This page provides an overview of Leadership Roles and Procedures for Work and Discussion Groups. These summaries are provided for convenience.  Official responsibilities and practices are located in the Kantara Initiative Operating Procedures.

Leadership Roles


"Chair” shall mean the elected leader of a Work Group (WG), Discussion Group (DG), or the Leadership Council (LC).

The Chair shall serve as the voting representative to the Leadership Council. (Discussion Group Chairs serve as non-voting representatives to the Leadership Council).

Duties and responsibilities of a chair include:
• Scheduling and providing timely notice of meetings
• Chairing meetings in an unbiased manner
• Submitting a quarterly status report to the LC Secretary
• Appointing such persons as may be needed to expedite business (e.g. secretary) – No secretary required for DGs
• Ensuring Organization Bylaws and other policies are followed
• Assuring fair and open participation in the group
• Seeking consensus of the as a means of resolving all issues
The term of the elected Chair is one year.


“Vice-chair” shall mean the elected assistant to the Chair. Note: in some cases at the discretion of a Group, the Vice-chair(s) of a group may be called the Co-Chair(s). The duties and responsibilities of a vice-chair are to carry out the responsibilities of the chair in the absence of the chair. For a WG, the Vice-Chair is the alternate group voting representative to the Leadership Council.

The term of the elected Vice-Chair is one year.


Where no Secretary, Chair appoints such persons as may be needed to expedite business. The duties and responsibilities of the secretary include:
Prepare and maintain a summary report of each group meeting which shall include:
• Meeting attendees;
• Issues for which sufficient consensus was reached at the meeting;
• Dissenting opinions raised regarding consensus issues; and
• An issues list of currently known unresolved issues. Maintain an action item list which identifies action assignments and their status; and Maintain attendance and membership records


The duties and responsibilities of a Editor include:
• Ensure the safety and the accuracy of the draft document(s)
• Ensure that the format and structure of the document conform to the Organization document policies
• Make all changes to the document authorized by the group.

Role Terms

(not applicable for DGs)
At least one month prior to the end of the current term, the Chair must call for nominations for Chair and conduct a group ballot of all group participants. There is no restriction on the same individual serving as group Chair for two or more consecutive terms. A re-confirmation ballot of a group chair may be initiated by the Leadership Council at any time based on the written request of three (3) or more members of the group. If this reconfirmation vote fails, the LC Chair shall conduct a group election to select a new Chair for the group.

Leadership Council

Membership includes the Chairs (or designee) of each LC authorized Work Group and Discussion Group. One representative of the groups to attend bi-weekly LC calls.

The LC includes voting and non-voting members:
• WG Chairs (or Alternate) are voting members of the LC.
• DG Chairs (or Alternate) are non-voting members of the LC

Meeting Fees

No meeting fees may be required to participate in a Group.

Staff Roles
  • Assist with running election and report or recommendation ballots
  • Provide training and support for wiki, mailing list, and conference call bridge
  • Help shepherd Recommendations through to the all-member ballot stage
  • Update the Kantara calendar with WG/DG call times
  • Create initial wordpress, wiki and mailing list spaces for new WG/DG

  • Troubleshoot technical difficulties

  • Add new participants to group rosters, mailing lists

Work and Discussion Group Procedures

Work Groups

Discussion Groups

Work Groups are chartered by the Leadership Council to work on issues specified in the WG Charter. The WG shall elect from its participants one or more Editors to produce draft Technical Specifications, other Draft Recommendations, and/or Reports. Participation in a WG is contingent on accepting the Intellectual Property Rights Policy of that Group. IP terms of a WG must be described in its charter. Once the IP governance is established for a WG, it may not be changed.

A Discussion Group is a lightweight, informal group that may discuss the formation of a Working Group, but may not create Draft Recommendations. A DG may also act as a “Special Interest Group” or “birds of a feather” group for informal discussions. A Discussion Group may prepare Reports to the LC (or to be used as a contribution to a WG).

Formation of a WG
Submission of a WG Charter for approval requires the signature of three (3) or more proposed Participants of the WG, at least two (2) of whom shall be Members. To create a new Work Group the proposed WG Charter must be submitted to the LC Secretary for approval by a Simple Majority of the Leadership Council. The Leadership Council must consider any properly submitted proposal for the creation of a Work Group and vote on it within thirty (30) days of its submittal to the LC Secretary All proposed and approved WG Charters must be made available for public review.

