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RIPE Community Selects new Chair, Vice Chair

ripe news

Mirjam Kühne takes over from Hans Petter Holen, who has served as RIPE Chair since 2014. Hans Petter officially stepped down from this position when he became the RIPE NCC’s new Managing Director in May 2020, although he has continued in a temporary interim capacity. Niall O’Reilly fills the new Vice Chair role that was created to support the workload and allow for succession planning.

Mirjam Kühne has been a member of the RIPE community since its inception and has served as Senior Community Builder at the RIPE NCC for the past ten years. Previous to this role, Mirjam worked at the Internet Society (ISOC) as Senior Program Manager. She has a deep knowledge of the RIPE community and collaborates regularly with colleagues from various sectors including technical, security, academic and government. Mirjam is also involved in the RIPE Diversity Task Force and has been a strong advocate of making the RIPE community an open and safe place for everyone.

Niall O’Reilly has been involved in the RIPE community since 1990 and has chaired several Working Groups (TLD, ENUM). He retired from University College Dublin IT Services in 2014, where he was responsible for network infrastructure, including planning the introduction of IPv6.

This is the first time that the RIPE Chair has been selected by the community according to an established procedure. For the first 25 years, RIPE was chaired by Rob Blokzijl, who as one of the founders of RIPE was “volunteered” for the position by his colleagues in 1989. In 2014, Rob passed the role to Hans Petter, with the recommendation that he work with the community to develop a replacement procedure for future RIPE Chairs.

According to the resulting RIPE Chair Selection Process, a RIPE Nominating Committee (NomCom) is formed from community members who are chosen at random from a wider pool of volunteers. After a call for nominations, the NomCom then solicits feedback on the candidates from the community before making a final decision that is confirmed by the RIPE NCC Executive Board.

Mirjam Kühne and Niall O’Reilly will serve for a term of five years with a two-term limit, beginning their new roles after a short handover period. 

The RIPE NCC looks forward to working with both Mirjam and Niall over the coming years.