[ARIN-consult] Consultation on Expanding the Size of the ARIN Board of Trustees

John Curran jcurran at arin.net
Fri Apr 6 15:50:10 EDT 2018

On 6 Apr 2018, at 2:40 PM, Bill Woodcock <woody at pch.net> wrote:
> I’ve served on many boards, including ones much smaller than ARIN’s (several boards of three people) and ones much larger (once as many as 22).  I’ve found that, without exception, the larger the board, the less functional it is.  At seven, ARIN’s board has always (at least in the fifteen years I sat on it) struggled with keeping all members engaged and contributing productively. It’s been rare that more than four or five members were really paying attention to the issues we needed to work on, showing up for meetings, and speaking their minds.

Indeed Bill… you are certainly one of the folks I had in mind when I wrote the phrase "a history of Board members of both extremely high calibre and with exceptional breath of experience in many parts of the Internet”.

Three Board members of such broad experience and knowledge might indeed do fine in setting strategic direction for fundamental organization such as ARIN, but three of less than stellar background and knowledge could be quite a disaster in the making.

> Ask yourself instead, “what problem, if any, would this solve?”  I’ve asked that question each time it’s been brought up, and I’ve never received an answer.

There are only so many Bill Woodcocks, Scott Bradners, Paul Vixies, Vint Cerfs, etc. in the world, and it’s unlikely going forward that we’ll have quite as many folks involved who have similarly been involved in every aspect of the Internet since its inception. Combine that with the fact that the Internet is itself adding new layers (such as clouds, social media, and CDN’s…), and you have set extremely high expectations if you want to good breadth of understanding of the Internet ecosystem that ARIN affects in only six people, even if all of them are quite well-qualified.


John Curran
President and CEO

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