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Versions: 00 01 02                                                      
Network Working Group                                         J. Klensin
Internet-Draft                                          October 22, 2021
Intended status: Best Current Practice
Expires: April 25, 2022


  Terms of Appointments for Nomcom-selected IETF Leadership Positions
                      draft-klensin-nomcom-term-02

Abstract

   A consensus is emerging in the IETF that very long tenure in
   leadership roles is not in the best interests of the community.
   While, in theory, that advice could simply be given to the Nomcom,
   there is reason to believe that a different model for consideration
   of renewal or replacement for members of the leadership would be more
   efficient for the Nomcom and would impose less hardship on incumbents
   and the community.  This document outlines that alternate method.

Status of This Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
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   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
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   This Internet-Draft will expire on April 25, 2022.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2021 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
   (https://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
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   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of



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

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
     1.1.  Mailing List  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   2.  The Review and Clean Nomination Model . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
     2.1.  Phase 1: Review of Incumbents . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     2.2.  Phase 2: Nomination and Selection of New Candidates . . .   5
     2.3.  Revised schedule  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   3.  Previous Discussion Points  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     3.1.  IESG-only, or all Nomcom appointments?  . . . . . . . . .   6
     3.2.  Justification for third terms?  . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
     3.3.  Guidance, or hard limit on service length?  . . . . . . .   6
   4.  Internationalization Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   5.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   6.  Security considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   7.  Contributor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   8.  Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   9.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   Appendix A.  Change Log . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
     A.1.  Changes from draft-klensin-Nomcom-term-01 (2006-06-24)
           to -03  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   Author's Address  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8

1.  Introduction

   Context and Note in Draft: This Internet-Draft is a small update of a
   version with the same name that was last posted and discussed in
   2006.  The problems it identified still exist in 2021 and the
   proposed solution still seems relevant.  However, the original was
   written more as a discussion piece than as a formal proposal and this
   revision continues in that form.  Should the idea get traction, much
   of the style will need to be modified and it will need to be adapted
   to formally update RFC 8713.

   A consensus is emerging in the IETF that very long tenure in
   leadership roles is not in the best interests of the community.
   While, in theory, that advice could simply be given to the Nomcom,
   there is reason to believe that a different model for consideration
   of renewal or replacement for members of the leadership would be more
   efficient for the Nomcom and would impose less hardship on incumbents
   and the community.  This document outlines that alternate method.







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1.1.  Mailing List

   This proposal is under discussion on the gendispatch@ietf.org list.

2.  The Review and Clean Nomination Model

   The current nomination process pits incumbents, incumbent
   performance, and questions of stability in the IESG against potential
   other candidates.  It also gives incumbents and the nomcom no
   explicit guidance about how many terms someone should serve.  This is
   undesirable for a number of reasons.  It creates the notion of
   incumbents being "fired" rather than honorably retired to the
   citizenry after a brief period of contributing to the community by
   assuming a leadership role.  And, while there is significant value in
   treating stability as a goal, it can also create distortions about
   the degree of support various ideas have in the community and the
   impression of in-groups.

   This specification changes the current model by reintroducing some
   principles that the authors believe are widely held in the community
   and optimizing the selection process to support those principles.
   The principles include:

   o  Service in the IETF's leadership bodies is a short-term
      contribution to the community, not a career.  Indeed, assuming
      those positions may be considered a responsibility to the
      community.

   o  It takes long enough to learn the job of being an effective AD
      that, in general, having someone retire after a single two-year
      term is uneconomic for the community.

   o  Just as retirement of an AD after one term should be considered a
      major step because of the inefficiencies of the learning period,
      the six-month or more period in which an incumbent is uncertain
      about whether work should be planned that spans the "first meeting
      of the next year" introduces inefficiencies that should be
      minimized to the degree possible.

   o  A demonstrated shortage of people willing to do work in the IETF
      should be taken as an indication that there is insufficient real
      community interest in the work to reach a meaningful consensus
      about high-quality results.  While that position appears to be
      reasonably well-understood with regard to the number of active
      IETF participants interested in putting a working group together,
      and in finding leadership for working groups, the same principle
      probably should be applied to ADs and areas: if there are only one
      or two people willing and qualified to do the AD job, that may be



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      an indication that the IETF should review the appropriateness of
      that area's existence or definition.

