W3C Statements about AB Nominees for 2019 Election

Form for W3C Advisory Committee to vote | Advisory Board public page

This is the list of nominees for the 2019 Election to the W3C Advisory Board (AB). Each person has been nominated by at least one W3C Member according to the AB election process.

The W3C Membership elects the AB. For this election W3C will fill seven seats. W3C will announce the results the first week of June 2019.

Note: The deadline for votes is 23:59 ET, 30 May 2019.

The following statements were sent about the nominees (in alphabetical order by nominee family name):

  1. Tantek Çelik (Mozilla)
  2. Heejin Chung (Samsung)
  3. Elika J Etemad aka fantasai (W3C Invited Expert)
  4. Aaron Gustafson (Microsoft)
  5. Nigel Megitt (BBC)
  6. Charles McCathie Nevile (ConsenSys)*
  7. Avneesh Singh (DAISY Consortium)
  8. Eric Siow (Intel)
  9. Alan Stearns (Adobe)
  10. Léonie Watson (TetraLogical)*
  11. Chris Wilson (Google)
  12. Judy (Hongru) Zhu (Alibaba)*

An asterisk (*) indicates that the nominee is a current participant. All individuals were nominated by the AC Representatives of their organizations unless otherwise indicated below.

Tantek Çelik (Mozilla)

Mozilla is pleased to nominate Tantek Çelik for election to the Advisory Board. In his own words:

I am the lead for web standards in the Advanced Development group at Mozilla, with more than 20 years of experience in W3C standards development, including 5 years on the Advisory Board driving more open governance, licensing, and processes at W3C.

W3C is at a crossroads and with it, the web as a whole.

In recent years W3C has been consistently improving its processes, both for groups incubating innovations while keeping a high bar for WG standardization, and for how W3C works with other standards organizations like IETF and WHATWG.

However, W3C is now facing multiple existential threats that I believe require experience, commitment, and bold participation in the Advisory Board.

  1. W3C continues to act (both in practice and in the letter of the Process) as if there is active, functional leadership based on “The Director”, when it has not been the case for years. The resulting cognitive dissonance is actively harming confidence in the W3C as an organization. The Advisory Board must drive openly admitting this and fixing it, to retain and include the broader W3C community in defining its own evolution.
  2. W3C’s host-based pseudo-organization is breaking down. There is a disconnect between W3C expenditures and W3C’s principles & investment in a Web For All that focuses on W3C’s strengths of bringing together diverse communities and providing an effective forum for horizontal reviews (accessibility, internationalization, privacy, and security). The Advisory Board must challenge the W3C Management to drive a restructuring based on W3C’s value proposition, rather than prioritizing hosts or existing organizational bureaucracy. The value of the web as a platform, and its active creators, editors, and implementers must be prioritized above management.
  3. W3C is being stretched more than ever between practical & web-scale impactful work, and attempts to legitimize personal, company-specific, or otherwise experimental proposals. On the one hand we need improved processes for easier maintenance of web-scale specifications as living or “evergreen” standards. On the other hand we need an Advisory Board and process which provides explicit motivation to the staff to focus and prioritize enabling impacting the web as a whole, with broad publishing and application uses, rather than business development of W3C itself. Without explicit action the W3C could lose its focus and be distracted into ever narrower corners of the web, losing core members, and relevance.

I believe it is not too late, and an Advisory Board that actively itself uses the very web that W3C helped to evolve is essential to facing and addressing these challenges. Thank you for your support, and please contact me if you have additional concerns about W3C. (Tantek Çelik, Mozilla <tantek@mozilla.com>)

My Background: Since the late 1990s I have contributed to the evolution of the web with efforts spanning the Tasman rendering engine in Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 for Macintosh (a watershed achievement of full CSS1, HTML4, and PNG 1.0 support in the year 2000), resources enabling web developers to more rapidly adopt modern W3C standards, and founding open web communities such as microformats.org and indieweb.org which themselves incubated technologies that became or were incorporated into W3C specifications.

