These pages contain the current summaries of desired expertise for open positions, provided to the Nomcom by the IESG, IAB, and IAOC. As the Nomcom proceeds, per BCP 10, we receive input from the community on the qualifications required for the positions. The Nomcom bases selections on all of this information. These pages may be updated periodically.
The purpose of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Trust is to acquire, hold, maintain, and license certain existing and future intellectual property and other property used in connection with the administration of the IETF [RFC4371].
Compared to the IESG, IAB or IETF LLC the Trust requires a smaller time commitment, however Trustee duties do involve timely review and response of requests to use the IETF Trusts IP assets, providing oversight to the IETF Trust budget, and fund raising. The Trust has monthly scheduled online meetings, supplemented with occasional in person meetings at IETF meetings, and in 2019, with the separation from the IAOC, the Trust held an in-person retreat which may become an annual meeting.
For more information see the "IETF Administrative Support Activity 2.0: Update to the Process for Selection of Trustees for the IETF Trust" RFC 8715 and "Update to the Process for Selection of Trustees for the IETF Trust" RFC 8714.
The following is a general skills set that is useful for the overall Trust to have. Successful Trustees candidates do not need to have each skill listed in order to be valuable members of the Trust as the other Trustees balance of any particular skills that maybe less developed, or missing in a successful candidate.
- Familiar with copyright primarily in the US which is the Trust's legal home, though international experience is useful.
- Familiar with Trade Mark law and registrations.
- Familiar with the RFC publication process as described in RFC 6635 and related documents.
- Familiar with the Trust's copyright licenses and with RFCs 5377 and 5378.
- Some experience in board of directors or board of a trust operations is desirable.
- Willing to engage in fund raising outreach on behalf of the Trust.
- Willing to serve multiple terms as a trustee to provide continuity of oversight.
LLC Board Director
IETF Administration LLC Board Director Role
The Internet Engineering Task Force Administration LLC ("IETF LLC") provides a corporate legal framework for facilitating current and future activities related to the IETF as well as its sister organizations, the Internet Architecture Board ("IAB") and the Internet Research Task Force ("IRTF"). IETF LLC exists to provide administrative support to these organizations. Its responsibilities are:
- Operations. IETF LLC is responsible for supporting the ongoing operations of the IETF, including meetings and non-meeting activities.
- Finances. IETF LLC is responsible for managing the IETF's finances and budget.
- Fundraising. IETF LLC is responsible for raising money on behalf of the IETF.
- Compliance. IETF LLC is responsible for establishing and enforcing policies to ensure compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and rules.
Relation to the Internet Society
IETF LLC is organized as a “disregarded entity” of the Internet Society ("ISOC"), which means it operates as a branch or division of ISOC for tax purposes. ISOC is a US 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization founded in 1992 that supports and promotes the development of the Internet as a global technical infrastructure, a resource to enrich people’s lives, and a force for good in society. IETF LLC Board Overview
All board directors are unpaid volunteers.
The board is responsible for setting broad strategic direction for IETF LLC on administrative, legal, financial and other non-technical areas. The board is responsible for hiring and supervising an Executive Director. The Executive Director is responsible for managing the day-to-day affairs of IETF LLC, including hiring staff to carry out the LLC’s responsibilities. The board’s other responsibilities include adopting an annual budget, adopting employee benefit plans, consulting the IETF community on matters as appropriate, and approving entering into agreements that meet a significant materiality threshold. Ideally, some board directors are positioned to play an active role in helping to secure financial resources for the IETF and to leverage personal connections that help the staff identify and solicit potential funders. The board’s work is high-level and strategic; the board is expected to delegate management of day-to-day activities and related decision-making to staff.
Ideal candidates for the role of board director should have prior professional experience with:
- Fundraising in the non-profit sector;
- Financial management and budgeting on a seven-figure scale;
- Executive management, compensation, and performance review;
- Working with legal counsel to address organization-related legal and compliance issues;
- Working with geographically and culturally diverse colleagues and populations;
- Communicating with a variety of audiences to build support for the mission of the IETF or a similar organization.
