ISOC Fellowships to the IETF Bring Local Perspectives to Global Forum

The Internet Society (ISOC) awarded fellowships to support participation in Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) meetings by 22 technologists from 15 countries in developing regions around the world. The Internet Society is the organizational home of the IETF, the Internet’s premier technical standards body. Twelve fellowship recipients from this round of awards will attend next week’s IETF meeting in Hiroshima, Japan on 8-13 November.

The latest round of Internet Society Fellowship to the IETF awards garnered 199 applications, with recipients coming from Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Fiji, India, Malawi, Mauritius, Morocco, Pakistan, Uganda, and Togo. The program pairs recipients with an experienced mentor at IETF meetings to support their participation.

“The high level of interest and participation is not only a testament to the Internet Society’s Fellowship to the IETF itself, but also to the growing prominence of the Internet as a platform from economic development and innovation around the world,” said Karen Rose, Director of Access and Development Initiatives for the Internet Society. “ISOC Fellowships to the IETF are a tangible demonstration of the Internet Society’s commitment to foster technical leadership and increased participation in Internet standards development by technologists in emerging economies.”

The Internet Society’s Fellowship program helps skilled technologists from the developing world to experience the Internet standards development process in person. While much of the IETF’s work takes place over mailing lists, the in-person experience promotes a stronger understanding of the standardisation process, encourages active involvement in IETF work, and facilitates personal networking with others that have similar technical interests.

Internet Society members Afilias, Google, Intel, Microsoft and the Nominet Trust each provide significant support for the ISOC Fellowship to the IETF:

“Afilias is both proud and pleased to support the Internet Society’s IETF Fellowship program. We are committed to the open and consensus-driven process of the IETF’s development of DNS and all Internet standards, which we know is enhanced with broad participation,” said Dr. James Galvin, Director Strategic Relationships and Technical Standards at Afilias. “The Internet is necessarily inclusive of all people and it is appropriate that all people should have the opportunity to contribute to the development of standards that affect their inclusion.”

“Google continues to be an enthusiastic sponsor of the ISOC Fellowship to the IETF program,” said Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist for Google. “Bringing colleagues from around the world to meet with IETF participants is an important way to establish long-lasting relationships that promote the spread of the Internet.”

“Microsoft believes that there is the need for all communities affected by standards to have a voice in their creation, that’s why we’re excited to participate in ISOC’s important initiative to enable talented technologists from developing regions to benefit from these opportunities to participate in the standards dialogue,” said Nasser Kettani, regional standards officer, Middle East and Africa, Microsoft.

Jonathan Welfare, Chairman of Nominet Trust Board comments: “The objectives of the ISOC Fellowship to the IETF align with the Nominet Trust’s aims and reinforce our ongoing efforts to assist in the global development and innovation of the Internet, which will make a positive difference to society as well as advance education. The funding enables fellowships to be awarded so that discussions around Internet standards and policy development can be held with those with the appropriate experience, allied with a creative approach. Ultimately this will strengthen the global Internet community.”

As part of ISOC’s Next Generation Leaders programme’s efforts to prepare professionals from around the world to become the next generation of Internet technology, policy, and business leaders, the ISOC Fellowship to the IETF has made 84 awards to technologists from 30 developing countries to participate IETF meetings since its inception in 2006. For more information about ISOC’s Fellowship to the IETF and Next Generation Leaders programme, see:

The selected ISOC Fellows to the IETF for the IETF meeting 76 in November 2009 and IETF 77 meeting in March 2010 are:

IETF 76, Hiroshima, Japan

Hassan Zaheer (Pakistan) is interested in the transition from IPv4 to IPv6 as part of his responsibilities managing a large ISP that delivers broadband through wireless and cable (Worldcall Telecom Ltd).

Gargi Bag (India) is pursuing her PhD at Ajou University in South Korea. Her thesis is based on designing lightweight mobility-related protocols for IPv6 in wireless networks.

Muhammad Yousaf (Pakistan) researches areas including mobility and security issues in wireless networks at the M. A. Jinnah University, Islamabad.

Fernando Gont (Argentina) has contributed to several Working Group RFCs on the extension and maintenance of the core Internet protocols and security capabilities in network infrastructure.

Ali Tufail (Pakistan) is a PhD student at Ajou University in South Korea with his research focusing on reliability and security in sensor networks.

Zartash Afzal Uzmi (Pakistan), a professor at Lahore University of Management Sciences, is pursuing research encompassing data center operations, inter-domain routing, and wide area Ethernet provisioning.

IETF 77, Anaheim, CA, USA

A. Palanivelan (India) technical interests lie in the Bidirectional Forwarding Detection (BFD), Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), and IS-IS for IP Internets (ISIS) Working Groups.

Jean-Robert Hountomey (Togo) works on issues covering backbone and network design, security, access and mobility solutions, and routing as the CEO and CTO of IServices Group.

Sakaio P. Manoa (Fiji) is interested in IP over IEEE 802.16 Networks and is an ICT advisor with the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission.

Kondwani Masiye (Malawi) is a network architect for the IP and data communication network of Malawi Telecommunications Limited and is interested in a range of routing issues.

Idris A. Rai (Uganda) is at Makerere University conducting networking research and is particularly interested in performance analysis and design of protocols, packet scheduling, wireless mesh networks, and overlay networks.

Gustavo Rodrigues Ramos (Brazil) is a network engineer actively following Secure Inter-Domain Routing and Inter-Domain Routing Working Groups. He is also heavily active in local and regional Internet forums.

Ten alumni of the program were selected to receive the Returning Fellows award, which supports their participation in an additional IETF meeting. Returning fellows are able to leverage their initial IETF experience to provide additional contributions into the IETF standards processes, while helping to build engagement by their local technical community in standards tracks that have important implications for regional Internet growth. Their attendance at the meetings also increases the visibility of the IETF in developing countries. The selected Returning Fellows for the 76th and 77th meetings are:

IETF 76, Hiroshima, Japan

Carlos Watson Carazo (Costa Rica)
Joao Marcelo Ceron (Brazil)
Sandra Cespedes U. (Colombia)
Terry Rupeni (Fiji)
Hugo Salgado (Chile)

IETF 77, Anaheim, CA, USA

Mohibul Hasib Mahmud (Bangladesh)
Afaf El Maayati (Morocco)
Dessalegn Yehuala (Ethiopia)
Subramanian Moonesamy (Mauritius)
Noah Sematimba (Uganda)

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