Current Status: Closed

This program is currently on hold and we are not accepting applications until further notice.

Internet Society Fellowships to the IETF were for Internet Society members from emerging or developing economies who have the technical skills and experience to contribute to the work of the IETF.

Next Generation Leaders (NGL) Program > Past Fellowship to the IETF

Past Fellowship to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is the world’s premier Internet standards setting organization. It operates as a large, open international community of network designers, operators, vendor experts, researchers, and other interested technologists. While much of the IETF’s work takes through correspondence, actually attending an event promotes a stronger understanding of the standards process, encourages active involvement in IETF work, and facilitates personal networking with others that have similar technical interests.

Attendance by technologists from emerging and developing economies is currently limited.

However, there are many talented individuals in those regions who are interested and follow IETF work, and would benefit from the opportunities that attending an IETF meeting presents.

The Main Purposes of the Program are to:

  • Raise global awareness about the IETF and its work.
  • Foster greater understanding of, and participation in, the work of the IETF by technologists from emerging and developing economies.
  • Provide an opportunity for networking with individuals from around the world with similar technical interests.
  • Identify and foster potential future leaders from emerging and developing economies, and
  • Demonstrate the Internet community’s commitment to fostering greater global participation in Internet Forums such as the IETF.

What are the Benefits of the Program?

The key benefits of the ISOC Fellowship to the IETF program are that it:

  • Exposes and encourages participation in the IETF process from emerging and developing economies.
  • Creates connections between new and established open Internet standards developers.
  • Reinforces the importance of multi-disciplinary leaders in fostering the sustainability, robustness, security, stability and development of the Internet.
  • Empower Internet professionals by broadening their experience and enabling their participation in open Internet standards development.
  • Provides opportunities for Fellows to participate in the global Internet ecosystem and to interact and engage with the broader Internet engineering community.
  • Increases the visibility of Fellows and prepares them to deliver more meaningful impacts at the local and regional level.

Brief History

The Internet Society successfully piloted the Fellowship program at the 66th IETF meeting in Montreal in June 2006 with the intent to increase awareness of standards development processes where there was no understanding.

Alain Aina and Michuki Mwangi, Internet leaders in Togo and Kenya respectively, participated in the first pilot and wrote the following about their experience:

To most Internet engineers, the IETF is a revered organization and involvement is regarded as a career high. We felt that our participation at the IETF meeting in Montreal was both a personal achievement and a motivational experience. It gave life to a process that we had experienced only on mailing lists. Having had the opportunity to be at the meeting, we were able to appreciate the passion and the energy that are put into the IETF for the good of the Internet.”

Three individuals from the Pacific and Latin America participated in a second pilot phase at the 67th IETF meeting in San Diego in November 2006. All found the experience highly beneficial. Based on the success of the pilots, the Internet Society formalised the program in 2007.

By the end of 2018, we supported 245 individuals with total of 322 awards as the program included the returning fellows.

Meet the Fellows

Internet Society Fellows at IETF 97 in Seoul (taken from IETF Journal site)

Editor’s note: As the program is on hold, Expectations for the Fellows, Selection Criteria, Returning Fellowship, Become a Sponsor, and Become a Mentor pages have been archived on Internet Archive.