Re: NomCom 2020 Announcement of Selections

John C Klensin <> Sat, 23 January 2021 23:08 UTC

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Date: Sat, 23 Jan 2021 18:08:12 -0500
From: John C Klensin <>
To: "Joel M. Halpern" <>, IETF discussion list <>
Subject: Re: NomCom 2020 Announcement of Selections
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--On Saturday, January 23, 2021 16:11 -0500 "Joel M. Halpern"
<> wrote:

> One small aspect of this conversation struck me as needing
> clarification.  there is repeated reference to re-appointing
> incumbents.
> In my view, and I think this is also the view the community
> has expressed, there are significant differences among
> reappointing incumbents who have served 1 term, 2 terms, and
> three or more terms. While sometimes frustrating, I do
> understand and generally support the bias in favor of
> reappointing incumbents who have done a competent job and only
> served on term.  In contrast, at best it indicates community
> problems when we are reappointing incumbents who have already
> served three terms.


Agreed, but there is another problem with that bias, which is
that it discourages people from becoming candidates and, if they
or whoever has to give permission gets frustrated, it creates a
long term problem.  Combining your summary above with the
general idea Spencer and I explored nearly a dozen years ago,
the Nomcom would first ask incumbents (at least one-term ones)
if they were willing to continue and, for those who were, ask
for comments and conduct evaluations on those candidates.  If
their conclusion was "yes, that person should be reappointed",
that would be the end of it, with time of potential candidates,
the Nomcom, and the community all saved for working on other
positions.  If the conclusion was "no", "done a good job but it
may be time for new blood" or anything similar, they would issue
the normal calls for candidates and comments with the incumbent
remaining in the running but not a foregone conclusion.

Something of that nature would have the disadvantage that, if
there were an incumbent, especially a one-term one, who had done
an excellent job but a superstar waiting who would clearly do an
even better one, the superstar would be locked out.  On the
other hand, that might encourage her to consider other positions
and be a net win for the community with two extra-good people in
the leadership.