TJ Kennedy is stepping down as FirstNet president. (Photo: FirstNet)

TJ Kennedy will leave his role as president of FirstNet at the end of the year. Kennedy has been with FirstNet, the Federal organization tasked with establishing a nationwide network for public safety and first responders, for more than four years. According to reports, Kennedy is departing at the end of 2017 for an undisclosed role in the private sector.

“After more than four years with FirstNet, TJ Kennedy has decided the time is right to pursue other opportunities in the private sector and take on new challenges in his career,” said a FirstNet spokesperson to MeriTalk State & Local. “He has been with FirstNet from the startup days and into our current operational phase–fulfilling his promise to us and to public safety. TJ will be staying with FirstNet through the end of the year enabling a smooth transition of responsibilities.”

By staying through the end of the year, Kennedy will be able to oversee the conclusion of the opt-in/opt-out process that states are currently going through. States have until Dec. 28 to voluntarily opt-in to the nationwide network, choose an alternate vendor to build a similar system, or opt-in by default if no action is taken. As of Friday, 31 states and territories have opted into the FirstNet network.

Kennedy joined FirstNet in August 2013 as the organization’s deputy general manager. Following the April 2014 resignation of then-General Manager Bill D’Agostino, Kennedy was named acting general manager. In August 2015, he was appointed FirstNet president.

During his tenure with the organization, Kennedy oversaw the completion of FirstNet’s strategic program roadmap, which was initially adopted in 2014. The roadmap detailed more than 40 tasks that had to be completed to establish a sustainable, nationwide public-safety broadband network.

FirstNet has not yet announced Kennedy’s replacement.

“Chief Executive Officer Mike Poth remains the leader of the organization,” said the FirstNet spokesperson. “We’ll consider the needs of public safety and the FirstNet organization as we go forward. We will continue to recruit, hire and retain the best talent to help FirstNet meet its mission goals for public safety.”

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs