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IESG is an acronym for the Internet Engineering Steering Group. This group is assigned with the responsibility of technical management of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), which concentrates on producing high-quality and relevant technical documents for the betterment of the internet. The IESG provides technical management for all the activities conducted by IETF and the Internet Standards Process.[1]


The IESG is made up of Area Directors or (ADs), who are selected by the NomCom and serve a term lasting two years.

The Role of the IESG in the Standards Process

The IESG carries out various roles in the Internet Standards Process. Some of these roles include reviewing and approving group documents and candidates for the IETF standards track. It also reviews the candidates for publication in the RFC series.

Standards Track Documents vs. Non-Standards Track Documents

Every RFC is not considered as a standard. Each RFC has a status relative to the Internet standardization process. Standards Track documents include Draft Standard, Proposed Standard, and Internet Standard RFCs while Non-Standards Track documents include Experimental, Informational, and Historic RFCs.

The IESG reviews all documents before they are submitted for publication. However, IESG follows a different review process to review the standards track RFCs which is mentioned below:

Working Group Documents on the Standards Track: Once a working group submits a document and mentions that it is ready for publication it is sent to the IESG and IESG submits it to IETF’s mailing list for the final call. This call is the final one that is intended to see that whether no important point has been misunderstood or missed.

The IESG takes a look at what feedback it gets in the Last call. Once it is done, the IESG will deliberate on whether to accept the document on the standards track. If it is approved then IESG announces the approval of the document to the IETF mailing list and RFC Editor.

Non-Working Group Documents on the Standards Track: The IESG also reviews the Non-Working Group Documents on the standard track and also assigns them to a relevant Area Director who then shepherds the documents. The IESG checks for the specifications for the standards track and observes whether it needs to be reviewed by the IETF working groups. It also checks the quality. [2]


The IESG is a body composed of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Chair and Area Directors. Apart from these, it has different areas, which are defined by the IESG. The IESG has the powers to add, redefine, merge and change areas as well as change the number of Area Directors assigned to a specific area. It can also close down an area. It is upon the IESG to decide on which areas the working groups would belong to. The charter of the areas is divided as follows:

  • Internet Area (int)
  • Real-time Applications and Infrastructure Area (rai)
  • Security Area (sec)
  • Operations & Network Management Area (ops)
  • Transport Area (tsv)
  • Applications Area (app)
  • Routing Area (rtg) [3]

It also consists of some Liaison and Ex-officio Members which are as follows:

  • IETF Executive Director
  • Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) Liaison and
  • Internet Architecture Board (IAB) Chair and Liaison
  • Request for Comments (RFC) Editor Liaison [4]

Current members of the IESG

IETF (Also the Area Director for the General Area and IESG Chair)

Security Area (sec)

Real-time Applications and Infrastructure Area (rai)

Operations and Management Area (ops)

Internet Area (int)

Applications Area (app)

Routing Area (rtg)

Transport Area (tsv)

Liaison and Ex-officio Members


  2. ietf.orgIESG role
  3. ietf.orgareas
  4. Members

See also