The NomCom provides the opportunity to all Nominees to publish a blog post here. I post this on behalf of Nigel.
In the late 1980s I started to get involved with this Internet thing. I was working at British Telecom at the time and BT was careering down the OSI track. I had the luck to have a couple of friends who were forward thinking: one was pushing a new operating system called UNIX and the other had come across a lightweight protocol called IP. Between us we put together some experimental networks involving ethernet, IP and UNIX. I was bitten by the internet bug.
It has never left me. When a new European organisation, RIPE, was suggested I managed to get BT to allow me to go to the early meetings (not the first, I'm afraid, that was really more academics than telcos) but early enough that the bug dug itself in even deeper. I made friends, took part and it became part of my life.
The RIPE NCC was growing up alongside RIPE and when the time arose I stood for election to the RIPE NCC Board. I sat on that board for nineteen years eventually finishing up as Chairman. Ill-health (spinal stenosis) eventually led me to not seek re-election last May. I was on high levels of opiates as painkillers and I could no longer bring my customary patience to bear.
However, surgery has fixed the problem and here I am again. The RIPE community needs a chair and I'm offering my services.
I no longer work for an ISP but many years as a Hostmaster and WG chair have left their mark. I empathise with those at the sharp end of the business but, very importantly, I have no axe to grind, no conflict of interests, just an urge to help the community find its way and solve its problems. Light touch is the technique; the community is largely composed of adults who deep down have the interests of the Internet at heart. A little gentle guidance is all that is usually required. The community doesn't need a leader, it needs a shepherd.
My patience is back. I've always been willing to listen and running my own business means I can spend whatever time the community needs of me.
I know the RIPE NCC well, and since the RIPE chair has to work closely with the NCC this is a point in my favour. I think I'm well respected by the staff and I certainly know them well. I'm pleased to count many of them amongst my closest friends.
On the personal side I've been married for nearly forty years and have seven children and nine grand-children. I have dual nationality: English by birth and French by adoption. I speak English well and French tolerably. My hobbies include gardening, choral singing, wine-making and cooking and with the current lockdown I'm starting to produce a reasonably good sourdough loaf. My sense of humour is well known.
I don't like long statements so I'll finish here...