Russ Housley

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Country: USA


Russ Housley is a network security expert and founder of Vigil Security, LLC, a consulting firm.[1] He is the current chairman of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG). As Chairman of the IETF, Housley is also a voting member of the IETF Administrative Oversight Committee (IAOC) and Internet Architectural Board (IAB). He is also a trustee of the IETF Trust.[2]

As Chairman of the IETF, Housley's top priority is to increase the improvement of internet security. During an interview in 2007, he revealed that he is working with three directors from IETF to speed up the development in this area.[3]


  • B.S. in Computer Science- Virginia Tech, 1982
  • M.S. in Computer Science- George Mason University, 1992

Career History

Russ started working in the field of computer and network security in 1982. He has worked with different organizations, including the Air Force Data Services Center (AFDSC), Xerox Special Information Systems (XSIS), SPYRUS, and RSA Laboratories.[4]

Prior to his position as Chairman of IETF, he served as Security Area Director of the organization. He also became chairman of the Secure MIME (S/MIME) Working Group, held the position of co-chair of the IEEE's 802.10 Working Group and became representative to IEEE's 802 Working Group Executive Committee.

Books & IETF Contributions

Housley has authored two books about internet security:

  • Planning for PKI: Best Practices Guide for Deploying Public Key Infrastructure[5]
  • Implementing Email and Security Tokens: Current Standards, Tools, and Practices[6]

He has also contributed numerous RFCs on S/MIME electronic mail security protocol, Internet Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) specifications, Internet Protocol Security (IPsec) and two internet drafts.[7]


  • Key Management in Internet Security Protocols, June 8, 2009, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Key Management Workshop in Gaithersburg, MD, USA
  • Successful Protocol Development, April 28, 2009, Internet2 Spring Member Meeting in Arlington, VA, USA
  • Technologies that are Influencing the Internet, December 18, 2008, China Next Generation Internet (CNGI) Engineering Forum in Beijing, China
  • Protocol Privacy Considerations, December 8, 2010, IAB Workshop on Privacy in Cambridge, MA, USA
  • Emerging Wireless Internet Standards, June 1, 2011, Wireless @ Virginia Tech Conference in Blacksburg, VA, USA
  • Extremely Brief Introduction to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), August 24, 2011, Silicon Flatirons Roundtable on Internet Policy Strategies and Governance for the 21st Century in Boulder, CO, USA.

ICANN Involvement

As chairman of IETF, Housley is working closely with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to improve and maintain the security, effectiveness and efficiency of internet operations. In May 2008, he expressed his support to the proposal of the Public Interest Registry to implement DNSSEC in the .org registry and emphasized that the technology should be used within the entire internet to resolve domain name issues. He further encouraged ICANN to approve PIR's proposal.[8]

He was involved in reviewing the ICANN Staff proposal to sign the root zone file using the DNSSEC Technology, submitted by former ICANN President and CEO Paul Twomey to the NTIA on September 2, 2008.[9]