Harald Alvestrand was born in Norway in 1959, and graduated from the Norwegian Institute of Technology (NTH) in 1984. Since then, he became a leading figure in the Norwegian internet growth while working for UNINETT (the university network of Norway). Harald has also worked for Norsk Data, EDB Maxware and Cisco Systems. Since 2006, Harald has been working as an engineer for Google. He has participated on various projects during his time at Google, serving as the standards coordinator for the WebRTC project in his most recent one.

He has been active in Internet standardization via the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) since 1991, and has written a number of RFCs, including RFC 1766, the first standard for language tags in Internet protocols. In the IETF, Harald has been an area director of the Applications area (1995-1998) and of the Operations Management area (1998-1999; a member of the Internet Architecture Board (1999-2001), and served as chair of the IETF from 2001 to 2006. He was alternate chair of the ICANN DNSO General Assembly from December 1999 to April 2001, and was a member of the WIPO panel of experts on the DNS in 1998-1999.

Harald is a former board member of NORID (the .no domain name registry), ICANN and the Unicode Consortium. He lives in Trondheim, Norway, is married, and has 3 children.