Preference may be given to candidates with non-profit or corporate board experience and/or experience with the IETF or other similar technical or standards development organizations. It seems unlikely that each candidate will bring all of this experience individually. Thus, the NomCom may wish to focus on selecting directors with complementary skills and experience. Candidate Requirements
Requirements for the role of board director include:
- Taking on legal and fiduciary responsibility for IETF LLC.
- Familiarizing him/herself with the IETF’s mission, history, structure, and culture.
- Traveling to board meetings multiple times per year. The number of meetings per year, their locations, decisions about co-locating them with IETF meetings, and availability of travel funding will be decided at the board’s discretion with input from the IETF community.
- Attending regular conference calls, potentially in different time zones outside of normal business hours.
- Preparing for board meetings and calls in advance and actively participating in board discussions.
- Making heavy use of email and other online communications tools as key means for advancing the work of the board and conversing with staff and IETF participants.
- Operating transparently and engaging openly with the IETF community and staff.
- Acting in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and board policies.
It is anticipated that board directors will spend an average of four hours per week on the board’s work.
The IAB Role
The Internet Architecture Board (IAB) is chartered both as a committee of the IETF and as an advisory body of the Internet Society (ISOC).
The IAB supports the operation of the IETF. It provides architectural input into IETF technical activities as well as sponsoring and organizing work in the IRTF.
The IAB acts as a source of advice and guidance concerning technical, architectural and procedural matters pertaining to the Internet and its enabling technologies.
The IAB has a number of roles within the organizational functioning of the IETF. While these roles require administrative rather than technical work, they form a significant part of the IAB's activities.
- The IAB has a role in the IETF Nominations Committee process: the IAB confirms the IETF Chair and the Area Directors (IESG). - The IAB serves as an appeal board for complaints of improper execution of the standards process, acting on appeals in respect of IESG standards decisions.
- The IAB appoints ISOC Board of Trustees (BoT) members, a member of the IETF LLC, and similar positions in other Internet governance bodies.
- The IAB hears appeals on matters related to the IETF LLC.
- The IAB is responsible for the selection of the RFC Series Oversight Committee (RSOC) and for approving any recommendations of the RSOC which affect the RSE as an individual.
- The IAB provides direction for the administration of the IETF's protocol parameters registries (the IANA function).
- The IAB selects the chair of the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) and oversees the IRTF's activities.
- The IAB is responsible for interfacing with other organizations on behalf of the IETF. It does this primarily through its liaison process. When necessary, IAB members will more directly engage with those other organizations. IAB members serve as "shepherds" to individually oversee particular relationships.
All IAB members need to be prepared to participate (to varying degrees) in these activities.
A principal role of the IAB is to take a broad and long range perspective to offer input into the planning and coordination among different areas of Internet activities, including those of the IETF and IRTF. The sum of the expertise of IAB members encompasses a broad range of technologies under IETF and IRTF. The IAB is expected to pay attention to important long-term issues in the Internet and to make sure that these issues are brought to the attention of the groups that are in a position to address them, and to make sure that the right people within these groups are in contact with each other.
The IAB maintains open communications channels with other bodies engaged in Internet governance, including ICANN, the Regional Internet Registries, and ISOC, and provides technical and architectural input as appropriate. As needed, the IAB works with ISOC to provide advice and guidance to the Internet community on technical, architectural, and policy matters pertaining to the Internet and its enabling technologies. That advice and guidance are provided to the public, to the Board of Trustees, and Officers of the Internet Society as circumstances dictate. Organization of the IAB
In order to enhance institutional memory and enable the development of medium and long term activities, the IAB has organized its work in several areas in the form of programs (see https://www.iab.org/activities/programs/). A program is a long-term activity scoped and managed by the IAB comprised of a body of technical experts from the wider community (see [RFC2850] Section 2.1). Program outputs include IAB documents and statements. All IAB members are expected to review and comment on program outputs that represent the consensus of the IAB. In order to ensure that all IAB activities have IAB participation, members of the IAB are expected to actively participate in one or more programs.