During my previous five year tenure on the AB, I established several open web AB resources and an increased culture of working in the open, such as creating and driving both the informal @W3CAB Twitter https://twitter.com/W3CAB and the AB's public wiki home page https://www.w3.org/wiki/AB where AB projects are documented.

I have B.S. & M.S. degrees in Computer Science from Stanford University and share my thoughts on the web: https://tantek.com/.

Heejin Chung (Samsung)

I have been with Samsung Electronics for 15 years, of which 8+ years were spent working on mobile web browsers. During this time, I have participated in transforming our mobile browser to being on the vanguard of developing and shipping emerging standards, and in web ecosystem participation and leadership.

As a team leader, I have been not only supportive of my team members participating in W3C and open source activities, but constantly encouraging them and oversea colleagues to become more engaged in the same. This is because I believe the openness and continuing evolution of the Web, is the solution to the fragmentation in platforms and devices that causes inconvenience to users and distress developers. I believe the web will succeed in its mission of long-term growth as it isn’t driven by a single entity but is open to anyone who wants to contribute and collaborate with others in making a better web platform.

I am running for the W3C Advisory Board because I hope to help in further lowering the barrier of entrance for anyone from anywhere, that wants to contribute to the web and in continuously enhancing the system and process of W3C based on my experience in Samsung Electronics – being the international manufacturer it is. By serving on the Advisory Board I would also be able to benefit my employer and colleagues by bringing back the openness and agility of W3C into Samsung Electronics.

Of the AB/2019 Priorities, these are the items I would like to focus on:

I also hope to help in areas like evergreen standards and process development based on my experience setting up & changing various collaboration models and working processes inside Samsung.

Although with limited direct experience inside W3C, I have been playing a support role for W3C activities Samsung has been involved in – Web Payment, Service Workers and Immersive Web to name a few – and believe I will be able to bring a fresh eye and mindset to the table.

Thank you for reading.

Elika J Etemad aka fantasai (W3C Invited Expert)

[The statement is also available in Français, 日本語, 한국어]

Elika J Etemad is nominated by Disruptive Innovations.

Elika J Etemad aka fantasai is a W3C Invited Expert in the CSS Working Group and Internationalization Working Group, and has co-edited dozens of W3C specifications including CSS2, CSS Grid Layout, CSS Writing Modes, and CSS Paged Media as well as the EPUB 3.0 specification in the IDPF, where she was the IDPF-CSSWG liaison. She is intimately familiar with W3C's processes and culture, having been embedded in it daily for the last 15 years. Elika believes that W3C's collaborative, public, consensus-based, and royalty-free standardization process brings out the best in Web technology, and is dedicated to the success of W3C as a home and a framework for developing the World Wide Web Platform.

Elika is widely known as one of the most critical members of the CSSWG, both for her technical expertise and for getting things done, and she hopes to bring her skills and approach to the Advisory Board in this critical time for W3C. As your Advisory Board representative, she hopes to

Elika started her career in Web standards in 1999, doing spec conformance QA for the Mozilla open source project as a curious contributor. This experience indoctrinated a lifelong commitment to bug reporting and open collaboration. After being invited to participate in the CSSWG as an Invited Expert in 2004, she pushed the Working Group¹ to successfully transition from being a closed group (as all W3C Working Groups were in the past) to an open group that transparently conducts all of its technical business in public, pioneering a W3C Working Group model that is now deeply integrated into W3C processes and culture. Prompted by experience as Mozilla QA and as the owner of the CSS2.1 Test Suite, circa 2007-2009 she started to make the case² for a collaborative, open-source conformance test suite integrated with the browsers' own regression testing, an approach that is now implemented through the Web Platform Tests project. Elika is also the “keeper” of the CSSWG process³, helping to crystallize the CSSWG's modularization and levelling policies, documenting and explaining how the CSSWG implements the W3C Process, and guiding the CSSWG and its editors as they move specs along the W3C Rec Track. All of this is addition to heavy spec editing responsibilities, where she takes seriously the value of addressing all feedback and integrating it into a solid, precisely-specified, and coherent proposal.

