President's MessageDear Colleagues,
2005 is a time of change for the Association.
By the time you read this newsletter voting will be over in our 2004 election and we will be awaiting the results from the Returning Officer. What we do know is that two of our Officers, Susan Langford (Treasurer) and Josh Benaloh (Secretary) are not standing for re-election. Both of them have done sterling service to the Association over many years and I would like to thank them publicly.
Susan took over the Treasurership from Jimmy Upton in 2000 and has seen our financial affairs expand through the addition of AsiaCrypt, PKC and FSE to our portfolio of conferences and workshops. Expanding as we have has made the Treasurer's role more complex, dealing as she has done with a wider base of General Chairs. To help with this Susan developed a framework budget template for General Chairs to use in planning their conferences and monitoring their financial performance. She has also tried hard to bring our bank with us into managing our financial affairs in a truly International way by working in multi-currencies (a painful experience) and making sure that the Association prepares and submits our tax returns properly. Susan's role will be taken over by Helena Handschuh who will have a tough act to follow. Thank you Susan and we look forward to your supporting Helena during the handover to the new Treasurer.
Josh has been our Secretary since 1999, taking over from Stafford Tavares. Josh's first set of Board Minutes set a standard that is difficult to surpass - I confess that I have rarely seen such detailed note taking! This standard brings with it the challenge of completing and distributing such a work of art in good time after each of our Board and Membership meetings and Josh has had to juggle the demands of work commitments and IACR to make that happen. Having a good Secretary is critical to the running of the Association and Josh has really ensured that we report properly to our Membership on how we manage our affairs. He has been a valuable source of advice to me when we needed to make management decisions on IACR business and I thank him for all his support. John Black will take over from Josh and we look forward to a smooth handover.
As well as our two of our Officers changing, our Newsletter Editor has also stood down this year; the position will be taken over in 2005 by James Hughes. The Newsletter Editor is appointed by the IACR Board and Christian Cachin has fulfilled this role since 1998, taking over from Fritz Bauspiess and transforming the Newsletter from its old paper format to the current email/web variant. Being an Editor of the Newsletter is a thankless task, you frequently chase people for submissions that they either don't deliver or deliver late (this submission of mine is late this year, sorry Christian!), and then have to manage the collation of the content and its distribution. Christian has done all of this and a great deal more that many of you don't see. He has maintained the preprint server for many years - this is a facility that receives a great deal of submissions and takes a lot of effort to manage. He has also acted as our Webmaster and worked hard with Kevin McCurley to manage the transfer of the IACR website and all its associated assets to a new location while maintaining service at a critical changeover time.
Talking of Kevin ... our past President has continued to work diligently to improve the administrative engine of the IACR. Key to this has been the management of our membership database and reducing the workload in administering our conferences. Kevin was the driving force behind our Online Registration initiative and he has single-handedly designed and implemented our current web-based system and seen it through into production. This has been a monumental task, and Kevin has done it with diligence and commitment that only comes from someone with the Association's best interests at heart. Kevin has taken over the role of Membership Secretary from Don Beaver and will manage the transition of our membership management and conference booking to our new server together with support from Christian Cachin.
As you may start to realise, although membership of the Board and the day-to-day running of IACR is a part-time, unpaid role for the Board members, it is one that takes commitment and diligence to execute properly. It is a great comfort to me that your Board comprises outstanding members of our community, all of whom support the Association and work hard to make it the premier body in the field of Cryptology. I look forward to welcoming the new Officers and three Directors that will be elected this year at our Board meeting at Eurocrypt in May in Aarhus.
Before closing I should like to mention one more person formally. Our Vice-President, Bart Preneel, has been a constant source of advice to me in my role a President and has made sure that our meetings run smoothly and that we receive future Eurocrypt proposals that are worthy of consideration. In addition he has represented me at meetings that I have been unable to attend, including Asiacrypt this year in Korea.
Finally, as you will have seen from the membership ballot, I shall be your President for another three years. This is a role that I have enjoyed undertaking and have worked hard to succeed in. I feel that two terms is sufficient for a President to serve and make it clear here and now that I shall not be standing for re-election at the end of 2007. I hope that by stating this I shall give the Association time to manage that transition in a straightforward way.
In closing I would like to thank you all for your continued support of the Association - for me this is not only a community of people with common interests in cryptology, it is also a rich source of friendship and one that I treasure.
Best wishes to you all.
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