[OpenID board] Opening of the 2010 OpenID Foundation Board election process.

Don Thibeau (OIDF ED) don at oidf.org
Wed Nov 11 18:21:14 UTC 2009

Dear OpenID Foundation Members:


I am pleased to announce the opening of the 2010 OpenID Foundation Board
nomination and election process.  The information below shares some context
for the election and is intended for you - the person out there considering
running, nominating or voting in the upcoming OpenID Foundation election. 


This election will hit the refresh button on OIDF for 2010. I am pleased to
report the "foundation" of the foundation is solid. New financial,
administrative and legal measures are in place. Our budget was carefully
mapped and still able to respond to the government's open identity
initiative. Because of all that and more, the newly elected community
representatives will have a major influence on 2010 plans, priorities and
budget. The focus on security and usability at last week's OpenID Summit at
Yahoo! and follow up discussions at the IIW reflected the key concerns of
the current board. The "state of OpenID security" work Jeff Hodges, Ashish
Jain and others did inventoried the security challenges we still face. Allan
Tom, Breno de Medeiros and others laid out key issues in presentations on
the "state of usability."  New "product" improvement initiatives like those
discussed in Dick Hart and David Recordon's IIW session on V.Next and new
"cloud" and active "client" selector demos all point to renewed energy for
building on core OpenID technology.


Just as OpenID technology is evolving, how the board works must change.
Organizations that have transitioned from specification development to
market adoption (the space we entered this year) have evolved their
governance and membership programs to meet operational and financial
objectives.  In order to improve the core technology "product", drive RP
adoption and increase member services, we need to find ways to offer more
membership value and create diversified sources of income.  2010's board
members will consider how best to balance competing priorities with still
unfolding value in the trust framework and certification work to do with the
US government and others.  We've been told by experts that demand for
certification is a leading indicator of the growth and maturity of a
technology standard.  How we do certification will, in part, shape our
future. Our discussions have us looking beyond the US government
requirements to broader market adoption dynamics. The IIW community's "acid
test" greatly improved the working hypothesis that RP adoption can be best
served by a synchronized and phased focus on both technology
interoperability and policy certification. 


In an organization like ours, leadership must come from all quarters.  As an
essentially volunteer run organization, change - whether to a website page
or working group - is in the hands of those motivated to act. The OpenID
foundation remains a unique mash up of democracy, meritocracy and
technology.  A few months ago, I took great pride in introducing the OpenID
Board to Vivek Kundra, the US CIO at the White House.  I made sure Vivek
knew the people he was meeting were not the usual suspects of lawyers and
lobbyists, but the engineers and computer scientists who wrestled daily with
the most challenging problems of internet identity.  The government adoption
provided a forcing function for OpenID technology, community collaboration,
and a bit of history making. 


Over a glass of wine, Nat Sakimura, Andrew Nash and I were riffing on the
OpenID Foundation's "mission." We kept pushing beyond: "stewardship of
intellectual property." "Enabling trust" wasn't good enough but the Japanese
translation of "trust" into "a feeling of safety" and being "at ease" began
to capture what OpenID might someday bring to users. It hints at how
important our work can be. For myself, I believe an "open" reliable,
"trusted" identity standard can be the next key operational piece of
Internet infrastructure. It can be to the identity layer what DNS is to the
Web layer and IP is to the packet layer. In that way, the mission of the
OpenID foundation and the leadership of its board can build something
sustainable and important on behalf of internet users.


The contribution of your leadership on our board and active engagement as
members of our foundation is highly encouraged.  Employment in any company
is not a barrier. Please carefully consider your nomination and those of
others.  A FAQ with specific details on the election process is available at


Thanks for your support. 2009 has been an extraordinary year, 2010 promises
much more.  


Don Thibeau


don at OIDF.org

Executive Director

The OpenID Foundation





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