Author: Amy Cadagin, M3AAWG Executive Director
To commemorate M3AAWG’s 50th General Meeting in October, we recently catalogued our evolution since our founding 16 years ago. We’ve come a long way and we’re excited to continue growing alongside our members and partners. As we continue to reflect, we’d be remiss if we did not highlight the extraordinary contributions of the leaders – past and present – that have paved the way for all M3AAWG members to be a catalyst for change within the online ecosystem. Without their continuous dedication, M3AAWG surely would not be the organization it is today.
Behind the scenes, M3AAWG leaders work daily to organize our tri-annual General Meetings, facilitate collaboration, foster relationships with partners around the world, develop Best Common Practice (BCP) documents and evangelize anti-abuse efforts across the online ecosystem, and more. Our leadership team has dedicated their time and attention to furthering our mission to protecting consumers and business from online abuse.
We’ve been fortunate to have voices from across disciplines guide our organization throughout the years to expand our anti-abuse initiatives to all corners of the industry. In this post, we’ll showcase their contributions, highlight their roles within M3AAWG, and share their perspective on what M3AAWG means to them. Join us in raising a virtual glass to their contributions and thanking them for their dedication to M3AAWG and the anti-abuse community at large. If you’d like to share your thoughts or thanks, use #M3AAWG50 to recognize a M3AAWG leader or member for their contributions.
I know I speak on behalf of our entire organization when I say thank you to our leaders for all that you’ve done, and continue to do, to create an organization like no other.
Board of Directors
M3AAWG’s Board of Directors establishes and executes the organization’s technical focus and growth strategy. Board members connect monthly to assess the organization’s progress and establish a path forward. These leaders play an integral role in exploring ways to expand M3AAWG’s work, like the decision to grow from MAAWG to M3AAWG to combat Malware and Mobile threats. Additionally, board members have led the growth of our General Meetings, ensuring we’re on the leading edge of addressing the most pressing issues in online abuse.
M3AAWG has had an impact well beyond its size and all of it is due to the work of volunteers taking on commitments above and beyond their day job, willingly and very professionally. Personally, M3AAWG is about friends and it has never been about anything else. To this day, I continue to stay in contact with loads of people from my time within the organization. All in all, it was a great trip and I don’t feel as if I have gotten off the bus yet. – Michael O’Reirdan, BOD Vice-Chair (2007 - 2018), BOD Chairman (2009 - 2012)
To me, M3AAWG is all about people connected by the common belief that as a community, we can do better. We work together, we play together. We’re allies within rival relationships. In the end, we’re connected more strongly than some of our friends and family, because if we’re not walking in lock step, it can create opportunities for evil to exploit and threaten our environments. Sara Roper, BOD Vice-Chair (2015, 2016, 2019)
M3AAWG has been such an integral part of my life that it is hard to draw the line from where I end and M3AAWG begins. Where I am today is due to the work I've done with M3AAWG. What I love about M3AAWG is all of you...you are this organization, and through you, we have done things that none of us could have done on our own. Decades from now, I'll look back on my life and be proud of many things: son, husband, father, engineer, founder, leader and Chairman of M3AAWG. Thank you all. - Chris Roosenrad, BOD Vice-Chair (2009 - 2011), BOD Co-Chairman (2012 - 2013), BOD Chairman 2014
M3AAWG is not just a conference or set of meetings, it is a community bringing together leading global experts to help fight and solve complex, industry-wide online abuse challenges together. I’ve seen the remarkable positive impact that we’d had on the global ecosystem. I’ve led and been involved in a variety of leadership, outreach, and technical initiatives for M3AAWG over the years, but am most thankful and proud of the true cultural shift made to be more inclusive and diverse in every aspect of our community. I will always cherish and value M3AAWG colleagues both personally and professionally. I look forward to continuing the fight against online abuse alongside all of you. – Janet Jones, BOD Vice Chair (2017 – Current)
Since attending the first meeting in Atlanta (IIRC), I’ve seen M3AAWG's amazing community grow and provide members with a strong network of support. As my involvement grew, I was elected by my peers to serve on the board – an honor I still think of often. My time serving as a Board Member, creator of the Training Committee, Treasurer, and Vice Chairman were absolutely some of the most rewarding moments of my career. – Anthony Purcell, Treasurer (2009-2012), BOD Vice Chair (2012)
Committee and SIG Chairs
Central to M3AAWG’s mission to combat online abuse through collaboration, is the consistent work and effort by our Special Interest Group (SIG) and Committee Chairs. These leaders organize collaboration inside M3AAWG meetings, guiding the selection, organization and presentation of sessions, as well as the development of technical assets throughout the year. Outside the General Meetings, these leaders offer technical and training sessions for members and coordinate the creation of BCPs. Today, M3AAWG has over 60 Committee and SIG Chairs that ensure we’re facilitating discourse around the most relevant issues in online abuse, and cooperatively working towards solutions.
