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

John Curran jcurran at arin.net
Fri Apr 6 16:29:56 EDT 2018

On 6 Apr 2018, at 4:07 PM, William Herrin <bill at herrin.us> wrote:
> On Fri, Apr 6, 2018 at 3:35 PM, John Curran <jcurran at arin.net> wrote:
>> Specifically, the question is simply how small of a Board does the ARIN
>> community feel comfortable when it comes to setting strategic direction
>> in sensitive matters that are too early to engage with the full community.
> John, that's mission creep. The community doesn't want ARIN or its
> board to set a strategic direction for the Internet or any part of it.
> That's not the proper role of a *registry*. A registry records and
> reports. They don't "direct.”

Alas, ARIN (along with the other RIRs) is inevitably involved in setting the strategic direction for the evolution of the Internet Number registry system.   The impacted parties from such changes includes a significant portion of the Internet infrastructure, since they all rely in part upon our services for their success.   While we work hard to consult with the ARIN community regarding direction, it is not always possible for some of the more sensitive matters, and hence the breath of Internet knowledge of the ARIN Board can be crucial. 

For example, in the case of the IANA stewardship transition, simply entertaining discussion of the potential could have resulted in legislative or regulatory responses that would have impacted not only the Internet number registry system, but other parts of the ecosystem including the DNS community, ICANN, and the IETF.   Understanding such potential risks isn’t possible unless you have Board of broad experience, more so than simply internet registry services. 

> Respectfully, if ARIN's board lacks any breadth it is most likely
> because the membership who elected them reflect a similar breadth.
> That's a problem with the selection process for the board, not its
> size. As we also discussed last year.

It would be challenging, no matter how broad the ARIN community, to have a Board of three which covered all of the various portions of the affected Internet ecosystem, and that refutes the idea that the diversity of the community can assure breadth of knowledge of the resulting Board. 

We have had truly incredible Board members with great breadth of knowledge in the past, and six elected Board members of such quality have sufficed, but even that’s uncertain going forward given less involvement from those who have led the Internet since day one and additional complexity of new layers such as cloud, mobile, CDN’s, and social media. 


John Curran
President and CEO

More information about the ARIN-consult mailing list