Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

A Great Leap Forward: Thoughts on Last Week’s IDESG Plenary in Atlanta

Something was distinctly different last week as more than 120 people gathered, both in person and virtually, for a meeting of the Identity Ecosystem Steering Group (IDESG).

Perhaps inspired by the breakfasts at the Silver Skillet diner next door to our hosts at Georgia Tech Research Institute (if NIST ever does create a Standard Reference Material for fried pork chops, theirs would be an excellent candidate), the members of the IDESG made a great leap forward toward producing v.1 of the Identity Ecosystem Framework (IDEF).

It was hands down, the most focused plenary the organization has had; attendees came out of the event with a great deal of momentum and excitement.

What was different? For starters, the organization’s members have finally reached consensus on a path forward to create an IDEF of standards and processes that will enable interoperability of secure, convenient, privacy-enhancing identity solutions online. It’s a tough challenge given the scope of the effort, and it has taken time to rally participants around a single approach. But now that the organization is there, participants have been focusing their efforts toward accelerating work to support the approach.

Each of the major IDESG committees has been focusing the last two months on developing requirements for the Framework – and in Atlanta, they shared them with the broader plenary. General feedback on this first draft from attendees was quite positive, and a formal set of baseline requirements should be finished by most committees by mid-March. That, in turn, should position the IDESG to finally unveil v.1 of the Framework this summer.

That work looks to be aided by Marc-Anthony Signorino, who was formally announced as the IDESG’s new Executive Director. This is the first time that the IDESG has a hired a full-time Executive Director—and it is a move that should help the organization mature and accelerate its pace of progress. In addition to the above highlights, plenary attendees were introduced to the latest round of NSTIC pilots: Confyrm, GSMA, and MorphoTrust. They also heard updates from two current NSTIC pilots, GTRI and The pilots all discussed their projects, highlighting achievements, lessons learned, and plans going forward. A media perspectives panel with two Pulitzer Prize winners was also an exciting part of the event.

These busy few days demonstrated exceptional progress and organizational maturity for the IDESG. Thank you to everyone who attended for playing an active role in the development of this organization. We look forward to continuing our work together across sectors, furthering the NSTIC vision as we develop a more secure, private, and easy-to-use online environment for all.

So, what’s next for the IDESG after this week’s big event? It’s back to the grindstone in the committees where work will focus on refining the baseline requirements, paving the way for the Framework and a self-assessment program to support it. To contribute to this foundational work, become a member of the IDESG!

Follow the NSTIC NPO on Twitter for the latest updates.

About the author

Related posts


Add new comment

Enter the characters shown in the image.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Please be respectful when posting comments. We will post all comments without editing as long as they are appropriate for a public, family friendly website, are on topic and do not contain profanity, personal attacks, misleading or false information/accusations or promote specific commercial products, services or organizations. Comments that violate our comment policy or include links to non-government organizations/web pages will not be posted.