addition to providing basic introductions
         to the nature of the work done by members of each group, it can
         highlight nuances of operation and current challenges.  A
         Nomcom would, of course, be free to use or ignore the
         information from the tutorials, as it sees fit.

         (Implementation) This does not require any formal approval.  It
         does require the collaborative concurrence of those presenting
         material and those attending.  It could easily be put in place
         for the 2010-2011 Nomcom.

   The random selection of Nomcom members usually produces a number who
   have extensive IETF experience, but this really is merely a matter of

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   statistical happenstance.  The criteria for volunteers and the manner
   of selecting them make it statistically likely that some Nomcom will
   eventually have none of these "senior" participants.  That is, the
   methodology makes it possible to have a Nomcom whose voting members
   have no meaningful expertise about the IETF's operation.  Repeated
   application of this sampling rule means that the "possible" is
   certain to eventually occur.

   A Nomcom whose voting members lack sufficient expertise about IETF
   management issues is overly dependent on its advisers and liaisons.
   Such a dependence is a matter of strategic weakness that requires
   making changes to the criteria and procedures for selecting at least
   some Nomcom members to guarantee a basic level of expertise among
   voting members.

      RECOMMENDATION -- Nomcom Expertise Requirement

         There needs to be review and agreement on the baseline level of
         expertise that must be represented within Nomcom's voting
         members.  This requires agreeing on the details of the
         expertise and on the minimal proportions of Nomcom that must
         have that expertise, as well as on the means by which
         differential expertise levels are selected.

   Based on this requirement, here is a specific proposal...

      RECOMMENDATION -- Selection Pool

         There needs to be assurance of a minimum presence of Nomcom
         voting members who have meaningful knowledge of IETF "decision
         and leadership processes".  A greater level of knowledge is
         acceptable and preferred, but it is important to ensure a
         minimum, while avoiding turning the Nomcom into an exclusive
         committee of long-time participants.

         Therefore, create a second pool of volunteers who satisfy more
         stringent Nomcom participation rules.

         Volunteers in this 'expertise' pool must have been on the IESG,
         IAB or IAOC/Trust, or have been a working group chair.  These
         positions require a degree of direct involvement in the process
         of IETF leadership.

         Three (3) volunteers from the 'expertise' pool are selected
         first.  Those who are not selected from that pool are then
         added to the general pool of volunteers, for the second round
         of selection.  Nomcom is not limited to having only three of
         its members be experienced.

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         Various selection mechanisms are possible and reasonable.  The
         specific details are less important than is the requirement for
         ensuring knowledge of IETF workings among the voting members.

         (Implementation) This is a formal change to Nomcom selection
         rules, which will require a modification to RFC 3777,
         presumably as an enhancement to an RFC 3777 revision effort.
         This enhancement might also require a change to [RFC3797], or
         the Nomcom chair might need to accurately describe this when
         they publish the seeds for the random selection.

4.  Nomcom Confidentiality

   The IETF mandates that Nomcom's internal activities be confidential.
   Nomcom is a personnel hiring process and confidentiality is,
   therefore, an appropriate professional standard.  Sensitive
   information about nominees and discussions needs to be kept internal
   to the Nomcom.

   Nominees, nominee's companies, the IAB, the IESG and others typically
   know more about the internal workings of each current Nomcom than
   they should.  Examples abound.  To cite one: with no prior discussion
   of the topic by a Nomcom member with a particular nominee, that
   nominee thanked the member for a comment the member made during the
   previous day's internal Nomcom discussion about the nominee!

   Leaks such as this are corrosive to the process.  They mean that
   participants must assume all of their comments will be reported to
   others.  This causes them to limit their comments, depriving Nomcom
   of valuable information about nominees.

   We need to reverse this tendency towards sloppiness.  We need to make
   clear that confidentiality is important and is expected to be
   respected.  Nomcom members need the understanding, incentives and
   tools to preserve this confidentiality.