The IAB schedules workshops on topics of interest from time to time, and IAB members are encouraged to attend these as well.
In addition, the IAB chooses a chair for a one year term at the March IETF meeting, after new members of the IAB are seated. There shall be at least two members of the IAB (among the nominated slate and the incumbents) who are willing and able to take the role of Chair.
IAB Member Qualities
IAB members are expected to act at the "Board" level.
The IAB is most effective when it is composed of a diverse set of individuals with a broad range of technical skills, architectural perspectives and backgrounds. For example, it is desirable for IAB members to have technical leadership experience, operational management backgrounds, research or academic backgrounds, implementation experience, and experience in other bodies involved in Internet governance. Likewise it is desirable for IAB members to have had experiences with differing technical challenges and requirements, including those that vary by geographic region. It is critical that IAB members be willing and able to work with each other to develop a shared viewpoint.
Some IAB activities are very specialized - for example, managing liaison relationships with other SDOs on behalf of the IETF. It is advantageous for the IAB when NomCom ensures that at least some IAB members have sufficient managerial skills to understand the issues that need to come to the IAB by managing and documenting inter-SDO liaison relationships on a strategic basis.
While it is advantageous for at least some IAB membership to have expertise in the IAB's current program topics, it is more important for the IAB to have membership who are experienced in managing volunteer teams, and who can build teams, motivate program work, and direct one or more programs even in the absence of in-depth knowledge about specific program topics. The IAB needs at least some members with program management skills that will facilitate interfacing between programs and the IAB.
While these characteristics are all important, individuals have different strengths. The IAB as a whole benefits most from a complementary and diverse set of skills that are balanced across all aspects of the role.
The time commitment for an IAB member averages about six to sixteen hours a week in normal weeks (with significant week-to-week variability), and full-time during IETF meetings, retreats, and IAB workshops. Some positions within the IAB require more time. It is expected that IAB members also actively participate in IETF activities. Simply tracking the various mailing list and documents can take up to a day a week. About a quarter to half of the time is spent on the organizational activities. Leading a program is an equivalent time commitment to chairing a working group; active participation in a program can take additional time. Each IAB member should be able to commit to leading a program during their IAB term.
The typical time commitment for the IAB Chair is three days a week, and this position may require more travel. The IAB Chair is an ex officio member of the IESG and must devote time to IESG meetings including a yearly retreat, which is often but not always adjacent to the IAB retreat.
IAB members may be called upon by ADs to do reviews of specialized documents and other tasks, potentially adding to those numbers.
IAB members should plan to arrive at IETF meetings at or before the start of the meeting week. Time commitment during the meeting includes time on Sunday, early mornings during the week, during meal times, and Friday after scheduled meetings conclude IAB members are expected to cover and report on BoFs during the meeting.
The IAB typically holds an annual retreat from one to three days, and teleconferences on a regular basis, currently 2-3 times a month.
Internet Area Director
Click on the "IESG Member (Generic)" tab for description of expertise common to all Area Directors. The generic expertise is in addition to the specific expertise described below.
The primary technical topics covered by the Internet Area include: the IP layer (both IPv4 and IPv6), implications of IPv6 adoption, co-existence between the IP versions, DNS, DHCP, mobility, multihoming, multicast, host and router configuration, time protocols, and Internet of Things, along with various link-layer technologies.
The Internet Area is responsible for specifying how IP will run over new link-layer protocols as they are defined. New link-layer protocols still being defined now are in emerging technologies like IoT or constrained networking.
Between them, the Internet ADs are expected to have a solid understanding of these technologies, including issues related to IP addressing, name resolution, forwarding, tunneling, fragmentation, and wireless link-layers.
