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The IETF can be described as a membership organization without a defined membership. There are no specific criteria for membership other than to note that people and not organizations or companies are members of the IETF. Any individual who participates in an IETF mailing list or attends an IETF meeting can be said to be an IETF member.
At this writing there are 115 officially chartered working groups in the IETF. These working groups are organized into eight areas: Applications, General, Internet, Operations and Management, Routing, Security, Transport, and User Services. Each of the areas is managed by one or two volunteer Area Directors. The Area Directors sitting as a group, along with the chair of the IETF, form the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG). The IESG is the standards approval board for the IETF. In addition there is a 12-member Internet Architecture Board (IAB), which provides advice to the IESG on working group formation and the architectural implications of IETF working group efforts.
The members of the IAB and the Area Directors are selected for their two year terms by a nominations committee randomly selected each year from among volunteers who have attended at least two out of the previous three IETF meetings.