FirstNet Clarifies President’s Position Must Be Posted

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) clarified that the new position of president must be posted under federal hiring rules to allow other candidates to apply for it. FirstNet announced that Michael Poth has been hired to the newly created position of chief executive officer and that TJ Kennedy, who had been acting executive director, would be “functioning in the role of President” (TRDaily, Aug. 17). The announcement led many stakeholders to refer to Mr. Kennedy as president in their statements on the personnel moves.

FirstNet used that language because the president’s position must be posted – a fact that FirstNet did not include in the press release, creating confusion. Mr. Kennedy was hired at FirstNet as a three-year term employee. The president’s post is a permanent career position, and all permanent jobs must be competed – even if someone is currently serving in the role, said FirstNet spokesman Ryan Oremland. FirstNet plans to post the Senior Executive Service president’s position soon, he said.

However, FirstNet calls Mr. Kennedy president on its web site and in tweets and Mr. Kennedy referred to himself at a breakfast this morning as president. Mr. Poth told TRDaily today that Mr. Kennedy is “president.”

“I’m excited to be president going forward, and I think that that’s an excellent role, and I’m very glad the board wants me to be in that role,” Mr. Kennedy told TRDaily yesterday. – Paul Kirby,