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Istio Steering Committee

The Istio Steering Committee was formed to oversee the administrative aspects of the project, including governance, branding, and marketing. Steering was created to allow the Technical Oversight Committee to exclusively focus on the technical aspects of the project.


  1. Define, evolve, and defend the vision, values, mission, and scope of the project - to establish and maintain the soul of Istio.
  2. Define and evolve project governance structures and policies, including how contributors become committers/maintainers, approvers, reviewers, members, code of conduct, etc.
  3. Control access to, establish processes regarding, and provide a final escalation path for any Istio repository.
  4. Control and delegate access to and establish processes regarding other project resources and assets, including artifact repositories, build and test infrastructure, web sites and their domains, blogs, social-media accounts, etc.
  5. Manage the Istio brand to decide which things can be called “Istio” and how that mark can be used in relation to other efforts or vendors.
  6. Resolve any dispute from the Technical Oversight Committee.

Committee meetings

The Istio Steering Committee meets weekly; currently on Tuesday mornings. Given the nature of the discussions in Steering, meetings are not currently open to the public. Questions around governance are listed as issues in the community repo, and we invite your feedback there.

Committee members

Seats in Steering are held by a company, not by the individual users. Currently Steering consists of members from Google & IBM. These are:

  Name Company Profile
Dan Berg IBM dcberg
  Dan Ciruli Google oaktowner
  Jennifer Lin Google  
Sven Mawson Google smawson
  Louis Ryan Google louiscryan
Sean Suchter Google ssuchter
Lin Sun IBM linsun
Martin Taillefer Google geeknoid
Ram Vennam IBM rvennam

General questions

Why Are Seats Company Held?

The Steering Committee was created as the Istio project was in infancy, in order to tackle governance and overall project strategy. To date Istio 1.0 has the bulk of contributions coming from the project founders, Google & IBM. Together it was decided that having strong corporate leadership was needed for the project to ensure continued velocity. Steering was created with 9 seats held, and with 11 being planned.

How Are Steering Seats Allocated?

Allocation is based upon corporate contributions, although no final decision has been made on the exact formula. We do plan to add additional seats to Steering. Community feedback on the process and allocation formula is very welcome! We do want to ensure that those contributing to the project are properly represented. At a minimum, the membership is reviewed once a year.

Why Does Google Have The Most Seats?

This is weighted to reflect project contributions.

What Happens If Someone Leaves the Company They Represent?

In that case, the company will select another represenative to hold the seat. This has happened twice to date. Dan Berg filled a seat vacated by Shriram Rajagopalan, and Dan Ciruli filled a seat vacated by Varun Talwar.

What Happens If Someone Leaves the Project or Decides to Leave Steering?

The same applies; the company will select another represenative to hold the seat.

Is This Steering Model Permanent?

We recognize that governance of an open source project is a living document, and evolves as the community and project grows. This is the model that works for the project now. As it matures, and as the community grows, we expect that needs will change.

How Are Things Decided By Steering?

We strive to find a path to consensus. Decisions are made in meetings when a quorum is present, and may pass with majority vote.

Getting in touch

If you'd like to reach out to the committee, please drop a note to

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