Elika holds a BSE from Princeton University, and has spent most of her life in either the SF Bay or NYC Metro areas; she's also spent time living in Norway (to work for Opera), China (to study Chinese), and Japan (to work on CSS Writing Modes), and is also conversant in French and Farsi. Past and present corporate sponsors of her work include Mozilla, Opera, Microsoft, Google, Bloomberg, Hewlett-Packard, Antenna House, and EAST Japan. She considers herself lucky to work with so many smart, hard-working, well-meaning, and kind people and hopes that everyone at W3C can have such great experiences.

Further Reading:

  1. Pulling Back the Curtain: Opening up the CSS Working Group, 2007
  2. CSS2.1 and the Case for Collaborative Testing, 2009
  3. about:csswg – An Inside View of the CSS Working Group at W3C, 2011

Elika is an independent W3C participant; however Bocoup and Brave will be covering expenses for her participation on the Advisory Board.

Aaron Gustafson (Microsoft)

Microsoft is pleased to nominate Aaron Gustafson [https://www.aaron-gustafson.com/about/] to the W3C Advisory Board.

Aaron is a web standards and accessibility advocate with a long and distinguished record as a web developer, educator, and collaborator with people around the world who are pushing the boundaries of the modern web. He has experience working with the W3C in various formal and informal capacities (most notably with the Responsive Images Community Group) and has an extensive background in open source. He also has a background in community organizing—he led the Web Standards Project (WaSP) for a number of years—and he has experience serving on and leading both public and private boards.

Aaron is a strong believer in the mission of the W3C, but he’s also a pragmatist and doesn’t shy away from identifying issues. If elected to the AB, Aaron will offer W3C management "tough love" to encourage W3C to be more successful in a fast-changing world. He believes the W3C can do more to adapt its mission, culture, and value proposition to be more inclusive of the web development community—especially people in small companies and open source projects who are really driving much of the innovation on the web today. At the same time, he recognizes that the W3C must also remain true to the core principles that have guided it since the beginning, especially openness, fairness, and consensus.

Aaron is particularly interested in:

Nigel Megitt (BBC)

The BBC nominates Nigel Megitt for election to the Advisory Board. In his own words:

I am an Executive Product Manager at the BBC, specialising in audio-visual media accessibility. My background is research and development, enterprise architecture and internal technical consultancy. In the almost 6 years of my involvement in W3C I have Chaired the Timed Text Working Group and the Audio Description Community Group, and participated in several other groups and task forces including the Process CG, the Working Group Effectiveness Task Force and the Positive Work Environment Task Force. At the same time I have worked in other global standards organisations and seen first hand a variety of different operating models and working modes.

This election term is likely to be a time of significant change in W3C, with the transition to legal entity, the change in working mode alongside WHATWG and a growing need to think ahead about succession planning at Director level. These changes bring opportunities and risk, and I would hope to use my experience and such wisdom as I may have to help the Advisory Board fulfil its role for W3C.

If elected to the Advisory Board for the first time I would not aim to take a lead on any particular area immediately. I would pay particular attention to ensuring that W3C standards and the web in general continues to be open and usable across a breadth of industries. It’s my view that the web is much more than browsers, important though they are.

I strongly support:

I believe there is strong alignment between W3C values and the BBC values of trust, quality, creativity, respect, working together, and the audiences (users) being at the heart of everything we do, and would hope to work in that spirit.

In support of diversity of the AB: if there are enough nominations to trigger an election, and other candidates come from less well represented constituencies than me, please vote for them ahead of me.

Charles McCathie Nevile (ConsenSys)*

ConsenSys is pleased to nominate Charles "chaals" Nevile for the AB, and we ask AC representatives to vote for him.

Chaals brings invaluable experience as the longest-serving member of the AB (by several years with the retirement from AB of Michael Champion who had been the closest). His memory of events through more than 20 years continuous involvement with W3C saves time and effort, knowing that we can look up what happened in a discussion that is being re-run.

