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InCommon Steering Committee Meeting - October 27, 2014

8 am - Noon - JW Marriott Indianapolis - Room 205

Attending: Klara Jelinkova, Steve Devoti, Jack Suess, David Vernon, Dennis Cromwell, John O’Keefe, Joel Cooper, Michael Gettes, Mark Crase, Ken Klingenstein, Steve Carmody (on phone), Chris Holmes (on phone)

With: John Krienke, Shel Waggener, Steve Zoppi, Dean Woodbeck

Trusted Identity in Education and Research (TIER)

Klara reviewed the “Case for TIER” document with a goal of clarifying which areas will be the responsibility of InCommon. Shel commented that, for some time, identity projects were pursued, many with their own governance groups, then all rolled up into InCommon over the years. With TIER as a larger program, InCommon will be able to focus on issues that are core to the federation.


  • Fundamentally about operating a trust federation for R&E in the U.S., with responsibility to ensure international compatibility and interoperability
  • As to Steering itself, tremendous need for a group of people that can provide influence
  • Fundamentally about operating the U.S. federation. Develop an environment, trust fabric, work with participants that they are working appropriately.
  • I have a fairly narrow view – we would have a perspective and oversight over some policy components of certificates, for instance, but Steering is not involved in running the service. We would be an advocacy body for that service. InCommon’s focus is the federation.
  • There is a lot of connective tissue around trust. As to the certificate example, as long as this community sees the need for a certificate service, this body has a high-level interest in this. Where is runs operationally, doesn’t really matter.
  • We should identity and define required trust elements. Is two-factor required? Are certs required? If we don’t have the ability to make this happen, we’re just another voice in the wilderness. Need to be in a position to direct resources.
  • Our higher role in life is to enable trust. As Steering, we are there to effectively control and convince execs where to spend the money. Might be legacy tactical investments, and then are new/future tactical investments.
  • Focus on federation, assurance. What are the requirements? Can we have requirements? How do you use multifactor authentication with InCommon – that’s part of this group.
  • Klara commented that TIER’s interest is on organizing and stabilizing development efforts, so they are unlikely to want to “own” the certificate service, which is already successfully operating.
  • Ken commented that, looking forward, we need to engage VPs for research (collaboration and attribute release). Also, consent management is critical. Watching what is happening in other federations, we will need to build a structure for campus consent management. We want to make sure we have room in the portfolio for these to happen. Consensus that both of these fit into the InCommon portfolio.

Goals and Strategies

Shifted to the goals and strategies worksheet. Steering went through the goals and strategies as a way to further determine the scope for Steering and InCommon.

Affiliate Program

Ann O'Beay, Ann West, and Ana Huntsinger joined the meeting to discuss merging the InCommon Affiliate Program with the Internet2 industry program.


The timeline would be to use 2015 as a transition year, with the new dues structure and a la carte pricing effective in January 2015, with the transition completed by January 2016.

Subcommittee Structure

There was discussion about the subcommittee structure – reviewing its effectiveness and whether we have the right subcommittees. Some of the comments:


Steve Carmody reviewed TAC’s approach in 2014. TAC created a set of working groups targeted at the priorities defined by InCommon. These working groups all have written charters, so their work is scoped, and all will produce docyments and recommendations. TAC will then review these and bring recommendations to Steering.

Next Steps and Communications

  • ERG will continue with the charter/bylaws work
  • Programs will continue with prioritization
  • ERG will continue involvement with TIER
  • Hold a community webinar explaining what is in scope and what Steering has decided. January/February time frame – what is InC, what is TIER and what is the landscape.
  • We will need a way of matching priorities and resources, and a way to account for this to the community.
  • Part of the conversation is staffing and priorities – will the InCommon staff continue to be pulled into other areas of Internet2?


  • Jack Suess, Joel Cooper, Bill Yock are rolling off
  • We have two CIOs rolling off; need to keep that in mind
  • We could have more Steering members than currently do
  • Nominations will not be a separate committee, but will be handled by the executive committee and full steering.

Next Meeting – Monday, Nov. 3, 4 pm ET