Growing our Maintainers team for the Diem project

August 24, 2021
Diem Association

The Diem Association’s* Technical Steering Committee (TSC) is pleased to announce the recent election of Production Maintainers and Maintainers, as we continue to grow our current group to be part of the technical governance of the Diem project.

It is worthy to note the new category of Production Maintainer, which embodies the contributions that collectively guide the technical direction for developer infrastructure, testing, deployment, and mainnet operations, recognizing the momentous and unique effort in making the Diem Payment Network (DPN) secure, reliable, and performant in production.

The election of new Maintainers continues to reinforce the Diem Association’s commitment to transparency in the Diem project’s governance. Public involvement of the open-source community provides support that the Diem payment system can benefit from.

Update: Diem Maintainers

Having broadened the group of Diem Maintainers, the team now consists of the following people:

  • Dahlia Malkhi, Lead Maintainer

One newly elected Maintainer:

  • Daniel Prinz, First Group

Three newly elected Production Maintainers:

  • Andrew Baine, Bison Trails
  • Young Yang Liauw, Novi
  • Sherry Xiao, Novi

Existing Maintainers:

  • Sam Blackshear, Move and Move VM
  • Avery Ching, Consensus and Networking
  • Kevin Hurley, Client Service, Mempool, and Node Synchronization
  • David Wolinsky, Trusted computing base (TCB), Configuration, and Crypto

Meet the Maintainers

Dahlia Malkhi, Diem Association & Diem Networks US ‒ Lead Maintainer

Dahlia Malkhi is the Chief Technology Officer at the Diem Association and Diem Networks US, an applied and foundational researcher in distributed systems technology, author, and international speaker. She co-invented HotStuff, which the Diem Blockchain core (DiemBFT) is based on.

Previously, she co-founded VMWare Blockchain, co-invented Flexible Paxos, the technology behind Log Device, and created CorfuDB, a database-less database driving VMware’s NSX-T distributed control plane. She has also worked as the technical lead of VMWare Blockchain and CorfuDB. Dahlia is a former associate professor of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, from where she holds a Ph.D. in computer science.

Sam Blackshear, Move and MoveVM – Maintainer

Sam Blackshear is a research scientist at Novi. He is a co-creator of Move and works on the Move standard library and virtual machine.

Previously, he worked on the Infer static analyzer and earned a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Avery Ching, Consensus and Networking – Maintainer

Avery Ching currently leads the consensus, networking, and performance efforts in Diem. He co-created the DiemBFT consensus protocol that ensures safety and liveness in the Diem Blockchain.

Previously, he was the technical lead across multiple “big compute” teams at Facebook, including Spark, graph processing, Hive/Hadoop, and batch scheduling. He co-created Apache Giraph. Avery has a Ph.D. in high-performance computing from Northwestern University.

Kevin Hurley, Admission Control and Mempool – Maintainer

Kevin Hurley is the Novi technical lead across several core Diem areas such as client service, mempool, off-chain APIs, and node synchronization.

Previously, he was the software architect and technical lead of Facebook Payments. Kevin has a Bsc in electrical engineering from Bradley University.

Daniel Prinz, First Group – Maintainer, Payments

Daniel Prinz is the CTO of First Digital Assets Group. He leads teams building a payment platform for merchants to accept Diem Coins, and blockchain tools and APIs for developers using the Diem Blockchain.

Previously, Daniel was the CTO of the Cyber Division in the Israeli Secret Service, and a Software Architect at SAP and Applied Materials. He has a BSc from Bar-Ilan University in computer science.

David Wolinsky, TCB, Configuration, Crypto – Maintainer

David Wolinsky currently leads the security-infrastructure effort and co-leads networking efforts. He co-created the security architecture that ensures safety in the Diem Blockchain.

He recently led a DARPA-funded project on provable, scalable anonymous communication at Yale. David has a Ph.D. in building reliable, decentralized peer-to-peer networks from the University of Florida.

Andrew Baine – Manager, Protocols Team, Bison Trails – Production Maintainer

Andrew Baine is a Manager at Bison Trails on the Protocols team. He leads the team responsible for launching, operating, and upgrading nodes on Tendermint, HotStuff, Algorand, Bitcoin, and related networks. He is the lead developer and architect for Bison Trails Diem Validator clusters.

Andrew has been at Bison Trails for two years, and along with the other early engineers at Bison Trails, designed and implemented the go-to-market version of Bison Trails’ cluster management platform.

Young Yang Liauw, Novi – Production Maintainer

Young is a technical lead for Developer Infrastructure at Novi. He works on the software development life cycle, developer experience, and Diem Ecosystem integration.

Previously, he has been the technical lead and engineering manager across compiler and release engineering teams at Facebook. He was a researcher at Stanford University where he co-led a DARPA-funded project in non-volatile reconfigurable computing. He holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University.

Sherry Xiao, Novi – Production Maintainer

Sherry Xiao is a Production Engineer at Novi and has been leading the production readiness effort for the Diem Blockchain across several areas such as observability, debuggability, disaster recovery readiness, and incident response procedure.

Previously, she has been the technical lead for Instagram’s “Infrastructure as a Service” initiative, and worked on scaling the Instagram web server fleet and Cassandra clusters. Sherry holds a master degree in computer science from Temple University.

Update on the Diem Improvement Proposals (DIP) program

Working with the community, the TSC has reviewed several proposals for technical improvements, or DIPs. For a full list of DIPs, status and contents, see All DIPs.

How can I get involved?

Any change that could be considered major or a breaking change one that affects a public API, protocol, virtual machine (VM), underlying code execution, or standards — should be addressed with a DIP. However, not every contribution to the Diem payment system needs to be a DIP.

The Diem Association TSC has put out a call for contributors to participate in contributions that enhance, fix, or improve existing functionality. These technical improvements should be handled with a pull request. A performance improvement, typo fix, or the addition of technical documentation are examples of changes that would not require a DIP and can instead be made using pull requests.

Lighter-weight issues, such as small bugs, common implementation topics, and minor feature enhancements, should be brought forward as GitHub issues.

The Diem project offers organizations and individual coders alike a unique opportunity. By becoming a contributor, you can be a part of building a global payment system that empowers billions of people. What’s more, you can take part in novel and exciting technology development, and become a more visible member of the Diem developer community. Get started by checking out the Contribution Guide and the Coding Guidelines on the Diem docs site.

Questions or comments?

Post your thoughts on this topic in our Diem Developer Community.

*On December 1, 2020, the Libra Association was renamed to Diem Association.
**Novi was first announced as Calibra in 2019.