Since the Internet Area includes a broad range of technical topics, the Internet Area ADs typically divide the WGs that they manage based on workload and expertise. To assist the ADs, there is an Internet Area directorate and an IoT Directorate. However, with the large number of WGs, the Internet Area has historically required considerable time commitment and breadth of expertise from its ADs. As the role of the AD requires significant interaction with the Internet Area directorates, the Internet area workgroups, and other Areas, the ADs are expected to have awareness of contemporary management techniques in dealing with change and challenging technical and personnel situations.
The Internet Area traditionally intersects most frequently with all of the other Areas. Interaction with the Transport Area is related to work on address translation, fragmentation, ICMP, and multihoming mechanisms. Interaction with the Routing Area concentrates mainly on the relationship between the operation of the IP layer and routing functionality, as well some specific touchpoints related to routing for constrained devices. Interaction with the Operations and Management Area is focused on operations required for IPv6 adoption, new sub-IP technologies, YANG development, and AAA interactions. Interaction with the Security Area is focused on topics such as DNS security and privacy, IPsec usage, and network access control. The touchpoints with the ART area are related to DNS and to the IoT space where there are tight interactions between application-layer protocols such as CoAP and IPv6-over-constrained-link-layer adaptations in order to provide better efficiency. Cross-area expertise in any of these Areas is particularly useful.
The Internet Area is also often involved in the adaptation of a variety of technologies to IP, some of which may require interactions with many other organizations such as 3GPP, IEEE, BBF, ETSI, and Cablelabs. There are also ad-hoc interactions with several standardization organizations in the IoT space. Expertise with liaison processes and an understanding of how Internet Area protocols are used in various networks (such as Broadband, wireless & cellular networks, low-power networks, large datacenters, and the "Internet of Things"), is highly desirable. Given all of the above an ideal candidate, in this cycle, should have a deep understanding of IPv6, DNS, low-power wireless technologies, IoT, constrained devices and networks.
Applications and Real Time (ART) Area Director
Click on the "IESG Member (Generic)" tab for description of expertise common to all Area Directors. The generic expertise is in addition to the specific expertise described below.
The Applications and Real Time (ART) Area works on application layer and related protocols. It encompasses several areas of work:
"Infrastructure" protocols. These are underpinnings for other application-layer protocols. They sit above transport protocols, and should not themselves be considered "transport", but they are often or usually used by other application-layer protocols as a layer between applications and transport. Current work in this category includes evolution, maintenance, and extensions to HTTP, SIP, Audio/Video Transport, RTSP, and codec development.
Real-time applications. These are protocols that enable interactive human-to-human communication (see RFC 3550). Groups in this category are working on things such as real-time web communications, teleconferencing, emergency services communication, internet telephony, and instant messaging.
Traditional applications. These are the protocols we've generally thought of in relation to the application layer. They include such things as email, calendaring, directory services, non-real-time web services, and support for constrained environments.
Application building blocks. These are designed to be used with a variety of more specific applications. They include internationalization; JSON, XML, and CBOR; media types; URNs; and URI schemes.
The ART Area often discusses whether something is properly the realm of the IETF or "belongs" to other SDOs. The ART Area often re-uses technology developed elsewhere. As a result, the set of ART ADs needs to include the ability and experience to relate to a wide range of non-IETF organizations, such as the W3C, 3GPP and Unicode Consortium.
ART ADs are expected to take a lead role, guiding the community in the making of critical decisions about the scope of the IETF's applications-layer protocol work. Because of the breadth of the ART Area, the ART ADs need to deal with a large set of application-layer protocols, including many with which a particular AD may not have direct experience. ART ADs need to be good at evaluating new approaches to new problems and assessing the expertise of the people who bring them to the IETF. They need to connect well with the community, and know whom to go to for technical advice.
The set of people active in the ART Area changes with the protocols under development at the time. Therefore it is important that the ART ADs be able to clearly explain how the IETF works and to help new participants and working groups operate well, within the IETF standards process. The ability to reach out to new technology communities is important, so that the ART Area stays relevant to the ongoing evolution of Internet applications.
