FirstNet CEO heads to the private sector

First Responders Network Authority CEO Edward Parkinson is leaving his role in two weeks, for a position in the private sector.

The FirstNet Authority said that its deputy CEO, Lisa Casias, will step into the position of acting CEO as of May 10. FirstNet will conduct a search to select its next CEO.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the public safety community and deliver the communications network they’ve needed for so long,” said Parkinson. “Seeing FirstNet advance from concept to reality during my tenure has been exciting; the network is transforming public safety operations and enabling first responders to save more lives and keep their communities safer.”

Parkinson has held the position of FirstNet CEO since early 2019, after serving as acting CEO when previous CEO Mike Poth left his position—also to go to the private sector, after spending three years as FirstNet CEO.

Parkinson was among the earliest FirstNet employees, joining the Authority in 2013 (it was formed in 2012). He helped draft the initial bill that kicked off the effort to create FirstNet, during his time working for then-chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Peter King. During his time at FirstNet, he led the organization’s outreach efforts that resulted in the opt-in of all U.S.states and territories to the FirstNet network build-out, and was responsible for coordinating state and territory-level network buildout plans. He also set the direction for FirstNet’s first wave of network reinvestments, including laying the groundwork for 5G services.

“With Ed’s leadership, the FirstNet Authority has overseen the growth and advancement of the network and built strong, trusted relationships with the public safety community,” said Stephen Benjamin, FirstNet Authority board chair. “We are grateful for the leadership and experience that Ed brought to the FirstNet Authority and wish him all the success in his future plans.”

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