Chaals has consistently worked to ensure that W3C is responsive to the needs of all its members, rather than just a few in "important" locations, or "key industry positions". ConsenSys expects him to continue to take seriously the mission of an AB member to represent the best interests of the Consortium and its members rather than narrowly reflecting the priorities of his employer.

Chaals expects to step down shortly as chair of the Web Platform Group (his original expectation was to do so at the end of 2018), in order to bolster ConsenSys' ability to focus on areas important to it. He is also the Technical Program Director of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, helping bring the values of Open Standards to a consortium focused on a particular part of the blockchain ecosystem, and maintains a broad set of technical interests in the Web and W3C's place in the ecosystem.

His career in W3C has covered many areas, and he is known to many participants already. He will continue to speak up for all members and represent their perspectives, while providing his own analysis and advice on the best path forward to help W3C serve the needs of its broad and diverse membership, and thus their stakeholders and customers.

Avneesh Singh (DAISY Consortium)

 [The statement is also available in 中文, Español, Français, 日本語]

A strategic leader with a drive for leading a life of purpose

I am Chief Operating and Strategic Officer at the DAISY Consortium, pioneer of international standards for accessible digital books and longtime active W3C member. Our focus on the integration of accessibility within mainstream standards has led to active and deep involvement with the IDPF and W3C.

I first realized the extraordinary potential of the World Wide Web in the year 2000, whilst studying Computer Engineering and rapidly losing my sight. Imagine my situation as a student in India, desperately searching for ways to complete my studies and to start earning a living. Society perceived a blind engineer as useless. Rehabilitation centers had never created accessible materials for engineering. My slow dial-up internet connection became a lifeline, bringing an information explosion to my life, empowering me to succeed in my engineering degree, and revealing the huge potential of the internet for people with disabilities.

Since 2006, I have gained extensive experience in developing international standards and software implementations. I soon realized the essential need to work at a strategic level, building international partnerships, to effect worldwide change.

I earned an Executive MBA in Strategy and Marketing from the prestigious Indian Institute of Management and further expanded my analytical and strategic skills at Harvard University, studying approaches to mobilize non-profit Boards and optimize governance.

Since 2012 I have led international strategy development and programme implementation with executive management and the Board of the DAISY Consortium. I lead DAISY’s technical developments and drive industry-wide collaborative initiatives in the digital publishing industry. I co-led development of the EPUB Accessibility specifications. At W3C I chair accessibility task forces in the Publishing WG and EPUB3CG, and participate in WAI developments. At a national level, I am a member of the LITD-15 committee at the Bureau of Indian Standards and at a grass roots level, I have led nationwide strategy and governance within the DAISY Forum of India board.

Looking at AB priorities: W3C is going through a vital transition and we need to make crucial decisions on structure, governance models and the legal entity, and to evolve the organization to reinforce its worldwide leadership. I will be instrumental in:

I trust you all believe in worldwide participation, inclusion, diversity, and bringing an enriching change to W3C governance. I am looking forward to representing you in AB.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me at asingh at daisy dot org.

Eric Siow (Intel)

I am Eric Siow, director of open web platform standards and ecosystem strategies at Intel. I am also Intel’s AC representative to the W3C.

I bring a unique background and diverse skill set as a candidate to the advisory board. My range of experience includes standards experiences in 3GPP and the W3C, advising emerging technology companies as a financier and as a CFO of a venture backed company, and partnership development in forming consortia and driving multi-party ecosystem initiatives. I evangelized the formation and investment in the Open Patent Alliance by 9 global corporations; and enrolled the support and participation of 19 corporations in the formation of a WiMAX Patent Pool.

The most important lesson that I have learned from my experience in enrolling and aligning diverse groups of stakeholders from different countries is the need to listen, understand and incorporate different viewpoints and ideas. A holistic approach to standardization includes more than just technical specifications; we must engage and rally the key stakeholders (both business and technical) around common goals and directions. By doing so, we enhance the likelihood of commercial implementation and the proliferation of the standards and technologies. This, in turn generates returns of investment from our work in the W3C and enhances its stature in the world of standards development organizations.