Cross-area expertise with the Security and Transport Areas is also useful, as there are often dependencies between ART work and those areas, particularly with respect to authentication, confidentiality, privacy, network congestion issues, and newly evolving work in the Transport Area.
ART ADs should be prepared to spend 50-75% of their time on IESG-related activities.
This description has been careful to talk about the set of ART ADs as a collective, with a collective set of skills. No one AD will have all of them, and it would be best to look at a balanced skill set across the ART ADs. A generalist with good management skills and good working relationships within the community will be more successful than a narrow specialist. The particular challenges of certain aspects of ART Area work mean that it's important that for each of the following there be at least one AD with some understanding of it and an ability to find and leverage expertise on it when needed: internationalization; URI schemes; SIP, SDP and related services; RTP; real-time web communications; web services; media types; and e-mail.
Operations Area Director
Click on the "IESG Member (Generic)" tab for description of expertise common to all Area Directors. The generic expertise is in addition to the specific expertise described below.
Unlike most IETF areas, the Operations & Management area is logically divided into two separate functions: Network Management and Operations. This year, the Operations AD role is open, so specific expertise required for the open position includes a strong understanding of Internet operations, as well as the ability to step into Network Management issues when necessary.
The primary technical areas covered by the Operations & Management Area include: Various operational issues facing the Internet such as DNS operations, IPv6 operations, Routing operations, Benchmarking, and Network Management and AAA.
The Operations AD is largely responsible for soliciting operator feedback and input regarding IETF work. This is a challenging task that requires strong contacts in the operations community and a great deal of persistence to maintain constructive engagement.
Another important role of the Operations AD is to identify potential or actual operational issues regarding IETF protocols and documents in all areas, and to work with the other areas to resolve those issues. This requires a strong understanding of how new and updated protocols may affect operations, and the ability to gather information from the operations community and translate that information into suggestions for protocol architecture and design within the IETF. It also requires a strong cross-area understanding of IETF protocol architecture and technologies.
The Operations portion of the Ops Area interacts most often with the Routing, Internet and Security areas. So, cross-area expertise in any of those areas would be particularly useful.
Routing Area Director
The Routing Area is responsible for facilitating the operation of the Internet routing system by maintaining and improving the scalability and stability characteristics of the existing routing protocols, as well as developing new protocols, extensions, and bug fixes in a timely manner. Forwarding methods (such as destination-based unicast and multicast forwarding, MPLS, and pseudowire) as well as associated routing and signaling protocols (such as OSPF, IS-IS, BGP, RSVP-TE, LDP, PIM, RPL, and VPNs at Layer 2, Layer 3), and both centralized and distributed routing architectures (to address, for example, virtualization, service chaining, traffic engineering and data center routing) are within the scope of the Routing Area. The interactions of routing systems with configuration and orchestration platforms (for example, routing-related YANG models and path computation engines) are handled in the routing area. The Routing Area also works on Generalized MPLS used in the control plane of optical networks as well as security and manageability aspects of the routing system. The Routing Area Working Groups cover a wide range of data plane technologies (Layer 1, Layer 2, Layer 3) and control protocols.
A Routing AD must have solid knowledge of the Internet routing system and its operations. A Routing AD must be proficient in at least one of the mainstream routing protocol or technology such as BGP, OSPF, IS-IS, MPLS, GMPLS, Segment Routing, or multicast. A Routing AD should have some knowledge of routing services (pseudo-wire, L2VPN, L3VPN). Some familiarity with recent trends in routing (new routing management models, wireless, or deterministic networking) would be helpful. Implementation, deployment and operational experience as well as significant contributions to the WGs in the Routing Area are highly desirable. It is desired for a Routing AD to have experience in the operation, deployment and/or implementation of routing protocols in non-traditional environments such as mobile, ad hoc and sensor networks (and other IoT-related deployments), including an understanding of interactions with other network systems, including security and management.
