FirstNet GM steps down after year on the job

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Bill D’Agostino has resigned as general manager of the First Responder Network after a year on the job, citing personal and family reasons for his exit, the FirstNet board announced Monday.

TJ Kennedy, the program’s deputy general manager, will assume D’Agostino’s duties on a temporary basis while a permanent replacement is found.

“I have been honored to lead FirstNet’s management efforts over the past year, and believe the organization is now well positioned to enter the next stage of its development,” D’Agostino said in a statement. “Although I will no longer be part of the mission, I will remain an ardent supporter and look forward to its future successes.”

The purpose of FirstNet is to establish, operate and maintain an interoperable public safety broadband network that can be used to connect state, local and federal emergency workers during times of crisis to facilitate communication.

D’Agostino joined FirstNet in April 2013, most recently working as the executive director for networks at Verizon Wireless. In total, he had more than 33 years working in the telecommunications industries, including stints at Spring PCS, Airtouch Communications and Pacific Bell.

“We appreciate Bill’s service as general manager over the past year – a critical time in FirstNet’s early planning stage,” said FirstNet board Chairman Sam Ginn. “Bill believed that public safety should be a partner in defining network features and capabilities, and we will remember the example he set for us.”

Last month, the FirstNet board voted to move forward with implementing a strategic roadmap that will assist in developing a definitive business plan, along with comprehensive state-based outreach and consultation plans. One key step on that path is staffing and resourcing the organization. Over the past several months, FirstNet has built out its senior management team, pulling in top talent from industry, government and public safety to lead the organization.

“FirstNet has assembled an excellent management team to lead this organization as we continue to develop plans for the nationwide public safety broadband network.” said board Vice Chairman Sue Swenson. “The FirstNet board will now begin a search to hire someone to lead the team – someone with the right blend of experience along with the management and leadership skills to carry out FirstNet’s vision.”

The FirstNet board voted last October to establish Northern Virginia as its corporate headquarters, and a lease was subsequently signed for office space in Reston, Va., a suburb of Washington D.C.

FirstNet expects to occupy that space in the next few months, and the general manager will be located there.

The general manager job posting will appear on USAjobs.gov.

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Emergency Management, Public Safety, State & Local News
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