Erik Nordmark: stepping down (fwd)

Harald Tveit Alvestrand harald at
Mon Jun 23 07:59:48 CEST 2003

--On 23. juni 2003 01:18 -0400 "Daniel O. Awduche" <awduche at> 

> I think Rob Coltun made similar (perhaps more pointed) comments
> when he resigned from the IESG -- based on widely published reports
> in the popular technical press at the time -- see, e.g.,

Some of Rob's comments had an entirely different slant, in my reading. But 
there are similarities too.
His resignation note was also sent to the ietf-announce list (November 26, 
2001); I have copied it below.

But yes, there are similarities. And I've been trying to come to grips with 
some of the problems he pointed out for a LONG time.....



    I'll be resigning as Routing AD as of this coming IETF, four months
prior to my term ending.

    Before the passing of our dear Abha, we discussed my resignation;
she encouraged me to send a note to the IETF explaining my reasons for

    I've been around the IETF since the late 80s and have always been
excited by the technology. For me, our work on Internet technology has
been about evolving the technology in the context of our relationships;
collaborating, trusting, challenging and encouraging each other. I took
on the job as AD to continue building upon this premise. Over the last
couple of years I have found it exceedingly difficult to work within
the IESG. So much so, that my enthusiasm for the work and my energy for
support of working groups have greatly diminished. Some of the
infrastructure work that had support within the community, would get
mangled, interpreted through personal prejudice and generally dragged
through the muck when brought before the IESG. It has been draining to
work within an environment that undermines both community consensus and
my own vision.

This is not to point to anyone in particular within the IESG; certainly
the IESG is made up of many well-meaning, intelligent and overworked
folks. But it seems that the system within the current IESG has become
very nit-picky; the IESG seems to have lost the big picture. The "just
do the right thing" principal that seemed to be there for so long is
hard to come by.

In my opinion, part of the problem is that the IESG's model of
"management by body" worked when a few hundred people showed up for
IETF meetings and the scope and quantity of our work was much less, but
this model is now antiquated. To give a couple of specific examples:
ADs should be open to input from anyone offering good ideas but a
single AD's objection should not be allowed to override the responsible
AD's view. An AD should be responsible for the complete scope of the
work and not rely on ADs from other areas to overly influence
particular work, especially after a working group deems the work to be

The roles of the members of the IESG and IAB should be well defined;
the role of the IESG should be well defined and the relationship
between the IESG and IAB should be well defined.

IETF meetings must be smaller to be more productive. One suggestion is
to formalize the private meetings that happen between authors and
co-chairs and provide tutorials and updates for the masses.

The conversations of whether or not particular work should be taken on
by the IETF are very important but should last at most a few months,
not years.

It is no coincidence that as the factors that are driving the current
phase of the evolution of the Internet changes, restructuring of the
management of the IETF becomes inevitable.

So many issues... I could go on and on for another... four months, but
I won't :-) Time for an AD reboot, some new ideas, new energy and for
me to move on.

It's been an honor to share in this nanosecond of the evolution...

See you on the net...


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