Currently, the Routing Area is managed by three Area Directors who typically divide the WGs that they each manage based on workload and expertise. To assist the ADs, there is an active Routing Area directorate that provides technical reviews on demand. Given the broad range of technical topics that have relationship among them, the Routing ADs closely coordinate the overall direction of the area between them and by routinely engaging the WG Chairs. Besides IESG-level commitments, the Routing ADs meet periodically among themselves and organize training and other informal meetings with the WG Chairs.
The Routing Area intersects most frequently with the Internet Area, the Operations and Management Area, and the Security Area. Interaction with the Internet Area concentrates mainly on IP forwarding and encapsulation. Ongoing work with the Operations and Management Area is on development of YANG models and on consideration of management and operation of routing infrastructure. With the Security Area the ongoing focus is on routing protocol security and its impact on the Internet's infrastructure security. Cross-area expertise in any of those areas would be useful.
Work in the Routing Area often overlaps with work in other SDOs. In particular, there have been interactions with the BBF, IEEE and ITU-T. Knowledge of the workings of other SDOs would be beneficial.
Security Area Director
The Security Area primarily focuses on protocols that provide one or more security services such as integrity, authentication, confidentiality, access control, assessment and threat mitigation. The privacy properties and usability of IETF protocols is also an important consideration.
Specific expertise required for a Security AD includes a strong working knowledge of IETF security protocols and mechanisms that have been developed in the Security Area, other Areas of the IETF, and outside the IETF. It is also important for Security ADs to understand the practical aspects of securing Internet resources and communication, including the use of common classes of cryptographic primitives and common misuse of such primitives. A good understanding of threat modeling and risk assessment as well as operational and industry practices is also beneficial.
Between the two Security ADs there will ideally be one who is knowledgeable about major IETF security protocols such as PKIX, IPsec, TLS, SASL, GSS-API, EAP, CMS, and S/MIME. Ideally, at least one AD would be knowledgeable about governance, policy and risk management; security and privacy controls in complex systems; the web security model; security operations and monitoring; incident response; and security in a systems development lifecycle.
The Security Area intersects with all other IETF Areas, and the Security ADs are expected to review, assess and improve the security properties of documents produced by all IETF Areas. Security ADs become personally involved with coordinating the involvement of security experts in the work of other Areas. Broad knowledge of IETF areas and technologies and the ability to assimilate new information quickly are imperative for a Security AD.
Transport Area Director
Together, the Transport Area Directors are expected to effectively charter, manage and review current and new transport work, including congestion signaling and reporting, congestion control for unresponsive flows and interactive real time media, experimentation with congestion control schemes developed in the IRTF, Quality of Service (QoS, including Differentiated Services and reservation signaling), performance metrics for Internet paths, and storage protocols for the Internet.
Together, the Transport ADs should have a broad understanding of core end-to-end transport topics and knowledge about the base transport protocols, such as TCP and QUIC, as well as how transport technologies interact with network-layer technologies and protocols and with various application-layer protocols, but they are not expected to be experts on all or even most of these topics. Rather, they are expected to work well with Transport Area participants who are experts, and to have enough familiarity with the principles involved to exercise their own judgment about what should be done and why.
Having an overall architectural view as well as basic knowledge of security and privacy, NAT and Firewall, encapsulation and tunneling, and higher layer technologies such as web technologies can be of value.
Because Transport Area working groups often have common interests with IRTF research groups, especially ICCRG, MAPRG, and PANRG, familiarity with these research groups is helpful. Having at least one Transport Area AD with some background in the broader research community is also helpful. There are also open source communities that implements transport area related protocols which there are beneficial to have contacts with.
Together, the Transport ADs are expected to organize their workload, e.g., document review, email discussions as follow-up of document review, IESG emails, WG management, etc, in such a way that the average workload for each AD is about 15 to 20 hours per week.