Formation of a DG
A request to form a Discussion Group requires the signature of three (3) or more proposed Participants of the DG. To create a new Discussion Group a DG Formation Request (see Annex B) must be submitted to the LC Secretary. The LC Secretary shall ensure that the DG mailing list is established and the creation of the DG is announced to all Members.

Participation in a WG
WG participation is open to any person (whether or not a Member of the Organization) wishing to participate in the activities of the WG.

Participation in a DG
DG participation is open to any person (whether or not a Member of the Organization) wishing to participate in the activities of the DG.

Duration of a WG
No stated length

Duration of a DG
A DG, by its nature, is intended to be a short-termed group that is dissolved after it has addressed its intended topic. DGs are established for a maximum term of one year, but may be renewed annually for up to a maximum of three years total. 

Reporting Requirements of a WG
The WG is required to submit a written quarterly report to the LC Secretary that summarizes the status of the WG activities.

Reporting Requirements of a DG
The DG is required to submit a written quarterly report to the LC Secretary that summarizes the status of the DG activities.

WG Leadership
A WG shall, at a minimum, have a Chair and Vice-chair elected from the WG membership by a majority vote of the WG Participants. In some cases, the WG may prefer to have two or more Co-Chairs and no Vice-chair. In such a case, the WG must designate one of the Co-Chairs as the WG voting representative to the LC and another as the alternate. The WG shall elect from its Participants one or more Editors to produce draft Technical Specifications, other Draft Recommendations, and/or Reports. All WG Chair and Vice-chair and Editor elections shall be conducted by secret ballot unless the WG passes a motion by unanimous consent to hold a non-secret ballot. It is recommended that a WG also have a secretary appointed by the Chair. When a WG does not have a secretary it is the responsibility of the Chair to ensure that those duties (as defined below) are carried out.

DG Leadership
The DG shall annually elect a Chair and a Vice-Chair from its membership by a majority vote of the DG Participants.

WG Meetings
There must be a minimum of one (1) week notice provided to all WG Participants for any WG meeting. The meeting shall be announced to all WG Participants via the WG mailing list. A WG meeting agenda shall be published in the same manner no less than two days prior to the meeting. While most WG meetings are expected to be held via phone and online, face-to-face meetings may be held as required. In the case of face-to-face meetings, they should be held at geographically diverse locations in order to minimize the overall travel burden on any and all WG Participants. Attendance at face-to-face meetings via telephone is permitted. Face-to-face meetings have a one (1) month notification and one (1) week published agenda requirement.

DG Meetings
DGs have no minimum meeting notice requirements, but all meetings must be announced to all DG Participants prior to the meeting. DGs have no meeting reporting requirements.

WG Decision Making
Except in those cases required by these Operating Procedures or the Bylaws of the Organization, the WG shall seek to reach all decisions by Consensus. When no Consensus can be reached in a timely manner, at the Chair’s discretion an approval vote of a majority of Participants may be utilized to reach a decision (except in those cases where the LC has specified a different voting requirement). All Participants present at a WG meeting are voting members of the WG. For the purpose of maintaining a reasonable ability to achieve Quorum, any Participant in a WG who fails to attend two consecutive meetings of the WG may, at the discretion of the Chair, be re-classified as a non-voting member. Voting member status may be reacquired by attending a meeting of the WG. In the case of an electronic vote of the WG, if the electronic vote is initiated while a Participant is in non-voting status, the Participant may not vote in that electronic vote.

DG Decision Making
All decisions of a DG shall be reached by Consensus of the Participants.

Development of Draft Recommendations
A WG is chartered to formulate and develop draft Technical Specifications and other Draft Recommendation(s) based on a consensus of the Participants. It is the responsibility of the WG Chair to promote consensus of the WG by ensuring that:

  • Sufficient time is given for a clear statement of all relevant views
  • Each Participant has a sufficient opportunity to understand the views being presented to make a decision
  • All Participants have the opportunity to adequately present their view
  • The WG has sufficient information to make a decision
  • Dissenting opinions are clearly recorded when a trial resolution is proposed to determine if sufficient consensus has been reached
  • A rationale statement about the WG's majority view is included in the draft document whenever expressed dissent is considered likely to result in a negative ballot
  • A minority report may be produced representing a dissenting point of view of members of a WG
  • A Simple Majority of those Voting is required to approve the submission of a Draft Recommendation to the LC for All Member Ballot.