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Nomcom 2007-8: IAB Job Description
July 19, 2007

NomCom Chair <>
IETF Announcement list <>
July 19, 2007
Nomcom 2007-8: IAB Job Description

RFC 3777 says the following about the qualifications required for open
IESG/IAB positions:

         "The IESG and IAB are responsible for providing summary of the
         expertise desired of the candidates selected for their
         respective open positions to the Executive Director.  The
         summaries are provided to the nominating committee for its

      2. The nominating committee selects candidates based on its
         understanding of the IETF community's consensus of the
         qualifications required and advises each confirming body of its
         respective candidates."

The following is the information provided by the IAB to the nomcom.
The nomcom is now accepting the community's input on the qualifications
required for the open IAB positions.  Please send your notes, either as
commentary on the following or independent notes to nomcom07 at

Thank you.

best regards,

IAB Job Description

The IAB Role

The IAB is a chartered activity that works as a group within the IETF.
The IAB acts as a source of advice and guidance concerning technical,
architectural, and procedural matters pertaining to the Internet and its
enabling technologies for the IETF and its associated organizations.

1.1 Architectural role

The IAB develops and documents architectural insight for the Internet.
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. Finally, The IAB also has several procedural roles to
support the operation of the IETF including being the formal channel for
liaisons to the IETF.

In terms of its architectural role, the IAB provides oversight of
aspects of the architecture for the protocols and technical
specifications as developed by the IETF as well as providing oversight
for activities in the IRTF. While the IAB does draw on specific
expertise as required, it is expected that the sum of the expertise of
IAB members encompasses a broad range of technologies under IETF and
IRTF study, and also encompasses a broad range of perspectives on these
specifications, from research and academic study through development,
deployment and operational experience.

A major role of the IAB is to take a broad and long range perspective to
offer input into the planning and coordination between different areas
of IETF and IRTF activity. The IAB, both collectively and on an
individual basis, 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.
As needed, the IAB works with ISOC to provide advice and guidance to the
Board of Trustees and Officers of the Internet Society on technical,
architectural, procedural, and (where appropriate) policy matters
pertaining to the Internet and its enabling technologies.

1.2 Organizational role

The IAB has some roles within the organizational functioning of the IETF.

The IAB serves as an appeal board for complaints of improper execution
of the standards process through acting as an appeal body in respect of
an IESG standards decision. Besides, the IAB has formal roles such as
being responsible for the RFC Editor function, providing direction for
the administration of the IETF's protocol parameters registries, and
being responsible for the IETF's interests in the area of liaison with
other organizations that undertake activities that overlap or intersect
with the IETF's activities. The IAB selects a chair of the Internet
Research Task Force (IRTF) for a renewable two year term, and exercises
an oversight role for the IRTF.

Procedurally, the IAB has a role in the IETF Nominations Committee
process. The IAB confirms the IETF Chair and the Area Directors.
Besides, the IAB appoints a member of the IAOC and hears appeals on
matters related to the IAOC and IAD.

The IAB is the formal channel for liaisons between the IETF and other
organizations that undertake activities that overlap or intersect with
the IETF's activities including other standards development
organizations. The IAB appoints liaison managers and deals with liaison
matters of an architectural or general procedural nature. The IAB also
appoints a member of the ICANN board to represent the IETF's interests
within ICANN.

2. IAB Member Qualities

It is not the case that all IAB members have matching attributes,
qualifications and perspectives. Indeed the IAB is perhaps most
effective when the group is composed of a diverse set of individuals
with a broad range of qualities and perspectives. It is an advantage for
the IAB when some number of IAB members have had technical leadership
experience, operational management backgrounds, research backgrounds and
implementation experience. However, the IAB also works most effectively
when the diversity of individual perspectives can be brought to bear on
any one of a wide range of topics. IAB members are expected to be
able to translate their particular technical skills, architectural
perspectives and backgrounds into a group activity intended to enable
others see the context of their work within a larger architectural
framework. The IAB mostly needs people who can communicate frameworks of
particular activity rather than solution specialists. It is also
critical that IAB members are
willing and able to work with each other to develop a shared viewpoint.

IAB members:

* are normally highly regarded in one or more technical subject matter
domains. They may be recognized in a particular area as being a domain
expert, but must also exhibit advanced architectural and technical

* should be able and willing to apply those technical skills and
analytic thinking to understand and usefully contribute to discussions
in other areas.

* are constructive in framing new approaches, technically or in terms of

* are willing and able to work well with others.

* are also expected to be able to constructively contribute to
consensus-based processes

* are expected to have substantial experience within the IETF, and an
understanding of its processes and workings.

* are able to commit the time to follow the IAB, IRTF and IETF
discussions on a regular basis. This commitment should extend to regular
attendance at IAB tele conferences and attendance in person to IETF
meetings and IAB workshops, as well as the commitment to review material
and generate and edit documentation. It may also extend to leading open
discussion forums and active participation in IETF WG and IRTF RG
activity. The time commitment fluctuates between about half a day per
week to a few days per week. About a quarter to half of the time is
spent on the organizational role.