Transport ADs manage and recruit volunteers in order to maintain the Transport Area Document Review Triage Team (“TSV triage team”) and the Transport Area Review Team (TSV-ART).The TSV triage team provides support for the ADs by assigning document reviews to TSV-ART, and TSV-ART provides reviews on request and during Last Call that can be used by the Transport ADs as input for their ballot positions. The Transport ADs may delegate any tasks that can be delegated, but the ADs themselves still have ultimate responsibility to ensure that transport considerations are appropriately taken into account during IESG Evaluation.
The IETF Chair has six major roles: overseeing the work of the IETF as a whole, representing the IETF to the outside world, overseeing the work of the IESG in particular, serving as the General AD, serving as a voting member of the IAB, and (if appointed by the IESG) serving as an IETF Administration LLC Board member.
Serving as IETF Chair requires a full-time or near-full-time commitment. A candidate for this position needs to be willing to put aside his or her own technical work and other major professional roles for the duration of the term.
Chairing the IETF requires excellent communications skills, strong leadership skills, the ability and willingness to keep the community informed of all issues that are important to the IETF as a whole, the ability to establish community consensus on issues important to the IETF as a whole, and the ability to speak and act in accordance with that consensus. Among other things, this involves planning plenary sessions and leadership retreats and effectively running meetings with over 1000 attendees.
In the IESG Chair role, the IETF Chair is responsible for coordinating the activities of the other ADs and providing top-level management for the IETF standards process. The IETF Chair must be capable of intervening when difficulties arise between ADs or between an AD and a WG Chair. The IETF Chair also oversees the handling of appeals sent to the IESG, the mechanisms for IESG internal process change, and the production of any statements issued by the IESG.
The General Area consists of very few WGs and other activities focused on supporting, updating and maintaining the IETF standards development process. As General AD, the IETF Chair should meet the generic requirements for an IESG member listed above, and is expected to play a full role in IESG document review and approval. The General AD must also have a strong understanding of the IETF standards process and a commitment to maintain and improve that process. The General AD manages the General Area Review Team (Gen-ART); the Education, Mentoring, and Outreach (EMO) Directorate; the Tools Team; and the Tools Architecture and Strategy Team.
The IETF Chair is a voting member of the Internet Architecture Board (IAB). The IAB has a long history, but the IAB is currently viewed as the senior committee working with the IETF to provide both architectural and oversight functions for the development of the Internet. The IETF Chair brings important perspective to the oversight of the RFC Editor, the IANA functions, and the liaison process with other SDOs.
The IESG may choose to appoint the IETF Chair to the IETF Administration LLC Board. As a board member, the IETF Chair would have fiduciary responsibility to the LLC and would be involved in strategic planning, budget approval, and fundraising on behalf of the IETF LLC. Although day-to-day management of administrative matters is handled by the LLC staff, the IETF Chair will spend some time each week on administrative business, particularly in the context of ensuring the IETF is properly supported by its staff and contractors.
The IETF Chair is asked to speak at numerous conferences and to represent the IETF to government officials, representatives of other standards bodies and the press. While the IETF Chair has control over which of these invitations he or she accepts, any candidate for this position should be willing and able to represent the IETF effectively in these fora, in consultation with the IAB Chair as appropriate.
The IETF Chair needs to be able to lead and work with others on communications related to the IETF and its visions, values, work activities, and successes. This includes being able to lead the community through difficult, contentious discussions. It also includes answering requests to explain the IETF to people who are not familiar with it or its work. To do this, the IETF Chair uses different communication styles and methods than those needed to effectively lead and work with others within the IETF. For example, the IETF Chair may be asked to communicate with news media, help develop approaches for and use channels such as social media, and speak with non-technical audiences beyond the immediate IETF community.
IESG Member (Generic)
Click on tab for each open Area Director position for specific desired expertise. This tab describes expertise common to all Area Director positions.
