Wassel was the founder and chair of the latter organisation’s Global Public Safety Communications Working Group, where he was responsible for “ensuring that DoD’s more than 150,000 first responders had access to reliable, next-generation communications, including the FirstNet network.”
His most recent position was as executive for the Cyberspace Operations Directorate in the Defense Information Systems Agency. He is a retired US Air Force officer.
Discussing the appointment, FirstNet Authority board chair, Stephen Benjamin, said: “The FirstNet Authority has built a strong foundation for the nationwide public safety broadband network. Now, as we embark on a new phase in FirstNet’s growth, Joe’s leadership and passion for innovation will help us build upon that foundation and prioritise the emerging needs of our nation’s first responders.”
Vice chair of the FirstNet Authority board, chief Richard Carrizzo, said: “Joe is the right leader for the next phase of FirstNet. He has the experience and forward-thinking vision to lead the organisation, bring people together, and deliver the best, most reliable network for public safety.
“His proven track record with network operations — and his expertise in cybersecurity, resiliency, and public safety communications — make him uniquely qualified to drive the future of FirstNet.”