Team to help regarding harassment concerns

In 2013, the IESG set the IETF anti-harassment policy. The IETF strives to create and maintain an environment in which people of many different backgrounds are treated with dignity, decency, and respect. Those who participate in the IETF are expected to behave according to professional standards and demonstrate appropriate workplace behaviour. IETF participants must not engage in harassment.

Last year, we concluded the process to write a BCP that defines the anti-harassment procedures, should any concerns arise. That BCP has now been published as RFC 7776. The RFC specifies that there shall be a specialist team that can be reached for help, advice, and possible actions regarding harassment concerns.

I’m happy to announce that Allison Mankin, Pete Resnick, and Linda Klieforth have accepted to become the initial members in this team. They are preparing for this role, working on their operating practices as defined by the RFC, and we are setting up additional training for them. I am though happy to have them serving in this role, given that they have a lot of experience. Allison and Pete of course have a long experience about the IETF culture, topics, and leadership roles. In addition, Pete has volunteer experience from violence and discrimination related tasks. Linda Klieforth has been the acting ombudsperson for the IETF since 2013, and is the head of HR at ISOC. And Allison has a lot of experience about the way IETF selects leadership.

Please welcome Linda, Allison, and Pete to this role. Feel free to contact them if you have any concerns, they are a very easy set of people to talk to, they will be here in Buenos Aires, and obviously everything you tell them will be kept in confidence as requested, as defined in the RFC.

More information and contacts for the team can be found on the team page at https://www.ietf.org/ombudsteam.

Also, while this isn’t strictly about harassment, this post seems like a good opportunity to remind everyone about behaving nicely. Please pay attention to how you interact with other people in the meeting and elsewhere. Think how you present criticism, for instance, and behave otherwise in a professional manner. I know you will, but sometimes spending a few seconds to think about how you go about a situation can make the experience so much better for everyone.

Jari Arkko, IETF Chair