Network Working Group C. Huitema
Request for Comments: 1601 Internet Architecture Board
Obsoletes: 1358 March 1994
Charter of the Internet Architecture Board (IAB)
Status of this Memo
This memo provides information for the Internet community. This memo
does not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of
this memo is unlimited.
This memo documents the composition, selection, roles, and
organization of the Internet Architecture Board and its subsidiary
1. IAB Membership
The Internet Architecture Board (IAB) shall consist of 13 voting
members, composed of the IETF chair and 12 full members. The IETF
chair, who is also the chair of the IESG, may vote on all official
IAB actions except the approval of IESG members. Ex-officio members
and a liaison from the IESG may also attend IAB meetings but shall
have no vote on official actions.
Voting IAB members shall serve for a term of two years, but may serve
any number of terms.
Members of the IAB shall serve as individuals, and not as
representatives of any company, agency, or other organization.
1.1 Selection of voting IAB members
Voting IAB members shall be nominated by the nominating committee
of the IETF and appointed by an appropriate group. The 12 full
members shall be approved by vote of the Board of Trustees of the
Internet Society (ISOC), while the IETF chair shall be approved by
vote of the 12 full IAB members then sitting. Normally, six new
full members are nominated each year.
The IETF nomination committee is formed every year and consists of
a non-voting chair designated by the Internet Society and seven
members picked at random from a pool of volunteers. Any person
who took part in two IETF meetings in the last two years may
volunteer for this pool. The nomination committee also includes
four non-voting liaison members, one designated by each of the
Board of Trustees of the Internet Society, the IAB, the IESG, and
New IAB members shall be selected each year to replace those whose
terms have expired or been vacated. The nomination committee
shall prepare a list containing at least one candidate for each
open position, and present this list to the ISOC Board of
Trustees. The Board of Trustees will by a vote appoint IAB
members from the list of nominees to fill the open positions.
There is no limit to the number of terms that a member of the IAB
may serve. A member that wishes to be re-nominated at the end of
a term simply notifies the nomination committee. However, there
is no obligation for renomination.
1.2 Ex-Officio Members
The IRSG chair and the RFC Editor shall be Ex-officio members of
the IAB, with no vote in official actions. An ex-officio position
may be held by a voting member.
2. The Role of the IAB:
The IAB was chartered as a component of the Internet Society in June
of 1992. Its responsibilities under this charter include:
(a) IESG Selection
The IAB appoints a new IETF chair and all other IESG candidates,
from a list provided by the IETF nominating committee.
(b) Architectural Oversight
The IAB provides oversight of the architecture for the protocols
and procedures used by the Internet.
(c) Standards Process Oversight and Appeal
The IAB provides oversight of the process used to create Internet
The IAB serves as an appeal board for complaints of improper
execution of the standards process.
(d) RFC Series and IANA
The IAB is responsible for editorial management and publication of
the Request for Comments (RFC) document series, and for
administration of the various Internet assigned numbers.
(e) External Liaison
The IAB acts as representative of the interests of the Internet
Society in liaison relationships with other organizations
concerned with standards and other technical and organizational
issues relevant to the world-wide Internet.
(f) Advice to ISOC
The IAB acts as a source of advice and guidance to the Board of
Trustees and Officers of the Internet Society concerning
technical, architectural, procedural, and (where appropriate)
policy matters pertaining to the Internet and its enabling
The following is an expanded discussion of these IAB functions.
2.1 IESG Selection
Members of the IESG are nominated for a period of two years by the
IETF nomination committee, and are appointed by approval from the
IAB. The committee shall select at least one nominee for each
vacant IESG position, i.e., chair of the IESG or chair of a
specific area. The nomination committee may present several
candidates for an available position, in which case the IAB will
select one of the nominees for that position.
The nominating committee shall present the IESG nomination list to
the IAB for approval. Within two weeks of receiving the list, the
IAB shall approve or disapprove of the nominations, by voting
among the full members of the IAB. At least 8 affirmative votes,
and no more than one negative vote, are required to approve an
Should the IAB fail to approve a particular nomination, the
nomination committee shall present a new nomination for that
position. Should this process fail to converge rapidly, the
sitting IESG is permitted to make a temporary appointment to one
of their own positions whenever there is no IAB-selected person
with an unexpired term filling that slot.
