Re: NomCom 2020 Announcement of Selections

John C Klensin <> Sat, 23 January 2021 22:51 UTC

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Date: Sat, 23 Jan 2021 17:51:16 -0500
From: John C Klensin <>
To: Brian E Carpenter <>, Loa Andersson <>
cc: Bron Gondwana <>,
Subject: Re: NomCom 2020 Announcement of Selections
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--On Sunday, January 24, 2021 09:46 +1300 Brian E Carpenter
<> wrote:

> On 23-Jan-21 20:21, John C Klensin wrote:
> ...
>> I do want to make a suggestion to complement Bron's.  Would it
>> be useful to create a repository for confidential comments to
>> the 2021-2022 Nomcom right now?  We could then encourage Rich
>> and anyone else who thinks the 2020-2021 Nomcom got some
>> things wrong and that we can do better to upload comments in
>> as much detail as they think appropriate now, while their
>> thinking is still fresh.  But we would treat that material as
>> confidential comments to the future Nomcom, using whatever
>> degree of security cleverness we think is needed to prevent
>> anyone from reading the comments until the new Nomcom Chair
>> is appointed and the keys turned over to them.
> I think that's an excellent idea, and doesn't need a BCP in
> order to achieve it. We already expect the chair of NomCom #N
> to carry messages forward to NomCom #N+1; that's why the chair
> is an ex officio member of the following year's NomCom.
> Whether Barbara is willing to take up your idea is her choice,
> of course.

I agree that it does not need a BCP, but in part because I see
the tendency to need a specific authorization before doing
anything as an opportunity for the IETF to get in its own way, I
was hoping that, if people thought it was a good idea, the
Secretariat (probably) or Tools Team could just do it and, that,
if any special authorization were needed, the IESG could shrug
its collective shoulders and say "sure, why not".  Barbara
taking up the idea would, of course, be another good
alternative, but I don't think it is worth a lot of fuss.  After
all, no one would be required to take advantage of it and the
worst thing that could happen would be for the 2021-2022 Nomcom
to decide that it doesn't want to bother reading the stuff.  

And, coming back to the distinction a few of us have tried to
make, that mechanism should be used for discussing specific
people and issues that won't be looked at by anyone but the
Nomcom (and maybe, if Barbara likes, feedback to this one).
The more general issues of diversity, reappointing incumbents,
etc., should be, IMO, both more immediate and more public.

> As for diversity among the candidates: that's a community
> problem, not a NomCom problem. It applies more generally, too:
> see
> LUcQj40V9MKS7n4DY for an example.


And, for questions of reappointing incumbents after one or more
terms, if we (including the IESG) are willing to have that
discussion, I suggest
as at least a reminder that it is not a new concern and perhaps
as a possible starting point.