      RECOMMENDATION -- Confidentiality Agreement

         Everyone participating in Nomcom needs to sign a formal
         Confidentiality Agreement.  The Agreement needs to be carefully
         tailored to cover the particular roles and relationships of
         Nomcom members, especially including strictures against
         discussing Nomcom activities with their friends, family, co-
         workers, employer or other IETF participants who are not part
         of Nomcom.  For example, it needs to specifically state that
         none of the covered information pertains to the signer's
         employer.  Having participants acknowledge the terms of the

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         Agreement means that the expectations on Nomcom members will be
         explicit, detailed and documented.

         A draft Confidentiality agreement is provided in Appendix A.

         (Implementation) Requiring use of this Agreement probably needs
         a formal change to Nomcom selection rules, which will require a
         modification to RFC 3777, presumably as an enhancement to an
         RFC 3777 revision effort.  Note, however, that Nomcom members
         and those participating in the Nomcom process can voluntarily
         choose to sign the agreement, without any formal changes to RFC

      RECOMMENDATION -- Anonymous Input

         Any individual can submit anonymous comments, by approaching a
         Nomcom voting member and requesting to have their comments
         communicated with some obfuscation.

         (Implementation) Private contact with a Nomcom members are
         existing means of providing anonymous input.  However this is
         not necessarily well known to the community.  It will probably
         be useful to emphasize this alternative in the operations Guide
         document and possibly the Nomcom web page.  It might also make
         sense to document them in an RFC 3777 revision effort.

      RECOMMENDATION -- Liaison Disclosures

         Liaisons are required to disclose some Nomcom information back
         to their groups, but there is no clear guidance about what is
         acceptable to disclose and what is not.  Previous efforts to
         specify this as a strict rule reached an impasse, as did the
         effort to formulate one for this proposal.

         Generally the point of a confirming body's questions should be
         to ensure that the Nomcom was properly diligent in making their
         selections, and not to second-guess the Nomcom's choices such
         as by asking why a particular candidate was not chosen.
         Broadly, then, it is reasonable and appropriate for the
         confirming body and the Nomcom to discuss whether particular
         skills or issues were considered, but not to discuss the
         details about these skills or issues with respect to a
         particular candidate.  Some examples are provided here, to show
         what types of interactions are viewed as acceptable and what
         types are not.

         Examples of interactions:

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         +  "Did the Nomcom consider a particular candidate's lack of
            skill in a specific technical area?"  The question attempts
            to pursue details about a specific candidate, but Nomcom
            must not discuss candidate details.  Hence a response of the
            form "Nomcom had extensive discussion of the candidate's
            technical skills" would be acceptable while a response such
            as "Yes, the Nomcom noted that gap in the candidate's
            skills, and chose the candidate in spite of it" would not.
            The error could be compounded by then discussing the
            particular deficiencies of competing candidates.

         +  "Doesn't the Nomcom see that choosing particular candidates
            leaves a gap that a different, particular candidate would
            have filled?"  This asks about the details of at least three
            candidates.  A reasonable response would be limited to
            noting that Nomcom considered these candidates carefully and
            discussed the abilities of each and remains comfortable with
            the selection(s) made.  A problematic response would discuss
            the details of particular candidates' skills or any
            disclosure of the details of the discussion, or of why,
            specifically, a particular candidate was not chosen.

         +  "Did the Nomcom consider a particular skill or factor for a
            particular candidate, or compare particular candidates
            according to particular factors?"  This crosses into details
            about specific candidates.  On the other hand, it is
            reasonable for Nomcom to respond that it considered the
            importance of the skill, when evaluating candidates.

         +  "Why wasn't a particular candidate chosen?"  Nomcom must not
            discuss the details of its reasons for picking or rejecting
            specific candidates.

