Announcement
Transport Area Director Position: Statement by the Nomcom Chair
March 9, 2013

From: NomCom Chair <nomcom-chair@ietf.org>
To: ietf@ietf.org
Date: March 9, 2013
Subject: Transport Area Director Position: Statement by the Nomcom Chair

The nominating committee process (see RFC 3777) has had difficulty in 
filling the TSV area director position this year. In particular, the process 
was unable to produce a confirmed candidate into the position prior to 
the Spring IETF meeting. There has been speculation about how the 
process reached this point. I would, therefore, like to provide the 
community with what information that I can, subject to the confidentiality 
rules that bind the Nomcom. Note that this is not a consensus statement 
of the Nomcom, and opinions expressed in this message are my own. 

In the selection of area directors, as stated in RFC 3777, the Nomcom 
operates with the advice and consent of the IAB, which acts as the 
confirming body for IESG positions. Despite the fact that the IAB and the 
Nomcom are both working hard to produce an outcome that satisfies the 
best interests of the community, the Nomcom has thus far not succeeded 
in putting forward a Transport Area Director candidate whom the IAB is 
willing to confirm.

As per RFC 3777, the Nomcom receives written requirements from the  
IESG, and also talks to members of the community about the needs of the  
area and requirements for the position. However, at this point in time, it 
is possible that the  Nomcom and the IAB lack a common understanding 
of the requirements for the Transport Area Director position and the 
current needs of the Area. 

The Nomcom is watching the discussion on the IETF mailing list and I 
appreciate those constructive comments that have been made on the list. 
However, if you have specific comments about the position of Transport  
Area director or the needs of that area, please do not hesitate to send  
comments directly to the Nomcom: nomcom12@ietf.org. The Nomcom 
always welcomes comments from the community. 

Ultimately, the process is ongoing. I personally remain optimistic that 
additional dialog between the Nomcom, the community, the IAB, and the 
IESG will allow us to resolve the current situation. The Nomcom will 
continue its work until all open positions are filled.

However, one of the challenges to everyone involved in the current 
situation is that RFC 3777 provides little guidance in cases such as this. 
Namely, where the Nomcom and a confirming body are not able to 
produce a confirmed candidate (for some position) prior to the First IETF 
meeting of the year. 

With regards to the discussion in TSVAREA, the Nomcom was not directly 
involved in the decision to have this community discussion in Orlando. 
(The Nomcom did recently inform the IESG that the process would not 
produce a TSV Area Director in time for Orlando, and had previously 
requested and received clarification of the IESG's written requirements 
from the IESG.) However, myself and at least several members of the 
Nomcom will be present at the TSVAREA session. I believe that the 
proposed discussion is constructive and that holding the discussion is 
appropriate. I do not know whether the discussion will help resolve the 
current situation, though it might. Furthermore, this is not the first year 
the nomcom process has had trouble  filling the TSV area director 
position, and so at the very least, this discussion should begin to pave 
the way for a smoother process next year. Therefore, I would encourage 
all interested parties to attend.

Finally, I realize that this message contains less detail than some of you 
would like. However, at this point in time, I am personally unwilling to 
disclose additional details to the community related to interactions 
between the Nomcom and the confirming body. Although RFC 3777 is not 
precise with regards to what is covered by Nomcom confidentiality, I 
would rather err on the side of broad interpretation of Nomcom 
confidentiality. I believe this is consistent with the interpretation of past 
Nomcoms with regards to interactions with confirming bodies.

Thank you all for your patience in this matter. Please do not hesitate to 
contact me personally with any comments or concerns.
- Matt Lepinski
  nomcom-chair@ietf.org