[Owasp-board] [Governance] Proposal to change our bylaws about board member rotation and term limits

Andrew van der Stock vanderaj at owasp.org
Fri Oct 9 13:10:07 UTC 2015

All boards need renewal and to ensure long term survival of the
organisation. With such a wide field of candidates last year and this year,
we do not have any problems in recruiting new blood for the board, but that
new blood may be held back by folks who have been here a long while and
using their prior incumbency to gain a slot that might deny new ideas for
OWASP that we might otherwise miss out on.

I think three terms in 10 years is okay if towards the top of my
expectations. I am actually quite okay with the idea of two terms in 10
years as we only have 7 Directors. The maximum number of directors would 7
* 5 = 35 directors in total, and realistically, most of us will go for a
second term and even a third term, which reduces it to 7 * 5 / 2 = lets
call it 18 directors in 10 years with two terms, and possibly as low as 7 *
5 / 3 = 12 directors with everyone maxing out their three terms. I am not
sure a max of three terms is healthy, as if everyone affected by this rule
tapers off at once, there will be a period every few years with many new
directors, and few experienced directors.

Willing to discuss further. If the majority agree on three terms I am still
very likely to vote yes, and of course, to take effect once the 2015
elections have been finalised.


On Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 11:42 PM, Jim Manico <jim.manico at owasp.org> wrote:

> I personally think this is a great idea and of course should not effect
> current elections to be fair to Tom.
> --
> Jim Manico
> Global Board Member
> OWASP Foundation
> https://www.owasp.org
> Join me in Rome for AppSecEU 2016!
> On Oct 9, 2015, at 1:57 PM, Tobias <tobias.gondrom at owasp.org> wrote:
> Hello dear community,
> I like to raise a thought about term limits defined in our bylaws and how
> to encourage more board member rotation in the future, strengthening our
> governance and bringing new blood in the organisation.
> Last month, I had a very interesting discussion with the chair and some
> board members of ISC2 and they are currently moving to a more restrictive
> way of term limits to encourage new board members and rotation to improve
> oversight.
> Our current OWASP bylaws state in section 2.02
> "An individual is limited to 4 consecutive 2 year terms"
> I like to put this in context of other organisations like ISC2 bylaws:
> In the past they had "No member may be elected to the Board more than
> twice in any seven year period. " (Their term is for 3years.). They noticed
> a problem with people staying on very long after a one year break and
> hindering renewal of the board. So they are now moving towards* "Service
> as a Director may not exceed six years in any ten year period"**. *
> I had a longer conversation with several ISC2 directors and I think this
> is a good idea and move, to enhance governance, democratic processes and
> bring in new people with new ideas (and avoid that the same people continue
> to sit on the board for too long). As you know many democratic elected
> presidents have term limits. The US president being a good example.
> I think we should consider to as well strengthen our bylaws in that regard
> and make ourselves more open and encouraging for new blood on the board.
> *=> My proposal idea would be to adjust section 2.02 of our bylaws to
> state: *
> "An individual is limited to 3 consecutive 2 year terms and serving as a
> Director may not exceed six years in any ten year period."
> Please note: Naturally this change could not affect the currently ongoing
> board elections (as they are already in progress), so it would take effect
> only going forward for all new upcoming elections.
> What are your thoughts on this?
> Best regards, Tobias
> Tobias Gondrom
> Chairman OWASP Global Board
> email: tobias.gondrom at owasp.org
> skype: tgondrom
> twitter: @tgondrom
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