It was in this spirit, after having chaired the Web5G workshop, I continued to help enroll and rally the key stakeholders in its evolution to the new Web and Networks Interest Group. I am also currently working with the Web of Things leadership team to bring a more strategic focus to its work. We are engaging with partners within and outside the W3C to improve collaboration and drive convergence in a market overwhelmed with numerous and mostly uncoordinated standards.

If elected, I will help to:

For more details of my work history and experience, please view my profile at https://www.linkedin.com/in/esiow/. Thank you for your kind consideration and support.

Alan Stearns (Adobe)

I have been working on web standards since 2011, co-chairing the CSS Working Group since 2015. I am beginning to have an idea of how the W3C works, so of course we are considering how to change it all. Changes are necessary to keep the W3C relevant and useful for its main purpose: guiding the evolution of the web for the benefit of everyone. The web has become a primary medium for the expression of culture worldwide. The W3C needs to protect and encourage that expression.

We are tackling several huge changes at once - figuring out how to transition to a legal entity, how to redistribute the director’s tasks, how to incorporate a living standard work mode, how to productively engage with WHATWG, and how best to incubate standards work. All of these changes will be difficult to get right, and it can be a trap to merely consider how to keep things running as well as they currently are. I think we will arrive at better results if we evaluate solutions based on the widest application of the W3C’s mission. How can we set up the W3C to be the best advocate for web users? How can we arrange ourselves to be best advocate for authors?

One of the best things about the W3C is the idea of wide review. We currently do fairly well with the horizontal reviews required in our working group charters. The expertise in internationalization, accessibility, security and privacy present in their respective groups at the W3C is a considerable asset that we should continue to develop and rely on. But the process document aspires for more than horizontal review. We also need to increase the ways we get input from authors and users. Wide review should not stop at the member boundary, and does not have to be limited to the current set of concerns we write into our charters.

If elected I will do all I can to connect the W3C community with users and authors, to make the W3C the best steward it can be for the evolution of the web.

Léonie Watson (TetraLogical)*

The Paciello Group, LLC is pleased to nominate Léonie Watson for the W3C Advisory Board.

Léonie is a tireless advocate for making technology accessible to all. She regularly presents and writes on the subject of accessible technology and has a deep understanding of the web and accessibility. She has also been a major contributor to the work at the W3C expanding the subject beyond its traditional silos and helping to make the W3C a more inclusive organisation. Léonie is a great spokesperson and role model for technologists everywhere. She possesses the diplomacy and fierce intellect required make further significant contributions to the Advisory Board.

In Léonie's own words:  

[The statement is also available in 中文 , Français, 日本語, Português Brasileiro, Español, 한국어]

I am Director of TetraLogical, a specialist company helping organisations become self-sustaining in their approach to accessibility.

I believe the web is better and stronger when we work together, and that the W3C is better and stronger when we work together; if I am re-elected to the Advisory Board (AB) I will continue to champion this philosophy at every level.

I joined the Protocols and Formats Working Group (WG) (now called the Accessible Platform Architectures WG) in 2010, as a self-funded Invited Expert. I was then responsible for Nomensa joining the W3C and was their Advisory Committee (AC) representative until 2013. I was AC representative for The Paciello Group between 2013 and 2018, and was first elected to the AB in 2016.

I participate in several groups including the Accessible Platform Architectures WG, and the Accessibility Guidelines WG, making sure that the needs of TetraLogical's customers are given a fair hearing in the development of standards that affect their work and life.

I have been Co-Chair of the Web Platform WG since 2015, and I am now co-chair of the Web Applications WG, where I make sure that all participants are given that same opportunity. I also co-chair the Inclusion and Diversity Community Group, helping the W3C strengthen its culture by encouraging greater diversity.

