IAB Nomcom

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IAB role in IETF Nominations Committee

RFC 3777 provides guidelines for the "IAB and IESG Selection, Confirmation, and Recall Process: Operation of the Nominating and Recall Committees". Within this process, the IAB has several roles:

  • According to bullet 8 in Section 4 of RFC 3777, the IAB appoints a liaison to the IETF NomCom.
  • Bullet 7 in section 4 of RFC 3777 describes the role and responsibilities of the liaisons. The IAB also provides the IAB defined guidelines for the IAB liaison (as summarized below) to the NomCom chair to ensure that expectations are clear from the start.
  • The IAB is responsible for providing the NomCom chair with the list of IAB positions to be reviewed.
  • The IAB is responsible for providing a summary of the expertise desired of the candidates selected for their respective open positions to the NomCom chair. This is provided in the form of the IAB Job Description.

Guidelines for the IAB Liaison to Nomcom

These guidelines apply when the liaison is speaking to NomCom in his or her liaison role.

The person who fills the liaison role may also provide personal feedback
to NomCom but only through communication channels available to general
IETF participants (e.g. the feedback web form).  When interacting with
the NomCom through liaison channels, the liaison will represent the
views of the IAB rather than personal opinion.
1. When the Liaison is speaking to NomCom in their liaison role it should
   not be possible for the NomCom to determine the Liaison's personal
   opinion about a particular candidate.  Liaisons should stick to facts
   and views that the Liaison believes represent the consensus of the
   IAB.  The Liaison should avoid personal opinions.
2. Follow NomCom Liaison Rules in RFC 3777, which includes:
     Liaisons are expected to represent the views of their respective
     organizations during the deliberations of the committee.  They
     should provide information as requested or when they believe it
     would be helpful to the committee.
3. Act in the best interest of the IETF.
When any of the four guidelines are in conflict, the liaison will use
their best judgment to resolve the conflict.  Guideline 1 should override
guideline 3 when they are in conflict.

So that the Nomcom is not later surprised, it is important to point them to the confirmation process and the materials we want. Note that we ask for CVs, but candidates don't actually have to submit CVs and many don't.

The IAB serves as the confirming body for the IESG candidates

It is extremely important that the IAB Liaison to the IETF NomCom provide the full list of IAB-required confirming materials to the NomCom chair at the start of the NomCom. This enables the NomCom and NomCom chair to ensure that willing nominees for IESG positions are made aware that required supporting materials will be provided to the IAB should they be put forth as the nominee of choice by the NomCom. Permission to share these materials with the IAB (as confirming body), to include CVs and questionnaire responses, should be requested in advance by the NomCom chair when the materials are submitted to the NomCom. The NomCom may wish to provide questionnaires which include sections that the candidate is comfortable sharing (e.g., "To Be Shared with Confirming Body"), and sections which will not be distributed beyond the NomCom members (e.g., Not to be distributed beyond the NomCom - "Joe and Sally are mean").

IAB Confirmation of Nominated IESG Candidates

As provided here, the following process will be used by the IAB for confirmation of nominated candidates for vacant IESG positions:

  • The IAB will undertake its best endeavour to make a confirmation decision according to this process within the stipulated time period allowed for confirmation, and not allow the decision process to lapse. If there are extenuating circumstances that do not permit the IAB to make a decision within the necessary timeframe, then these circumstances shall be addressed as appropriate.
  • There shall be a positive vote for confirmation. This requires that a majority of the sitting members who are not disqualified or have not recused themselves at the outset of the process must vote to confirm the candidate, otherwise the candidate is rejected.
  • The IETF chair is disqualified from voting or participating in the discussion on the IESG slate or IESG candidates. The IAB may ask the IETF chair questions about the needs of the IESG prior to the IAB being advised of a nominated candidate.
  • The chair of the IAB can choose when to call the question with the following conditions:
  • The chair must not call the question any earlier than 1 week after the IAB is informed of the nominated candidate.
  • The chair must not call the question prior to a teleconference which has this action as an agenda item.
  • The chair must call the question by whatever deadline generally imposed - usually within 2 weeks after the IAB is advised of the nominated candidate.
  • A vote may be held by voice vote during a teleconference, by email ballot to the IAB members' mail list, or by secret ballot to the Executive Director and Chair as agreed to by consensus. If there is no consensus, vote will be by secret ballot to the Executive Director and Chair.
  • In the event that a sitting IAB member was nominated to replace the casual vacancy in the IESG, the IETF Executive Director would be informed of the casual vacancy only upon confirmation of the initial nomination, and the Nominations Committee would then need to undertake a subsequent nominations process for the IAB casual vacancy.