         +  Did the Nomcom consider the disastrous personality conflicts
            between a particular candidate and another IETF participant,
            when they selected the candidate to work alongside that
            participant?"  If indeed this provides Nomcom with new
            information, it could be reasonable for Nomcom to response
            "No, the Nomcom may not have been aware of that situation."
            Perhaps more safely, the Nomcom could respond that this
            concern is indeed serious but that Nomcom still supports the
            candidate, or that Nomcom wishes to instead select a
            different candidate.  Note that this responds to the
            substance of the concern being raised, but not to its direct
            application for a specific candidate.

         +  A confirming body might directly or indirectly recommend an
            alternate candidate or, worse, suggest someone who was not

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            nominated.  In general, the best response would be in the
            style "Nomcom selected from among the nominated candidates
            the one who exemplified the best available mix of

         (Implementation) If a liaison is not completely certain that it
         is acceptable to convey certain information to the confirming
         body, or to answer a particular question, they should bring the
         issue to the Nomcom chair and abide by the chair's guidance.
         This practice would be useful to record in the proposed Guide.

5.  Nomcom Independence

   There are several concerns that have the potential to undermine the
   independence of the Nomcom process.  The multiple roles of liaisons
   from the IETF groups for whom candidates are selected can produce
   competing goals and their presence in portions of the Nomcom process
   can produce distraction or intimidation.  In addition, attempts to
   assert undue influence in terms of promoting a nominee based
   primarily on affiliation and politicking in general have become
   problematic.  Separately, any participant in Nomcom's internal or
   interview processes can come to exert excessive influence.  This last
   concern is discussed in Section 2.

5.1.  Liaison Influence

   Liaisons to Nomcom serve multiple roles.  In addition to the usual
   job of "representing the views of their respective organizations" and
   providing information to Nomcom, liaisons are tasked by [RFC 3777],
   Section 4 #7 with a process oversight function for the IETF in
   general and for their respective groups.  Since Nomcom fills
   positions in three of the groups that provide liaisons, these groups'
   liaisons face inherent conflicts of interest.  It can be difficult to
   provide neutral oversight and maintain confidentiality to a group
   which is judging the body that the liaison is representing.  Still,
   the need for oversight reasonably extends to include at least a
   sampling of interviewing.  Further, there might be specific concern
   about a specific interviewer, prompting a need to observe their
   interviewing behavior.

   For example, the mere presence of some people who hold special
   positions of authority (and therefore power) is sometimes problematic
   in an interview.  Interviewees making comments about one of these
   groups have reported concern when a liaison from that group is
   present, and are known to have avoided certain issues, for fear of
   jeopardizing their working relationship with that group.  Indeed,
   liaisons have been known to report back to their groups the internal

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   discussions of a Nomcom.

   Balancing these conflicting needs and concerns is challenging.  The
   concern for oversight has sometimes led to the extreme of having
   liaisons participate as fully active Nomcom members, including
   participating in every interview!  The problem with suggesting that
   they participate in only some is that this gives an appearance of
   balance, but does not address the problem, for those interviews in
   which a liaison is present.

   Some obvious and reasonable choices appear not to be workable.  For
   example, one thought is to limit interview presence to liaisons who
   are not part of a direct IETF leadership team.  At best this reduces
   to only the ISOC Liaison.  However that would rely on the
   interviewee's understanding the distinct difference in roles for that
   liaison, and most will not.  Further, it can reasonably be argued
   that a representative from the group that supplies the IETF with much
   of its funding should be counted as having significant (and
   potentially intimidating) power.