   To deal effectively with these problems, the Nomcom consideration and
   evaluation process is divided into two phases.

2.1.  Phase 1: Review of Incumbents

   Incumbent performance should be evaluated, not compared to potential
   other candidates or replacements.  The incumbent will always have
   more experience.  An AD who has done his or her job well, will have
   accumulated strong proponents and probably strong detractors.  Other
   candidates are always risks, and direct comparison is inevitably
   difficult.

   In Phase 1, the Nomcom will evaluate the performance of incumbents,
   collecting information from the community as needed to do that.  The
   Nomcom is instructed that an incumbent should be returned once (i.e.,
   permitted/encouraged to serve two terms) unless there is strong
   evidence of problems (e.g., incompetence, inability to work with WGs,
   inability to work with other ADs, non-feasance, or malfeasance).
   Conversely, the Nomcom should assume that it is better to return an
   incumbent who has served two terms to the community and active WG
   work unless some special circumstances apply.

   While this process allows flexibility, the Nomcom is instructed that
   "special circumstances" should be a rare occurance, based on what is
   best for the affected area, the IESG, and the IETF as a whole.
   Simply doing an outstanding job as an AD should not constitute
   "special circumstances" that would justify a third term.

   The level of special circumstances required for a fourth, or
   subsequent, term should be required to be much higher than that for a
   third: the intent is to make more than three terms a rare and nearly
   impossible event without formally prohibiting that through a term
   limit: it is important that the Nomcom retain flexibility and the
   opportunity to judge special circumstances.

   Discussions between the Nomcom and a candidate as to whether that
   candidate is willing to serve again should be covered by the Nomcom's
   normal privacy rules except as mutually agreed.  If the Nomcom
   chooses to not return a candidate who is willing to serve, the
   expectation is that this will be indistinguishable to the community
   from the candidate voluntarily stepping down.  Under normal
   circumstances, the Nomcom is expected to conduct informational
   evaluations of even those candidates who have chosen to step down
   (the evaluations may inform later choices), but such candidates may
   negotiate with the Nomcom as appropriate, perhaps supplying in-depth



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   analysis of the relevant Area and its status and issues as an
   alternative.

   At the end of this phase, the Nomcom submits the list of returning
   candidates to the IAB as usual.  The IAB makes its decision and the
   choices are announced to the community.  The list of (remaining) open
   slots is then announced to the community and nominations and
   recommendations sought.  Any incumbent who is not returned in this
   phase is not eligible for the relevant position in the second phase.

2.2.  Phase 2: Nomination and Selection of New Candidates

   This procedure works exactly as described in [RFC8713], with the
   understanding that no incumbent will ever be a candidate for the same
   position under this process.  As a side-effect, the process makes it
   more difficult than it has traditionally been to shift people around
   within the IESG: it is considered an explicit corollary to the
   principles above that an incumbent AD is one area should normally
   have working experience within one or more WGs in a new area before
   being considered as a candidate for AD in that area.

2.3.  Revised schedule

   [[to be supplied]]

   The authors are aware of other proposals that would also affect the
   Nomcom timeline.  Rather than trying to develop a revised schedule on
   a per-proposal basis, we suggest that one Nomcom schedule revision be
   considered, based on this and other proposals that would be
   accommodated.

3.  Previous Discussion Points

   In informal discussions before the initial version of this draft was
   completed and posted, there was considerable discussion on three
   points - whether this proposal should apply only to IESG
   appointments, or to all Nomcom appointments, whether "doing an
   outstanding job" is justification for third terms, and whether this
   proposal should contain a statement of guidance, or hard term limits.

   Reasonable people disagreed on both of these points, but the proposal
   authors made choices.

   The community will need to discuss, and decide upon, these issues.







