[arin-ppml] ARIN Board members

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Mon Jul 20 17:20:35 EDT 2015

> On Jul 20, 2015, at 09:17 , David Huberman <David.Huberman at microsoft.com> wrote:
> Hello,
> This morning's email announcing the opening of the nominations period for Board of Trustees seats has me stewing on a topic that's bothered me for a while. 
> What fair and objective data does a voter have to judge how well an incumbent is doing?  

Board meeting minutes
ARIN’s published financials
Interactions with the board members
The answers they provide to the questionnaire
The overall apparent health and performance of the organization

In short, quite a bit more than we actually usually get for senators, congress-critters, presidents, governors, etc.

> I have been involved with ARIN in various capacities since 1999 and pay a LOT of attention.  But in most cases, I can't tell you how good a Board member is.  I suspect that's because so much of our activity as the collective ARIN happens in the policy making arena, and the Board has chosen to be mostly silent in that arena.  At our April meeting in San Francisco, I saw a Board member sit silent for the entire 3 days. Before that member was on the board, however, he was a strong, productive, effective advocate for good policy who earned my vote.  Now he's silent.  What am I supposed to think now when he runs for re-election? How do I judge if he's earned another term? I read the published minutes of the Board meetings, and they're not particularly enlightening.

They’re getting better recently, but I agree that the minutes used to be pretty bleak. I believe that the recent improvement is, at least in part, due to a request on my part that the board increase its transparency. (I think the AC as a whole made that request as well, but I had made it privately prior to that).

The board tries to stay out of the policy process because they serve as a check-and-balance on the AC. As a general rule, it’s never a good idea to have those developing policy actively involved in enforcing it. One need look no further than the results of the private prison lobby to see how this creates all kinds of improper incentives. While I do think it is somewhat unfortunate to lose good voices in the PDP, I believe that the higher level of service offered by board members more than makes up for their silence in the PDP and that said silence is truly in the service of the community.

> Does the Board Does the Board conduct any reviews or evaluations of Board member performance? Is any of that available to the members?
> I mean, the CEO gets reviewed, yes?  If the Board can review the CEO, would it be a stretch to ask for reviews of the other 6 members of the Board? 

I question the value or objectivity of any such action. I think in the best case, you might get a mutual admiration society. In the worst case, you have created an opportunity for the worst kinds of underhanded politics and cliques.


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