2.2 Architectural oversight
A major role of the IAB is long range planning. The IAB is
expected to "pay attention" to important long-term issues in the
Internet, and to make sure that these issues are brought to the
attention of the group(s) that are in a position to address them.
It is also expected to play a role in assuring that the people
responsible for evolving the Internet and its technology are aware
of the essential elements of the Internet architecture.
When a new IETF working group is proposed, the IESG will forward a
preliminary version of the charter to the IAB for review of
architectural consistency and integrity. The IAB shall review
these proposed charters and give feedback to the IESG as
Pursuant to the architectural oversight function, the IAB sponsors
and organizes the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF).
On occasion, the IAB will convene panels to perform in-depth
reviews of particular architectural issue. Such reviews may
include consideration of relevant IETF Working Group activities,
and for this purpose the panel may invite presentations by
qualified parties on the design goals and decisions, technology
choices, and other pertinent aspects of these IETF activities.
The results of such a review will be a report which may give
advice to the community and the IESG.
The IAB may organize ad hoc bodies of independent technical
experts to adjudicate technical disputes.
2.3 Standards Process Oversight and Appeal
The development, review, and approval of Internet Standards is the
responsibility of the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG)
of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The standards
process executed by the IESG is established and documented by the
IAB, in consultation with the IESG and with the concurrence of the
2.4 RFC Series and Assigned Numbers
The RFC series constitutes the archival publication channel for
Internet Standards and for other contributions by the Internet
research and engineering community. The IAB shall select an RFC
Editor, who shall be responsible for the editorial management and
publication of the RFC series.
The IAB shall also designate an Internet Assigned Numbers
Authority (IANA) to administer the assignment of Internet protocol
2.5 External Liaison
The IAB is responsible for relationships between the Internet
technical groups working under the auspices of ISOC and other
interested parties such as the US Federal Networking Council
(FNC); various organs of the European Commission (EC); the
Coordinating Committee for Intercontinental Research Networking
(CCIRN); standards bodies such as the International Organization
for Standardization (ISO), the International Electrotechnical
Commission (IEC), and the International Telecommunication Union
(ITU); and other professional societies such as the Institute of
Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the Association for
Computing Machinery (ACM).
2.6 Advice to ISOC
The IAB may convene panels of knowledgeable people, hold hearings,
and otherwise pursue the investigation of specific questions or
topics presented to it by the Internet Society.
3. IAB Organization
3.1 IAB chair
The members of the IAB shall select one of its full members to
serve as the chair of the IAB, with all of the duties and
responsibilities normally associated with such a position. The
term of the IAB chair shall be one year, with no restriction on
renewal. The chair of the IAB may be removed at any time by the
affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members of the IAB, or as a
result of his or her departure from the IAB.
The chair of the IAB shall have the authority to organize the IAB.
3.2 Executive Director
The chair of the IAB hall have the authority to appoint or remove
an Executive Director (ExecD). The ExecD shall administer the
internal operation of the IAB, e.g., organization of conferences
and meetings and reporting of their results.
The ExecD may be chosen among the full IAB members with voting
rights; otherwise, the ExecD shall be an ex-officio non-voting
3.3 Selection of the IRSG chair
The chair of the IAB shall have the authority to appoint or remove
the chair of the Internet Research Steering Group (IRSG). The
IRSG chair shall be responsible for the management and
organization of the IRSG.
The IRSG chair may be chosen among the full IAB member with voting
rights; otherwise, the IRSG chair shall be an ex-officio non-
The chair of the IAB and another IAB member, to be selected by the
chair, shall serve as liaisons to the IESG. The selected liaison
may be a full member or an ex-officio member.
In addition, the IESG will appoint one of its members to serve as
a liaison to the IAB. The IESG liaison may attend IAB meetings
but shall have no vote.
Security issues are not discussed in this memo.
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