Network Working Group
Request for Comments: 4333
BCP: 113
Category: Best Current Practice
G. Huston, Ed.
B. Wijnen, Ed.
Lucent Technologies
December 2005

The IETF Administrative Oversight Committee (IAOC)

Member Selection Guidelines and Process

Status of This Memo

This document specifies an Internet Best Current Practices for the Internet Community, and requests discussion and suggestions for improvements. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

Copyright © The Internet Society (2005).


This memo outlines the guidelines for selection of members of the IETF Administrative Oversight Committee, and describes the selection process used by the IAB and the IESG.

1. Introduction

The IETF Administrative Support Activity (IASA) provides the administrative structure required to support the IETF standards process and to support the IETF's technical activities. Within this activity is the office of the IETF Administrative Director (IAD) and the IETF Administrative Oversight Committee (IAOC). In addition to the ex-officio roles of the IETF Chair and IAB Chair on this committee, the IAB and IESG are each responsible for the appointment of one voting member of this committee.

This memo outlines the process by which the IAB and IESG make their selections. This process will also be used in the event of mid-term vacancies that may arise with these positions.

The document also provides guidance to the IETF Nominations Committee regarding desirable qualifications and selection criteria for IAOC candidates.

The same guidance may be used by the Internet Society (ISOC) Board of Trustees within its process of IAOC member appointment.

1.1. Overview of IAOC

The IASA is described in [RFC4071]. It is headed by a full-time ISOC employee, the IETF Administrative Director (IAD), an officer empowered to act on behalf of the IASA at the direction of the IAOC.

The IAOC's role is to provide appropriate direction to the IAD, to review the IAD's regular reports, and to oversee the IASA functions to ensure that the administrative needs of the IETF community are being properly met. The IAOC's mission is not to be engaged in the day-to-day administrative work of IASA, but rather to provide appropriate direction, oversight, and approval.

As described in [RFC4071], the IAOC's responsibilities are as follows:

  • To select the IAD and provide high-level review and direction for his or her work. This task should be handled by a sub-committee, as described in [RFC4071].
  • To review the IAD's plans and contracts to ensure that they will meet the administrative needs of the IETF.
  • To track whether the IASA functions are meeting the IETF community's administrative needs, and to work with the IAD to determine a plan for corrective action if they are not.
  • To review the IAD's budget proposals to ensure that they will meet the IETF's needs, and review the IAD's regular financial reports.
  • To ensure that the IASA is run in a transparent and accountable manner. While the day-to-day work should be delegated to the IAD and others, the IAOC is responsible for ensuring that IASA finances and operational status are tracked appropriately and that monthly, quarterly, and annual financial and operational reports are published to the IETF community.
  • To designate, in consultation with the IAB and the IESG, the person or people who carry out the tasks that other IETF process documents say are to be carried out by the IETF Executive Director.

The IAOC's role is to direct and review, not perform, the work of the IAD and IASA. The IAOC holds periodic teleconferences and face-to-face meetings as needed to carry out the IAOC's duties efficiently and effectively.

1.2. Overview of Selection Process

In brief, this document describes the time frame and procedures for the IAB and IESG to solicit public input and make a selection for the position.

2. Desirable Qualifications and Selection Criteria for IETF-Nominated

IAOC Members

The qualifications and selection criteria described in this section shall be used by the IAB and IESG in selecting a suitably qualified candidate for the IAOC position. As described in [RFC4071], the IETF Nominations Committee also has the responsibility to select IAOC members, and the Nominations Committee shall also use these desirable qualifications and selection criteria to guide its selection process. The same guidance may be used by the ISOC Board of Trustees within its process of IAOC member appointment.

Candidates for these IAOC positions should have knowledge of the IETF, knowledge of contracts and financial procedures, and familiarity with the administrative support needs of the IAB, the IESG, and the IETF standards process.

The candidates are also expected to be able to understand the respective roles and responsibilities of the IETF and ISOC in this activity, and be able to articulate these roles within the IETF community.

The candidates will also be expected to exercise all the duties of an IAOC member, including being prepared to undertake any associated responsibilities. These include, but are not limited to, the setting of administrative support policies, oversight of the administrative operations of the IETF, and representing the interests of the IETF to the IAOC. The candidates must be able to undertake full participation in all committee meetings and committee activities.

In the case of the IAB-selected member of the IAOC, this individual does not directly represent the IAB. Similarly for the IESG-selected member of the IAOC, this individual does not directly represent the IESG. The IAB- and IESG-selected members are accountable directly to the IETF community.

