It all started with a very long discussion in the RIPE community on how we should select the RIPE chair. For the first quarter century of RIPE we were lucky to have Rob Blokzijl as a chair. Rob had so much gravitas and support that we just never got around to 'wasting time' with thinking about the issue.
Devising a way to select chairpeople was no easy thing for us. It took more than two years time and quite some intense discussions. At the end we agreed on these principles:
- A RIPE Vice Chair role should be re-established.
- The RIPE Chair and the RIPE Vice Chair are selected as a team and their terms are linked.
- The persons selected for the roles of RIPE Chair and RIPE Vice Chair must both be suitable for the role and have the support of the RIPE community.
- A nominating committee drawn from the community selects persons to fill the role of RIPE Chair and RIPE Vice Chair for a term of five years with a two-term limit.
- The nominating committee is selected randomly from community volunteers and is closely modelled on the IETF NomCom.
We worked out the details in these RIPE documents:
- ripe-714: A brief description of the RIPE Chair’s role.
- ripe-727: Information about the selection process.
- ripe-728: Detailed information about the NomCom.
I made the 'mistake' of helping with these documents and now I am the 'stuckee' chairing the very first NomCom. 'Daniel can write a procedure for that.' seems to slowly become a RIPE meme. I assure you that I still dislike formal processes within RIPE and I positively hate inventing them. Why does nobody quite believe that?
As NomCom chair, appointed by the RIPE NCC board, I first made a call for volunteers to serve on the committee. Then I asked the RIPE NCC Executive Board, the RIPE Programme Committee and the RIPE working group chairs to appoint liaisons. Finally I re-discovered that there is a special advisor role for the chair of the previous NomCom. This presented the classic bootstrapping problem; Anna Wilson, successful moderator of those intense discussions mentioned above, agreed to serve in this role.
After quite some canvassing 36 community members volunteered to serve on the nom-com and after a "Publicly Verifiable Nominations Committee (NomCom) Random Selection" we had the 10 voting members of the NomCom selected.