There will always be new threats against an open Internet that preserves the possibility of anonymity. Only the laborious work of fighting each new type of attack can head off a much more dangerous push for a top down structure for global communication. M3AAWG plays a vital role in keeping email and other messaging applications useful and usable without compromising the ideals of free communication that are the foundation for the Internet as we know it. – Nathaniel Bornstein, Co-Chair, Election Committee
M3AAWG is about getting the messaging industry's best minds together to collaborate on the best anti-abuse methodologies. We learn from each other and the community as a whole is better because we exist. No egos. – Shannon Donahue, Co-Chair, Training Committee
To me, M3AAWG means friends and colleagues coming together from all sides of the ecosystem to reminisce on how we got here and work hard on how to get where we are going next. – Tara Natanson, Co-Chair, Senders Committee
M3AAWG is a safe space for questions to be asked, problems to be solved and for unique global collaboration across the industry. – Alice Cornell, Co-Chair, Brands SIG
M3AAWG Senior Advisors are an asset to our entire leadership team and membership, providing expert insights and serving as a resource for our entire community. Senior Technical Advisors come from a wide variety of professional backgrounds, including veteran cybersecurity professionals and distinguished academics. Through their thought leadership, research, industry white papers and mentorship to industry professionals, M3AAWG Senior Technical Advisors have had a profound impact on the online community at-large.
Being a part of M3AAWG means being part of a family of similarly-minded folks, all dedicated to making the Internet a better place. This is the way it routinely used to be in the early days of the Internet – people were passionate, cared, and did the right thing while working together to help each other. Internet pioneers accomplished a lot and had a lot of fun doing so. That, in a nutshell, is still M3AAWG today. I'm proud to be part of it! – Joe St Sauver, Senior Technical Advisor
I spoke at my first M3AAWG meeting in 2017, and to my surprise it wasn’t about promoting member companies or their products. What it was about – and what made me want to stick around – was collectively working to address tough problems, sharing solutions, and sharing experiences so that the organization as a whole could start to work towards solutions. Since then, the organization has taken conscious steps to improve and encourage diversity among General Meeting attendees and presenters. It’s been great to see the range of members grow wider and more diverse each year. M3AAWG is an example of how well collaboration works to address our collective challenges, and I’m proud to be a part of it. – Simon McGarr, Senior Technical Advisor
M3AAWG is the only place where so many anti-abuse professionals can get together and share our stories, thoughts, ideas, experiences, and expertise with the goal of identifying abuse and collaborating on ways to prevent it. It’s amazing that we enjoy it and have fun in the process. – Barry Leiba, Senior Technical Advisor
I believe in what M3AAWG does and the impact it has in contributing to the wellbeing of our global societies. I like to think that by actively participating in M3AAWG, my small contribution helps in its success. – Bill Wilson, M3AAWG Senior Advisor and Public Policy Co-chair
These leaders are only a handful of the people within M3AAWG that have shaped the organization into what it is today. While each of our members plays a role in shaping our work and preventing online abuse, the commitments from M3AAWG’s leadership team is integral to facilitating the collaboration that is at the core of our DNA. Without these members, M3AAWG’s work, including General Meetings, BCPs, and Engagement Series Webinars, among other resources, would not be possible.
Wherever you look across M3AAWG, there are leaders who have bought into our mission and have fully dedicated their careers to protecting consumers and businesses from online threats. Not only have they left their own mark on anti-abuse, but they’re also paving the way for new leaders to carry on in their stead. Understanding that the fight to prevent online abuse is continuous and ever-evolving, our leaders, past and present, have established M3AAWG as the premier organization for industry-wide collaboration and we could not imagine a greater group of people to work with. Here’s to them!