In the case of IAOC members selected by the IETF Nominations Committee, such members do not represent any particular sub-grouping of IETF participants. IETF Nominations Committee-selected IAOC members are accountable directly to the entire IETF community.

3. IAB and IESG Selection Process of an IAOC Member

3.1. Nominations and Eligibility

The IAB and IESG will alternate year by year in making a public call for nominations on the mailing list. The public call will specify the manner by which nominations will be accepted and the means by which the list of nominees will be published.

Self-nominations are permitted. Along with the name and contact information for each candidate, details about the candidate's background and qualifications for the position should be attached to the nomination. All IETF participants, including working group chairs, IETF Nominating Committee members, and IAB and IESG members are eligible for nomination.

IAB members who accept a nomination for an IAB-selected position will recuse themselves from IAB selection discussions. Similarly, IESG members who accept a nomination for an IESG-selected position will recuse themselves from IESG selection discussions.

3.2. Selection

The selecting body will publish the list of nominated persons prior to making a decision, allowing time for the community to pass any relevant comments to that body.

The selecting body will review the nomination material and any submitted comments, and make its selection.

3.3. Care of Personal Information

The following procedures will be used by the IAB and IESG in managing candidates' personal information:

  • The candidate's name will be published, with all other candidate names, at the close of the nominations period.
  • Except as noted above, all information provided to the IAB or IESG during this process will be kept as confidential to that body.

3.4. Term of Office and Selection Time Frame

The IAB and IESG expect to seat their selected committee member at the first IETF meeting of every second year, for a two-year term of office. The IAB and IESG will alternate each year in undertaking a selection, except for the initial selection. For the first year, the

IAB and IESG will operate their selection process concurrently. Also for the first year, the IESG-selected candidate will serve on the committee for an initial term ending with the first IETF meeting of the following year, and the IAB-selected candidate will serve for a term one year longer than the IESG-selected candidate. Thereafter, the candidates will be seated for two-year terms.

Basic time frame requirements for the selection process are as follows:

  • 3-4 weeks for solicitation of nominations.
  • 3-4 weeks for review of nominees, deliberation, and selection.

In November of every year, the selecting body of that year will announce the specific dates for the selection process for that year, following the guidelines above.

3.5. Mid-term Vacancies

This document describes the process for the general appointment of IAB-selected and IESG-selected IAOC members. However, if the appointed member is unable to serve the full two-year term, the selecting body may, at its discretion, immediately select a replacement to serve the remainder of the term using the interim process defined in Section 3.5.1. If the selecting body does not invoke the interim process, the next regularly scheduled two-year selection process will fill the vacancy.

3.5.1. Interim Appointment Process

If the selecting body elects to fill the mid-term vacancy before the next regularly scheduled two-year selection process, a separate time line will be announced and the remainder of the process described in this document will be followed.

4. Security Considerations

This document does not describe any technical protocols and has no implications for network security.

5. Acknowledgements

This document is based extensively on RFC 3677 [RFC3677]. It has benefited from helpful review comments from Harald Alvestrand, Brian Carpenter, Leslie Daigle, Rob Evans, Michael Patton, Mark Townsley, and Margaret Wasserman.

6. Informative References

   [RFC3677]  Daigle, L. and Internet Architecture Board , "IETF ISOC
              Board of Trustee Appointment Procedures", BCP 77, RFC
              3677, December 2003.
   [RFC4071]  Austein, R. and B. Wijnen, "Structure of the IETF
              Administrative Support Activity (IASA)", BCP 101, RFC
              4071, April 2005.

Appendix A. IAB Members

Internet Architecture Board members at the time this document was written were the following:

Bernard Aboba
Loa Andersson
Brian Carpenter
Leslie Daigle
Patrik Faltstrom
Bob Hinden
Kurtis Lindqvist
David Meyer
Pekka Nikander
Eric Rescorla
Pete Resnick
Janathan Rosenberg
Lixia Zhang

Appendix B. IESG Members

Internet Engineering Steering Group members at the time this document was written were the following:

Brian Carpenter
Bill Fenner
Ted Hardie
Sam Hartman
Scott Hollenbeck
Russell Housley
David Kessens
Allison Mankin
Mark Townsley
Jon Peterson
Margaret Wasserman
Bert Wijnen
Alex Zinin

Authors' Addresses

Geoff Huston (editor)


Bert Wijnen (editor)
Lucent Technologies


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Copyright © The Internet Society (2005).

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