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3.1.  IESG-only, or all Nomcom appointments?

   This specification has been written to apply to the IESG only, since
   the IESG's operational role and observed rates of AD burnout make it
   most obviously important there.

   It is possible that consideration should be given as to whether a
   similar or identical model should be applied to the IAB and/or other
   appointments made by the Nomcom.

3.2.  Justification for third terms?

   This specification is written to allow Nomcom to return ADs for third
   terms, and beyond, due to "special circumstances".  One question
   we've been asked is whether "doing an outstanding job" should be
   included in "special circumstances".

   While our intention is to provide guidance to Nomcom, rather than
   rules, this specification proposes that this guidance be "no".

   o  The community is better served by having former ADs returning to
      technical work.  A consistent criticism of the current working
      group process is that specifications often lack sufficient cross-
      area review when they are forwarded for publication.  ADs provide
      this type of review, but currently-serving ADs don't have time to
      provide reviews early in the development of a draft, where it is
      most useful and most likely to have a positive impact.

   o  Allowing "doing an outstanding job" to constitute "special
      circumstances" removes deterministic benefits of this model.  The
      intention is that ADs return to the community after two terms.  It
      is desired that all ADs "do an outstanding job" - this proposal
      would remove the ADs who do not, after their first term - but Only
      in Lake Woebegon are all the children above average, and Lake
      Wobegon is a fictitious place.

   o  We also note that former ADs are often asked to serve as working
      group chairs in difficult situations, to help with BOFs and WG
      charter discussions, and to carry out assignments that benefit
      from AD experience but do not require the assignee to be a serving
      AD.

3.3.  Guidance, or hard limit on service length?

   There was considerable discussion about whether it was better to
   offer the Nomcom the guidance above, discouraging terms beyond the
   second, or whether to flatly prohibit more than two terms.  One group
   believed that giving the Nomcom a little extra flexibility was a good



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   idea; the other believed that any additional flexibility would likely
   lead to very long terms since there would always be a reason to make
   an exception.

   The authors of this proposal prefer to offer Nomcom guidance, rather
   than rules.  To take one example - if the Nomcom believes that
   returning a third-term AD is appropriate (due, perhaps, to serving
   area directors stepping down before the end of second terms), we
   prefer to allow Nomcom this flexibility, rather than restrict them to
   a course of action that seems ill-advised.

4.  Internationalization Considerations

   This specification is about IETF Procedures.  It has no impact on
   internationalization issues.

5.  IANA Considerations

   This specification is about IETF Procedures.  It has no impact on
   IANA issues and does not contemplate any IANA actions.

6.  Security considerations

   This specification is about IETF Procedures for leadership selection.
   It has no impact on Internet security issues.

7.  Contributor

   Spencer Dawson was co-author of the 2005-2006 versions of this draft
   and contributed very significantly to the thinking that went into
   them.  It was not possible to contact him and get his review and
   assent before posting this version, so his is identified him as a
   Contributor but may be moved back to authorship in the future.

8.  Acknowledgements

   [[ to be supplied ]]

9.  Normative References

   [RFC8713]  Kucherawy, M., Ed., Hinden, R., Ed., and J. Livingood,
              Ed., "IAB, IESG, IETF Trust, and IETF LLC Selection,
              Confirmation, and Recall Process: Operation of the IETF
              Nominating and Recall Committees", BCP 10, RFC 8713,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC8713, February 2020,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc8713>.





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Appendix A.  Change Log

   [[RFC Editor: Please remove this section before publication.]]

A.1.  Changes from draft-klensin-Nomcom-term-01 (2006-06-24) to -03

   o  Updated contact information, a reference, and changed needed to
      get from xml2rfc v1 to v2.

   o  Added introductory note and updated target mailing list.

   o  Moved Spencer (I hope temporarily) to "Contributor".

Author's Address

   John C Klensin
   1770 Massachusetts Ave, #322
   Cambridge, MA  02140
   USA

   Phone: +1 617 491 5735
   Email: john-ietf@jck.com





























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