1.4 IETF Overview

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) provides a forum for working groups to coordinate technical development of new protocols. Its most important function is the development and selection of standards within the Internet protocol suite.

The IETF began in January 1986 as a forum for technical coordination by contractors for the then US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), working on the ARPANET, US Defense Data Network (DDN), and the Internet core gateway system. Since that time, the IETF has grown into a large open international community of network designers, operators, vendors, and researchers concerned with the evolution of the Internet architecture and the smooth operation of the Internet.

The IETF mission includes:

  1. Identifying and proposing solutions to pressing operational and technical problems in the Internet;
  2. Specifying the development or usage of protocols and the near-term architecture, to solve technical problems for the Internet;
  3. Facilitating technology transfer from the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) to the wider Internet community;and
  4. Providing a forum for the exchange of relevant information within the Internet community between vendors, users, researchers, agency contractors, and network managers.

Technical activities in the IETF are addressed within working groups. All working groups are organized roughly by function into seven areas. Each area is led by one or more Area Directors who have primary responsibility for that one area of IETF activity. Together with the Chair of the IETF/IESG, these Area Directors comprise the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).




Brian Carpenter

IETF Chair


Jari Arkko



Ross Callon



Lisa Dusseault



Lars Eggert



Bill Fenner



Ted Hardie



Sam Hartman



Russ Housley



Cullen Jennings

Real-time Applications and Infrastructure


David Kessens

Operations and Management


Jon Peterson

Real-time Applications and Infrastructure


Dan Romascanu

Operations and Management


Mark Townsley



Magnus Westerlund



Liaison and ex-officio members include:

Leslie Daigle

IAB Chair


Dave Meyer

IAB Liaison


Michelle Cotton

IANA Liaison


Joyce Reynolds

RFC Editor Liaison


Barbara Fuller

IETF Secretariat Liaison


The IETF has a Secretariat, which is managed by NeuStar Secretariat Services (NSS) in Sterling, Virginia. NSS is headed by Jon Lindberg <jon.lindberg@neustar.biz>, Vice President. The IETF Executive Director is Barbara Fuller <exec-director@ietf.org>.

Other personnel that provide full-time support to the Secretariat include:

Senior Meeting Planner

Marcia Beaulieu

IESG Support Coordinator and
On-Site Registrar

Amy Vezza

IETF Working Group Support Coordinator and Internet-Drafts Administrator

Dinara Suleymanova

Lead Database Developer

Michael Lee

Database Developer

Sunny Lee

Meeting Registrar and
IETF Proceedings Administrator

Rebecca Bunch

Scott Blomquist of TechSquare, Inc., a long-term, part-time contractor, provides ongoing system administration support to Secretariat operations. In addition, about 20 members of the NeuStar team support the Secretariat on an as-needed basis.

To contact the Secretariat, please refer to the addresses and URL's provided on the IETF Secretariat Web page.

The IETF also has a general Administrative Support Activity headed by the IETF Administrative Director, Ray Pelletier iad@ietf.org

The working groups conduct their business during the tri-annual IETF meetings, at interim working group meetings, and via electronic mail on mailing lists established for each group. The tri-annual IETF meetings are 4.5 days in duration, and consist of working group sessions, training sessions, and plenary sessions. The plenary sessions include technical presentations, status reports, and an open IESG meeting.

Following each meeting, the IETF Secretariat publishes meeting proceedings, which contain reports from all of the groups that met, as well as presentation slides, where available. The proceedings also include a summary of the standards-related activities that took place since the previous IETF meeting.

Meeting minutes, working group charters (including information about the working group mailing lists), and general information on current IETF activities are available on the IETF Web site at http://www.ietf.org.