1.3 IETF Overview

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) provides a forum for working groups to coordinate technical developments 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 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:

Technical activity on any specific topic in the IETF is addressed within working groups. All working groups are organized roughly by function into seven areas. Each 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 technical directors compose the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).





Harald Alvestrand

IETF Chair


Steven Bellovin



Bill Fenner



Ned Freed



Ted Hardie



Russ Housley



David Kessens

Operations & Mgmt


Allison Mankin



Thomas Narten



Jon Peterson



Margaret Wasserman



Bert Wijnen

Operations & Mgmt, Sub-IP


Alex Zinin

Operations & Mgmt, Routing


The IETF has a limited number of liaison relationships with other organizations. Liaisons are appointed by the IAB when the IAB feels that conditions warrent appointing a specific person to such a task.

Leslie Daigle

IAB Chair


Rob Austein

IAB Liaison


Michelle Cotton

IANA Liaison


Joyce Reynolds

RFC Editor Liaison


The IETF has a Secretariat, headquartered at the Corporation for National Research Initiatives in Reston, Virginia. The IETF Executive Director is Barbara Fuller (Exec-Director@ietf.org).

Other personnel that support the Secretariat or provide services on an as needed basis include:

Senior Meeting Planner

Marcia Beaulieu


IETF Internet-Drafts Administrator

Dinara Suleymanova


Meeting Registrar and
Manager Finance/Administration

Dawn Thomas


Database Developer

Michael Lee


UNIX/Network Administrator

Brett Thorson


System Administrator

Gregory Cunningham


System/Network Engineer

Stanley Weilnau


Web Administrator

Amy Vezza


Administrative Support and
IETF Proceedings Administrator

Rebecca Bunch


The working groups conduct business during plenary meetings of the IETF, during meetings outside of the IETF, and via electronic mail on mailing lists established for each group. The IETF holds 4.5 day meetings three times a year. These meetings are composed of working group sessions, technical presentations, network status reports, working group reporting, and an open IESG meeting. A Proceedings of each IETF plenary is published, which includes reports from each area, each working group, and each technical presentation. The Proceedings include a summary of all current standardization activities.

Meeting minutes, working group charters (which include the working group mailing lists), and general information on current IETF activities are available on-line for anonymous FTP from several IETF shadow sites hosts, including ftp.ietf.org.