Committee Mailing Lists FAQ

Let’s demystify LFX Committees!

We field a lot of questions regarding the differences between mailing lists and committees. Previously many open source projects have used mailing lists to define their committees.

Keeping it simple, committees are formally elected or sub formally defined groups of people.

Every Project at the Linux Foundation requires 2 committees:

  • Governing Board
  • Technical Steering Committee

We highly recommend every Linux Foundation project should have the following committees:

  • Marketing
  • Legal
  • Budgeting

In LFX Project Control Center we set up these defined groups as committees to streamline our project operations. These committees can be associated with public and/or private mailing lists and meetings our projects hold.

Understanding LFX Committee Mailing List relationships

One committee can be associated with several mailing lists:


Whereas mailing lists can only be associated with one committee:


What does associating a committee with a mailing list mean?

After associating a committee with a mailing list, if a member is added to the committee they are automatically added to all associated mailing lists. Whereas, if a member is added to a mailing list they are not initially added to the committee.

To add a member to the associated committee that member of the mailing list, must be promoted inside the mailing list dashboard in Project Control Center.

1. Navigate to the list of members:

2. Add the member and then click on manage to promote that member to the associated committee

adding member in mailinglist

3. Do not forget to scroll down and click ‘save’


Note: You can not remove people from a committee by deleting a mailing list, or removing members from a mailing lists. Whereas if you a remove a member from a committee they will be removed from all associated private mailing lists.

Can we create a committee from our existing mailing lists?

Yes! Many of us will already have existing mailing lists, and we can create our committees by importing our mailing lists in the ‘Committees’ dashboard.

1. Under the Committees dashboard click +Add Committee


2. Fill out your desired committee information

Once complete hit ‘Import Members’

3. Select your desired mailing list(s) to import and select import


LFX Project Control Center Committee Benefits :

By defining these committees as separate entities, we can better manage and streamline committee management.

  • A project administrator removes a member from a project’s Governing Board committee in LFX Project Control Center, rather than project administrators removing them from all board mailing lists and meetings. With LFX they will be automatically removed from all private mailing lists and meetings the committee is associated with.
  • Likewise, if you add a member to the Governing Board committee, they will be added to associated mailing lists and meetings.

Configuring your committees

You can find step-by-step instructions on configuring your committees here: Set up project committees to improve coordination, reporting, and meeting management - Content & Articles - LFX Community Forums. 4

We will be releasing an update where a project administrator can add multiple committee members via a CSV file upload. For now, if you want to upload numerous committee members at once, send a CSV file to our support team with the committee members’ names and email addresses.

As a project administrator, start configuring your Governing Board as acommittee and associate your board with your essential mailing lists and meetings.

  • Yes, I have configured my project’s Governing Board as a committee and associated it with important mailing lists and meetings
  • Yes, I have configured my project’s Governing Board as a committee but still working on associating it.
  • No, I have not configured my project’s Governing Board as a committee

0 voters

Hit REPLY and let us know if you get stuck. If not, you are good to go to take on the next committee! :rocket:

Has using LFX Committees helped you with your project’s committee management? HIT REPLY and let us know!


A truly important topic for folks to understand. Thanks Henry for posting this one!

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Very important! My pleasure @Derek_Weeks , hopefully this clears up any confusion on configuring committees in LFX :love_you_gesture:

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Can someone give me examples of multiple mailing lists that an incoming governing board member needs to be added or in the reverse way an outgoing governing board member need to be removed from? I myself have not encountered such use cases.


Hello @Min_Yu - in this case, multiple lists might be better related to handling some known cases with technical committees rather than governing boards. @emsearcy would you add anything else to this?


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@Min_Yu One use case would be a legal committee; typically Governing Board members and their legal counsel are part of the legal committee. Most often I find that the legal resource can be variable and often chosen at the point at which the committee needs to come together ( a company might have a licensing legal resource and a different one for trademarks or the resources are a pool ). So having both a board email list AND legal committee mailing list probably makes a ton of sense here, and the correct legal resource can be added on an as-needed basis.

Outside of that, TACs are the other area where it’s more common to have a public list vs private ( though more often that that it’s just for voting purposes, and I’d like to explore a better way to manage that ).


Thanks @John_Mertic and @Jen_Shelby !

Not sure if this is common, but for Hyperledger Foundation, the legal committee is made up of board member companies’ legal counsels, not board members themselves, so I wouldn’t subscribe a board member to both the board member mailing list and legal committee list. And if there is a legal committee meeting, the board members may attend such a meeting along with their legal counsels.

And for technical governance body such as TAC or TSC, even as you noted, some projects don’t even have a private technical governance list because we should strive to have all technical discussions in the open. There may be sensitive topics that are limited to the voting members, but those are more exceptions than norm.

That is why I am having trouble understanding the common use cases where a committee is made up of subscribers from multiple mailing lists.

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I think our projects work the same way from a governance standpoint, but this is where the practices of how to execute are likely different. It might be a good exercise to compare notes here and get some alignment.

Thank makes sense @Min_Yu; I think it’s fair to call it a “use case” at least, and depending upon who you talk to is how common it is or not ;-). What I do know is where before we often used mailing lists to define groups, the committees concept is a better approach and likely gives us the opportunity to look at how we used mailing lists before and adjust.