      RECOMMENDATION -- Interview Monitoring

         Liaisons must not sit in on interviews without a specific
         invitation.  Liaisons currently have a monitoring
         responsibility that reasonably includes sitting in on
         interviews.  However some interviewees are intimidated by
         having liaisons present from IETF leadership groups --
         currently consisting of ISOC Board of Trustees, IAB, IESG and

         In order to remedy this, Liaison participation in interviews
         must be a considered exception, and not a regular practice.  In
         order to achieve the required monitoring of interviews, the
         Chair and Advisors are tasked with attending interviews -- but
         only as needed -- such as at the specific request of a Liaison.
         [RFC3777] (section 4, rule 3) gives any committee member the
         right to propose the addition of advisors to participate in
         some or all of the deliberations of the committee.  Under that
         authority, committee members may choose to propose one or more
         advisors to monitor interviews.  The chair can therefore
         appoint additional Advisors to assist with this, where the
         Advisor is not affiliated with any IETF leadership group and is
         not a candidate for any position with one.

         This recommendation was the most difficult to develop, of those
         in this proposal.  It balances removing the inherent conflict
         of interest and potential for intimidation from interview
         situations, while ensuring that reasonable interview oversight

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         is possible.

         This recommendation was the most difficult to develop, of those
         in this proposal.  It removes the inherent conflict of interest
         and potential for intimidation from interview situations, while
         ensuring that reasonable interview oversight is possible:
         Liaisons currently have a monitoring responsibility that
         reasonably can and should include sitting in on interviews.
         However some interviewees are intimidated by having liaisons
         present from IETF leadership groups -- currently consisting of
         ISOC Board of Trustees, IAB, IESG and IAOC/Trust.  In order to
         remedy this, xxxLiaisons must not sit in on interviews.  In
         order to achieve the required monitoring of interviews, the
         Chair and Advisors are tasked with attending interviews as
         needed, possibly at the specific request of a Liaison.  RFC
         3777 (section 4, rule 3) gives any committee member the right
         to propose the addition of advisors to participate in some or
         all of the deliberations of the committee.  Committee members
         may choose to propose one or more advisors to monitor
         interviews, under that authority The chair can therefore
         appoint additional Advisors to assist with this, where the
         Advisor is not affiliated with any IETF leadership group and is
         not a candidate for any position with one.

         (Implementation) As a formal prohibition, this is a formal
         change to Nomcom selection rules, which will require a
         modification to RFC 3777, presumably as an enhancement to an
         RFC 3777 revision effort.  Note, however, that the Nomcom Chair
         is entirely responsible for defining Nomcom procedures; and
         each Nomcom determines the attendance and style of the
         interviews it conducts.  Therefore as a practical matter, any
         Nomcom can choose to exclude its liaisons from the pool of
         interviewers.  It also can choose to appoint additional
         Advisors to assist with interview oversight.  Still, this issue
         is core and inherent; for the long-term, its handling should be
         the result of a formal IETF consensus process.

5.2.  Politicking

   The current reality is that politicking during the Nomcom process
   does take place, sometimes quite aggressively.  It is one thing for a
   nominee to make invididual and personal requests for support.  It
   quite a different thing to have an organized campaign by a business
   associate, such as an employer.  As an example, one company sought to
   recruit the employees of its business partners who participate in the
   IETF to register positive comments on the Nomcom wiki.

   The IETF Nomcom process needs protection against these sorts of

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   attempts at manipulation.  The IETF needs to make clear statements
   about the behaviors that are acceptable, and those that are not,
   among anyone involved directly or indirectly in the IETF process.

      RECOMMENDATION -- Etiquette Guide

         In order to ensure that every participant and organization
         involved in the Nomcom process can be easily and adequately
         informed of what is expected of them in the process, there
         should be an "etiquette" guide supplied to all participants,
         nominees, nominees' organization, interviewees, and others.

         (Implementation) This is not, technically, a formal change to
         Nomcom rules.  It could probably be implemented informally.
         However it asserts IETF norms.  If only to add to its
         credibility, this should be a normative document, detailing
         desired and acceptable behaviors and those that are prohibited.

      RECOMMENDATION -- Politicking

         Any evidence of politicking should be reported to Nomcom and
         should be treated as a significant, negative factor when
         considering the nominee who is intended to benefit from the

         (Implementation) Nomcoms develop their own criteria.  Hence the
         use of this criterion does not require any formal change.  It
         will be useful to include this item in both the proposed
         operations Guide and the Etiquette Guide.

