Re: NomCom 2020 Announcement of Selections

Bron Gondwana <> Sat, 23 January 2021 05:10 UTC

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Date: Sat, 23 Jan 2021 16:09:41 +1100
From: Bron Gondwana <>
To: John C Klensin <>
Subject: Re: NomCom 2020 Announcement of Selections
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On Sat, Jan 23, 2021, at 15:43, John C Klensin wrote:
> --On Saturday, January 23, 2021 13:29 +1100 Bron Gondwana
> <> wrote:
> > Hi Rich,
> > 
> > You make some very interesting points here.  I'm interested in
> > whether you think the issue is with the pool of available
> > candidates who put their hands up for roles, or with the
> > selection process not valuing diversity sufficiently.
> > 
> > And of course there is a related question here - regardless of
> > which you think the root cause - because we are an
> > organisation composed of those who show up.  That question is:
> > 
> > of the available candidates, if you had the choice, who would
> > you have selected instead of those who were chosen?  i.e. what
> > would your "perfect" slate have been, given the candidates
> > that were available.
> Bron,
> Since Rich was one of the candidates, asking him that question
> may be a bit unfair.  More generally, I think the community
> might be better off if we avoided second-guessing the Nomcom
> decisions in terms of specific people and stuck instead with the
> concerns that Rich described and Jason's response.

Hi John,

I would say quite the opposite.  If he'd been selected and had to work with everyone else, then this would be an unfair question, but otherwise I think it's a vital question and deserves to be addressed.

We see many claims that it would be better to increase the diversity of representation among the leadership of people along certain of the axes along which humans differ, and Rich has specifically taken the time to decry a lack of said diversity in the current leadership (both concluding and incoming).

I'm actually particularly interested to see whether Rich suggests that he would have been the best choice for the role that he applied for, despite being white, male, cis-gendered and western.  Given those facts, I'm interested in how he squares the request for increased diversity with his candidacy, given that the diversity would by definition have to be created by picking non-{western white male}s for other roles in the leadership.

You can't divorce the abstract concerns from the concrete underlying constraints.  It's nice to have those concerns in the abstract, but "rough consensus and running code" - you can't have a rough consensus that "we get more type-X person into leadership" without running "we encourage type-X people to run and we choose them when they do".

I observe a lot of "we should have more of people not like me in leadership, and yet I want to keep my place in leadership" in the world, and it's incongruent.  I don't think Rich's statement of a general goal can stand independent of there existing realistic pathways to achieve that goal, and hence I think it's fair to ask Rich what realistic pathway exists to have delivered a result that he would have been more satisfied with than this one.



  Bron Gondwana, CEO, Fastmail Pty Ltd