The OpenSSF is pleased to welcome new Governing Board Chair, Arun Gupta who was elected by the OpenSSF Governing Board and will serve from October 2023 to October 2024. The OpenSSF Governing Board (GB) is responsible for overall management of the OpenSSF and guides the organization in fulfilling its mission. The Governing Board Chair presides over meetings and submits minutes for Governing Board approval.
Join us for a conversation with new OpenSSF Board Chair, Arun Gupta.
OpenSSF Governing Board Chair, Arun Gupta, Intel
Arun Gupta is vice president and general manager of Open Ecosystem Initiatives at Intel Corporation. He is an open source strategist, advocate, and practitioner for over two decades. He has taken companies such as Apple, Amazon, and Sun Microsystems through systemic changes to embrace open source principles, contribute and collaborate effectively.
Arun is the elected Governing Board Chair of the Open Source Security Foundation (OpenSSF) focused on securing the open source software ecosystem. As an elected chair of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) Governing Board as well, Arun works with CNCF leadership and member companies to grow cloud native ecosystem. He also participates in the Linux Foundation Governing Board. He has delivered technical talks in 45+ countries, authored multiple books, and is a Docker Captain, Java Champion, and Java User Group leader. He is a fitness enthusiast, practices mindfulness, and is passionate about promoting technology education among children.
Tell us about your experience being a GB member.
Intel was one of the founding members of OpenSSF, and I took over the Governing Board responsibilities for Intel over a year ago. Serving as a Governing Board member for OpenSSF has been a deeply enriching and fulfilling experience. It has provided me with a unique opportunity to actively shape the direction and impact of an organization that is committed to improve the posture of open source security for all. I’ve enjoyed working with the fellow board members, Linux Foundation staff, and Technical Advisory Council members. The sense of community and urgency is clearly evident on how we operate collectively. We listen, discuss, and debate on topics in a healthy manner to ensure we are staying true to the foundation’s charter. Witnessing the positive outcomes of our collective efforts in advancing open source security using projects like Scorecard, SLSA and Sigstore has reaffirmed the importance of this role in the ever evolving landscape of open source security. There are miles to go, and I’m excited about the opportunitWhat makes being part of the OpenSSF rewarding for you?
What makes being part of the OpenSSF rewarding for you?
The importance and reliance on open source software over the years has grown dramatically. OSS is running the most critical infrastructure across the world. Securing open source software is fundamental and critical as it ensures that we can continue our reliance on it. While there are open source security efforts happening across the industry, securing open source software is front and center and part of the mission of OpenSSF. That’s what makes my role both intellectually stimulating and personally rewarding. It allows me to engage in strategic decision-making, foster collaborations with diverse stakeholders across federal and private sectors, and contribute to the growth and sustainability of open source security initiatives. Working alongside fellow board members who share a passion for open source security principles and improving security for their customers has been a constant source of inspiration. Every discussion with a maintainer, contributor, customer or community member is a humbling experience. They challenge us to do better and working to fulfill their expectations is rewarding.
How has your professional experience led you here?
With 20+ years of experience in open source, I have had the privilege of working with a wide range of open sources foundations, standards bodies, and enterprises. I have worked at companies like Amazon, Apple, Sun Microsystems/Oracle, Red Hat, and currently at Intel, significantly crafting and contributing to their open source strategies. I have worked at foundations and standard bodies like Linux Foundation, CNCF, W3C, and OASIS for over 20 years. I have 6+ years of experience on the CNCF Governing Board and ~2 years as the current Chair. Even though I gave up daily coding, I continue to maintain technical chops to have deep discussions with technologists at all level. My experience provides me with a comprehensive understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities that the open source security landscape presents.
What is your leadership style?
My leadership style is characterized by a commitment to taking tangible and meaningful actions. I firmly believe that actions speak louder than words, and I lead by example in everything I do. I have a knack for motivating and energizing my team or those around me. When people see the passion and determination I bring to the table, it sparks a fire within them, compelling them to step up, contribute, and strive for excellence. I create a ripple effect of action and enthusiasm that permeates the entire team or group. I value empathy, mindfulness, and kindness that allow me to be an effective leader for an open source foundation. I understand the importance of consensus-building and effective communication in a diverse and distributed community.
Tell us something interesting about yourself.
I’m a fitness enthusiast and workout daily-ish. My weekly workouts are split between 4-5 days run and a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or lifting routine on other days. Running shoes are the first things that gets packed in my luggage, and I’m always up for a run on any terrain. This is my picture from Boston Marathon in 2019. I failed qualifying for Boston five times in a row because I was not trying hard enough. On my wife’s recommendation, I joined the local gym and that made all the difference for me to qualify. Standing on the start line of Boston Marathon was the pinnacle of running life. I’m always up for a challenging workout routine or suggest one. Follow my activities on Strava.
What do you hope to accomplish as the OpenSSF Governing Board Chair?
As Governing Board Chair, I will focus on several key areas to advance the mission of the OpenSSF. I will work to foster a vibrant and inclusive community where contributors from all backgrounds can collaborate, share knowledge, and collectively address security challenges. I believe our work will be successful when other foundations will adopt our recommendations. I will actively seek partnerships with other organizations to strengthen our collective efforts in advancing security in open source software. I am committed to maintaining transparency in the foundation’s operations and ensuring that our resources are used effectively to benefit the broader open source security ecosystem. Open source stands on the shoulders of giants. I’ll make sure that we’re leveraging existing efforts instead of reinventing. Keep me honest!
What advice do you have for others related to open source security?
Securing the software supply chain, a lot of which is in open source, is crucial to protection against cyber threats. This ensures that the software and code used in applications are free from vulnerabilities and malicious components and prevents exploitation by attackers. A secure supply chain also helps maintain trust among users and customers, reducing the risk of data breaches and reputational damage for software providers. I’d request all enterprises to thoroughly go through your software supply chain and ensure safety at all times. Here are three specific items:
– OpenSSF guides are a good first step to increase your awareness about open source security. Read through them and see how you can apply them at work.
– Developing Secure Software course explains the fundamentals of developer secure software. Take it!
– Most of the technical discussion happens in Working Group. Pick a group that aligns with your interest, observe to begin with, and share your experience when relevant.
To hear from other leaders featured in our OpenSSF Board Member Spotlight Series, check out our feed as we continue to have great conversations with our amazing Board members.