6.  Acknowledgements

   This draft is the result of discussions among an ad hoc Nomcom
   Selection Design Team, including Spencer Dawkins.  Additional review
   and suggestions have been provided by: Ross Callon, Olaf Kolkman,
   Jason Livingood, Tony Hansen, Danny McPherson, Hannes Tschofenig.

7.  Security Considerations

   This document has no security implications, except for the viability
   of the IETF's Nomcom process.

8.  Informative References


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              Barnes, M., "Nomcom Chair's Report: 2009-2010",
              I-D draft-barnes-Nomcom-report-2009, February 2010.

   [RFC3777]  Galvin, J., "IAB and IESG Selection, Confirmation, and
              Recall Process: Operation of the Nominating and Recall
              Committees", RFC 3777, June 2004, <informative>.

              Galvin, J., "Operation of the Nominating and Recall",
              I-D draft-galvin-rfc3777bis-00
              (expired), March 2009.

   [RFC3797]  Eastlake, D., "Publicly Verifiable Nomcom Random
              Selection", RFC 2777, June 2004.

   [RFC5078]  Dawkins, S., "IAB and IESG Selection, Confirmation, and
              Recall Process. Revision of the Nominating and Recall
              Committees Timeline", RFC 5078, October 2007.

   [RFC5680]  Dawkins, S., Ed., "The Nominating Committee Process: Open
              Disclosure of Willing Nominees", BCP 10, RFC 5680,
              October 2009.

Appendix A.  Draft IETF Nomcom Independence and Confidentiality Policy

   I am participating in the Internet Engineering Task Force's (IETF)
   nominations process.  Working with the independent IETF Nominations
   Committee (Nomcom) often includes access to information that is
   confidential.  Preservation of the Nomcom's independence and
   confidentiality are necessary to the integrity of that process.

   In light of this I understand that:

      I am participating as a private individual and not as a
      representative of any organization.

      The confidential information that is part of the Nomcom process

      *  The activities of IETF participants, as they are part of IETF
         work, and

      *  Details of the IETF's Nomcom operation.

      An example of confidential information that I am expected NOT to
      disclose is information about my business associates, such as my
      employer, that is not already public information.

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      I must not share any Nomcom confidential information with anyone,
      unless the Nomcom Chair indicates it is acceptable.  In particular
      this means that I must not share any Nomcom information with co-
      workers, family, friends or other IETF participants who are not
      members of the current IETF Nominating Committee.

      I understand that it is not possible to know what details are
      harmless and what details are not.  For example, people outside of
      the Nomcom can combine small amounts of apparently harmless,
      confidential information from multiple sources, in order to
      generate a surprising level of insight into the workings of the
      current Nomcom, and then disrupt its process.  Therefore, I must
      not communicate any of the Nomcom information to which I have

      Sometimes an employer, colleague, friend or family member will
      attempt to pressure a Nomcom participant to reveal confidential
      information or to take particular actions.  I must explain to them
      that the Nomcom confidentiality and independence policies do not
      permit me to discuss this information or to act at their
      direction.  I should resign from the Nomcom, rather than allow my
      employer or others to require that I disclose confidential Nomcom
      information or change my interactions, preferences or voting.

   I acknowledge that I have read and understand this Policy statement.


      Name (Print or Type):



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Authors' Addresses

   D. Crocker (editor)
   Brandenburg InternetWorking
   675 Spruce Dr.

   Phone: +1.408.246.8253 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +1.408.246.8253      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

   Scott Brim


   Joel Halpern
   P. O. Box 6049
   Leesburg, VA

   Phone: +1.703.371.3043 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +1.703.371.3043      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

   Bert Wijnen begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting


   Barry Leiba
   Internet Messaging Technology


   Mary Barnes


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