In the last 12 months I have begun several activities that will help us all work better together at W3C, including:

I believe in the spirit and values of the W3C, but I also recognise that the W3C must evolve if it is to remain relevant. If I am re-elected to the AB I will continue these activities, and will also:

If you have any questions, please write to me at lw@tetralogical.com, or find me on WhatsApp or WeChat at +44.7921168551.

Chris Wilson (Google)

Google is nominating Chris Wilson for election to the Advisory Board.

Chris Wilson is a Developer Advocate at Google, and has served multiple terms on the Advisory Board previously, helping improve the W3C's strategy in openness and agility. He's had a 25-year long career in the Web, from engineering the early NCSA Mosaic browser for Windows through a 15-year career at Microsoft working on Internet Explorer, to his current role at Google advocating for web developers and the open web platform. He's been involved with the W3C nearly since its inception; was a founding member of the CSS Working Group, and has chaired and participated in a number of Working Groups and other efforts over the past couple of decades. His statement follows:

During my previous terms on the Advisory Board, I've advocated for making the W3C work better with the web developer community, particularly around open communications and open copyright licensing. I’ve invested my time and energy into co-chairing the Web Incubation Community Group, for example, both to provide a great onramp for new contributors and new ideas for the web platform, while ensuring that standards are built openly and collaboratively, backed by data and clear developer needs. Although we have made good progress, I don’t think that work is done. I plan to continue to improve the mechanisms and processes used to safeguard the openness of the web.

However, the landscape of the web platform has fundamentally changed, and the W3C needs to change too. The past decade has seen the W3C’s role in maintaining the core web platform wane, and I believe it risks slipping into irrelevance. I believe the W3C needs to better encourage web developers as well as platform implementers to come together, taking into account the realities of incubation while attracting a broad spectrum of implementers and developers to build and maintain interoperable standards.

I believe the W3C should be more focused on better management of standards development, both in open incubation and in building a simple, viable path for more impactful living standards. I would like to bring my pragmatic bent and practical experience to the Advisory Board to drive this goal to success, using my years of experience developing standards in the W3C to build better processes together with the web community.

Judy (Hongru) Zhu (Alibaba)*

[Further statement is available in English, 中文, Français, Español, 日本語]

As the Standardization General Manager in Alibaba Group, Judy (Hongru) Zhu is leading the Standardization Department in Alibaba Group and responsible for standardization-related activities across Alibaba Group. With 18 years of professional standardization experiences, Judy has served as a number of important positions in various national and international standard organizations, such as the ISO TC154 chair, board member of FIDO, CCSA TC11 vice chair, and 3GPP SA3 vice chair etc. Besides her standardization work, Judy is also a senior expert in security.

Judy has served as W3C Advisory Board member in W3C from 2015 to 2019. During these four years, she has been actively engaging, contributing and pushing the strategic discussion in the AB with great passion to make W3C a better place for the global Web community to work on Web standards. With the goal to improve the participation of the under-represented groups in W3C, Judy has paid special efforts to improve global participation, accessibility, I18N and so on. She works closely with the communities in China and South East Asia, and set up channels to facilitate their participation. Recently, Judy actively works with Chinese industry to bring their practices and standardization proposals about MiniApp/QuickApp to W3C, which has great potential to trigger another wave of Web-standard-based innovation.

Within Alibaba, Judy has persistently promoted Alibaba’s engagement in W3C by recognizing the great value of Web standards, especially in the areas of Web Payment, Accessibility, I18N, Web Security and Privacy, Web Authentication, Web Application, Web of Things, etc.

Judy has the passion and ability to serve as Advisory Board member. If re-elected as Advisory Board, Judy could have the opportunity to continue her efforts and work with W3C to lead the Web to its full potential. She looks forward to helping W3C to be more globalized, making the W3C process more effective and efficient, increasing collaboration between W3C and industries.

Judy has Alibaba’s support from all necessary aspects to accomplish the duties and responsibilities in this area. We appreciate your support in the AB election.

Coralie Mercier, Head of W3C Marketing & Communications