IESG members are the managers of the IETF standards process. They must understand the way the IETF works, recognize where the organization needs to evolve, be good at working with other people, be able to inspire and encourage other people to work together as volunteers, and have sound technical judgment about IETF technology and its relationship to technology developed elsewhere.
Area Directors (ADs) select the Working Group (WG) Chairs, and then work with them to manage IETF WGs. Consequently, IESG members should possess sufficient interpersonal and management skills to manage 15 to 30 part-time people. Most ADs are also responsible for the management of one or more directorates or review teams. The ability to identify good leaders and technical experts, and then recruit them for IETF work and leadership at all levels is important.
ADs are also expected to understand where there is a need to change either IETF processes or IETF's overall role, as the Internet and the industry around it evolves.
An ideal IESG member has made significant technical contributions in more than one IETF Area. The Area Director role includes significant people management, for which prior experience chairing a working group will be useful – although other people-management experience may be a reasonable substitute. Similarly, the ability to review and usefully provide feedback on technical documents is a necessary skill for IESG members, for which serving on an area directorate or area review team would provide useful experience; active participation in working groups and other, non-IETF technical review activities can also be helpful in building such skills. Breadth of technical ability and the facility to quickly grasp concepts outside of their strongest areas are more important than specific technical expertise. Experience from a broad range of backgrounds across the entire IESG is desirable.
An AD need not be the ultimate expert and authority in any technical area. The abilities to manage, to guide and judge consensus, to know who the subject-matter experts are and to seek their advice, and to mentor other IETF participants to take the technical lead is at least as important as their own technical abilities. Although the split varies from area-to-area, ADs can expect to spend approximately 30% of their time on management tasks, with the remainder being technical in nature.
An AD should be able to personally review every Internet-Draft that they sponsor. For other Internet-Drafts an AD needs to be satisfied that adequate review has taken place, though many ADs personally review these documents as well. After the 2015 reorganization of IETF areas and IESG procedures, assignments of ADs to specific working groups are more flexible than they were previously, and can accommodate the expertise available in the IESG as a whole.
It is very helpful for an IESG member to have a good working knowledge of the IETF document process as well as WG creation and chartering process. This knowledge is most likely to be found in experienced WG Chairs, but may also be found in authors of multiple documents. It is very helpful for an IESG member to have experience attending multiple IETF meetings, creating WG session agendas, supervising WG sessions, and helping to arrange interim WG meetings.
IESG members must have strong oral and written communications skills. They must have a proven track record of leading and contributing to the consensus of diverse groups. They must be able to prioritize their work, and must reliably follow through and finish the important work items in a timely manner.
An IESG member should be able to guide WGs to follow their charters and nurture new talent to fulfill IETF leadership roles in the future.
Basic IESG activities can consume significant time during a typical non-meeting week. Enough time must be allocated to manage approximately 10 to 15 working groups, to read on the order of 500 pages of internet-drafts every two weeks, and to follow up on document processing tasks. Many ADs allocate 15 hours or more per week to such tasks. Some ADs have been able to combine significant other responsibilities with an AD role and/or delegate work to area directorates, while others put a larger proportion of their hours into AD responsibilities. A personal commitment is critical.
The time commitment varies by Area and by month, with the most intense periods immediately before and during IETF meetings. ADs during their first year tend to spend more time per week on AD work. Practices vary widely between IESG members, however. Most IESG members also participate in additional IETF leadership activities, further increasing the time commitment for those individuals. ADs may need to interact with external groups such as other standards development organizations (SDOs), which may require additional travel. We have also found IESG member attendance at most IETF meetings to be imperative, typically arriving one or two days early and leaving one day later (for pre/post meeting activities). IESG members also attend one, and sometimes two, IESG retreats per year, as well as occasional workshops and interim meetings. An IESG member should ideally also be comfortable with working, and developing professional relationships, in a virtual environment.
Because of the time and travel commitments, and awkwardly timed conference calls, IESG members have found that good personal motivation and family and sponsor support are important factors in making the role successful for them.