Washington OneNet Congratulates FirstNet’s New Leadership team: Chief Executive Officer, Michael Poth, and President, TJ Kennedy

OLYMPIA – Washington OneNet congratulates the newly announced leadership team of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet): Chief Executive Officer, Michael Poth, and President, TJ Kennedy.

The First Responder Network Authority is charged with the design and devleopment of FirstNet–a national broadband network dedicated to public safety. WaTech’s Washington OneNet is the program office charged with engaging stakeholders and designing the plan for FirstNet in Washington state.

“I’m pleased to see today’s announcement, because FirstNet has been without a chief executive for too long,” said Washington’s State Point-of-Contact for FirstNet, Bill Schrier, who is also the Chair of the Washington State Interoperability Executive Committee. “Mike Poth appears to have good background–with a mixture of both law enforcement and industry experience–to support the mission of FirstNet, in particular getting an RFP out the door. TJ Kennedy has been a phenomenal acting Executive Director for FirstNet. TJ and FirstNet Board Chair, Sue Swenson, along with much hard work from FirstNet staff, have made a lot of progress over the past 18 months, propelling the organization forward. TJ in particular has been the visible face of FirstNet to the public safety stakeholders in many states including Washington. There will be a period of adjustment for the organization and staff, given the changes. I’m happy that TJ will continue in a major leadership role as President which will significantly help with those adjustments.”

Mr. Schrier went on to say, “It’s also curious that the titles of Poth and Kennedy have changed–rather than a ‘director’ there’s a CEO and a President. I take this as a positive sign, signaling that FirstNet is becoming more independent from the federal government, which is the stated intent of Congress. Many public safety officials in my state are skeptical that “the federal government” can really create and manage a nationwide wireless network. The change in titles will be a small positive signal to them.”

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