Material to be provided in support of a Candidate

In undertaking due diligence in its role as the confirming body for nominations to the Internet Engineering Steering Group the IAB would like to advise all Nominating Committees of its expectations in terms of provided material.

When submitting the name of each candidate the IAB requests that the following items of material, clearly separated and labeled, be provided to the IAB at the same time:

  • Resume or CV of the candidate
  • Summary of the IETF feedback on the candidate
  • Summary of the IETF community feedback on the state of the Area and its current needs
  • The Nominating Committee's conclusions of the qualifications required for the position
  • Nominating Committee's view of the qualifications of the candidate to undertake the role associated with the position
  • Candidate's statement to the Nominating Committee on the position, conveyed to the IAB with the candidate's knowledge and assent

The IAB recognizes that the Nominating Committee may solicit information that nominees provide for the exclusive use of the Nominating Committee, not to be shared with confirming bodies. The IAB understands that the Nominating Committee will not provide this information to the IAB.

The IAB will not disclose this material outside of those IAB members who have the responsibility to consider the nomination.

Enabling the Confirmation

While IAB members are responsible for recusing themselves from any deliberations with which they may have been a willing nominee or perceived some other conflict, the IAB NomCom liaison should ensure extra caution is exercised during this phase. The proposed IESG slate from the NomCom should NOT be distributed to the general iab@ list, as that list contains IAB liaison, to include the IESG->IAB liaison, who themselves may be up for consideration, as well as the IETF chair. A specific list with just voting members minuses the IETF chair should be employed. iab-confirmation@ has been used for this purpose in the past.

Conditions Where Members Should Recuse Themselves

Additionally, if members of the IAB have recused themselves, then specific lists should be provisioned to accommodate this, for example, if a member has recused themselves from APPS, iab-confirm-apps@ might be employed. It is advised that these lists, like the general iab@ list, NOT be archived and that they be deleted once the confirmation process is complete.

Members must recuse themselves from deliberations and voting for an area if they are a willing nominee for that IESG position.

They should also recuse themselves if they perceive a significant personal conflict of interest with regard to consideration of a given position. (E.g., spouse agreed to be considered for an IESG position). In general, IAB members should identify such potential conflicts of interest, and the IAB can determine whether it merits recusal from the IAB confirmation process.

IAB Timelimes

Response to (2012) nomcom chair about timeline was:

IAB commit to confirming the slate within 30 days of receiving it. IAB will provide either a confirmation or rejection or questions/comments to nomcom within 15 days of receiving the slate. Since IAB meets on wednesdays, receiving the slate or any communication by the preceding monday shall help to speed up the process.

Moreover, IAB expects to receive the following information from nomcom: http://www.iab.org/documents/correspondence-reports-documents/docs2003/2003-07-23-nomcom/.

The IAB recognizes that the Nominating Committee may solicit information that nominees provide for the exclusive use of the Nominating Committee, not to be shared with confirming bodies. The IAB understands that the Nominating Committee will not provide this information to the IAB. The IAB will not disclose this material outside of those IAB members who have the responsibility to consider the nomination.

What Makes a Good IAB Liaison to the NomCom

One of the considerations to take into account when selecting a liaison is the affiliation. The observation that all liaisons to the nomcom were from the same affiliation has raised eyebrows in the community at one point.

If a liaison sees process violations or other issues, they should first attempt to resolve this issues with the NomCom chair. Beyond this, they should seek advice from the NomCom Advisor/Past Chair, and if these means are exhausted discuss the issue with the Internet Society President, who appoints the chair. If no conflict arises, the IAB chair might be consulted first.

Information regarding willing incumbents and IAB members that are stepping down

While it is not the liaisons responsibility to provide the NomCom with the names of IAB incumbents willing to serve another term, or the list of incumbents planning to step down, the liaison should remind IAB members whose terms are expiring explicitly of the deadlines for nominations and ensure that they share their intentions with the NomCom before the deadline is reached.

Periodic Liaison Updates

The IAB IETF NomCom liaison should be prepared to provide periodic updates on the NomCom's progress to the IAB. The bi-weekly IAB business meetings provide an ideal venue for this, although during the early stages of the NomCom this may become a bit monotonous. In particular, any issues that might raise alarm, and any information regarding NomCom progress and delivery dates, or changes thereof, should be communicated to the NomCom in a timely manner. This is particularly important as the confirmation stage approaches, in order to accommodate scheduling of confirmation meeting calls, agenda time and other logistics.