RE: NomCom 2020 Announcement of Selections

Adrian Farrel <> Sun, 24 January 2021 23:28 UTC

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From: Adrian Farrel <>
To: 'John C Klensin' <>, "'STARK, BARBARA H'" <>, 'Bron Gondwana' <>
References: <> <> <BA07FAFAE7BBE5C47BCB7F58@PSB> <> <28656DF8FE9CF8FD65A91C6E@PSB>
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Subject: RE: NomCom 2020 Announcement of Selections
Date: Sun, 24 Jan 2021 23:28:25 -0000
Organization: Old Dog Consulting
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Can I just top-post to throw into the mix that one of the candidate
questionnaire questions is (quite reasonably) to you have support from your
employer (financial and time) to fill this role. Answering this question, of
course, means going to your employer and getting that support (or for
independents finding a sponsor). This represents a certain investment in of
reputation, may be a lot of work, and can be treated differently by
employers when a candidate is not selected.

None of that is to question where we are with the processes, but it should
help explain why people might be more reluctant to put their names forward
if they think they are not in with a reasonable chance.

I think debate has gone back and forwards over the years about the early
announcement of candidates who have been nominated and/or who have accepted
nominations. One argument has been that seeing a small set of nominees might
prompt someone to stand, or that seeing the potential appointees might
incentivise others to stand. Conversely, the argument can be made that
seeing the name of someone you think is half-way reasonable is good enough
reason to not stand. Furthermore, a person might think they stand no chance
against another candidate and so be disinclined to put their name forward,
which might suggest not announcing any names until nominations close.

You pay your money and you take your choice.


-----Original Message-----
From: ietf <> On Behalf Of John C Klensin
Sent: 24 January 2021 23:09
To: STARK, BARBARA H <>; 'Bron Gondwana'
Cc: '' <>
Subject: RE: NomCom 2020 Announcement of Selections

--On Sunday, January 24, 2021 20:19 +0000 "STARK, BARBARA H"
<> wrote:

>> I do worry about another issue, one that Rich did not mention.
>> I remember Barbara posting a note strongly encouraging people
>> to put their names in even if there were incumbents willing to
>> serve an additional term.   Because putting one's name in
>> requires considerable effort, if the impression in the
>> community is that incumbents will almost always be returned,
>> it is going to be harder and harder to find anyone to
>> volunteer for their slots (I note that one incumbent this
>> time ran unopposed).  But that concern isn't new either;
>> Spencer and I addressed it and a possible solution in the
>> second I-D mentioned above.
> I'm not commenting on the broader debate. But I did want to
> point out that I specifically noted that people interested in
> ultimately being appointed to a position might consider
> running against popular incumbents in order to get experience
> with the process. I know that 2 of the 3 newly appointed ADs
> had previously (unsuccessfully) run for AD positions, and I'm
> not sure of the 3rd. It's not true of everyone -- but there is
> often a tendency for people to exude nervousness and lack of
> confidence the first time through a process like this. Having
> spent the time myself to go through the nominee process
> unsuccessfully 2 years ago, I can say I found that experience
> very educational and feel the effort was well worth it. 


You did indeed and I had forgotten, for which I apologize.  But
it seems to me there is a big difference between "put your name
in, you probably won't get the position, but you will learn
things that might help the next time" and "apply for this on the
assumption that you might get it".  I know that, this time, I
tried to convince one person I considered qualified to run who
basically told me that the experience when they applied for a
position in a different year had been sufficiently
time-consuming and stressful that they were not likely to ever
apply for such a position again.  It was not the first time I've
been told very similar things.  

There is probably nothing that can be done to prevent that kind
of reaction, but it may be a tradeoff to be thought about for
the future.

Any thoughts on whether it would be helpful to start collecting
comments on candidates, new appointees, and/or continuing
incumbents now with the understanding that no one would look at
them before the 2021-2022 Nomcom was seated?