FAQs about Internet Society Board service

What kind of skills and experience qualifies a person to serve as a Trustee?

Successful candidates generally have deep experience or knowledge in at least several of these areas: Internet standards, Internet operations, public policy for Internet and telecommunications, and Internet development. The following are also highly desirable: previous board or leadership experience, skills in organizational management and governance especially for not-for-profit entities, good financial acumen, fund raising experience, and an understanding of community engagement models. Effective Trustees will also have the following personal qualities: demonstrated ability as a long-term, strategic thinker; high ethical standards and integrity; well-developed collaboration and consensus-building skills; strong communication skills as well as a passion and energy for the role.

Who selects Internet Society Trustees?

Candidates on the Chapters slate are elected by a voting representative from each Chapter. Candidates on the Organizations slate are elected by a representative of each Organization member. The IETF selects Trustees for the Board following the appointment process documented in RFC 3677.

How does a person stand for election?

Third-party and self-nominations are welcome. Upon successful submission of the nomination form, qualified candidates are interviewed by the Nominations Committee in order to produce the elections slate. Candidates on the slate are provided opportunities to share biographical information, an election statement, and views on various issues directly with voters in an online Candidate Forum.

Will multiple nominations increase my chances of being selected for the slate?

No. Candidates do not need more than one nomination as the Nominations Committee takes every nomination seriously.

I’m not a member of any Chapter or Organization member, can I still stand?

Anyone is welcome to stand, or to be nominated by someone else. However, a person’s skills, qualifications and experience as well as the confidence they inspire in ISOC’s membership to provide the necessary leadership and governance of the organization will be what gets them elected.

I stood previously, can I stand again?

Previous candidates are encouraged to stand again. Different skills and experience are needed at different times, so different types of people are successful from year to year. Also, in the period since you were last nominated, you may have gained different experience and may have become more well known to the community.

I was nominated previously; do I have to submit the forms again?

Yes. Previous nominations are not reused. You may also wish to highlight new skills or experience.

Do sitting Board members need to complete the forms?

Yes. If a Board member’s term has expired, they are not automatically re-nominated and must complete a self-nomination or third-party nomination form.

Once I’ve been nominated, when will I be interviewed?

Not everyone who is nominated will be interviewed. The Internet Society’s Nominations Committee  carefully considers all the applications and will interview as many people as possible in the time available. Every nomination is taken extremely seriously and all candidates are regarded with the highest respect.

What kind of orientation is provided to new Trustees?

Once election results are final, a Board orientation program and schedule is drawn up. The program is designed to acquaint incoming Trustees with the Board’s roles and responsibilities. The orientation schedule generally includes two to three 90-minute sessions via videoconference, followed by a meeting the day prior to the annual general meeting, when new Trustees officially begin their terms.

What is the time commitment for Trustees?

The time commitment can be quite substantial. Trustees are expected to commit the time necessary to perform regular Board and committee business. Trustees are also expected to allocate time to attend and prepare for meetings.

  • Board Meetings: usually three physical meetings per year that are two days in length plus travel time. These meetings are often co-located with IETF meetings, or other Internet events to reduce Trustees’ travel and time away from home.
  • Planning Retreat: usually one per year over two days plus travel time.
  • Conference Calls: monthly informal meetings by videoconference.
  • Committees: participation in at least one committee. The amount of time required varies by committee, with most meeting by videoconference at least once between regular board meetings.
  • Email Correspondence: a significant amount of board work is carried out via email discussions, polls and surveys throughout the year.

Do Trustees get paid?


Are Trustees reimbursed for travel expenses?

Yes. Reasonable travel costs to attend meetings of the Board, in accordance with ISOC’s travel policy for Trustees, are reimbursable.

Information on Trustee elections.