FDNY’s Laura Kavanagh to be named first female commissioner

Mayor Eric Adams will name Acting FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh as the first woman to officially lead the department in its 157-year history, sources say.

Adams will make the announcement Thursday at a fire company, the sources said.

Kavanagh has been acting commissioner since February following the retirement of Daniel Nigro.

She gained grassroots support during her tenure.

“We congratulate her. She’s an excellent candidate. She is a champion who fought for EMS and will continue to fight for us,” said Oren Barzilay, president of Local 2507, the union representing EMTS, paramedics and fire inspectors at the FDNY. .

Lara Kavanagh will become the first woman to lead the FDNY, having served as acting commissioner since February.
Paul Martinca

Kavanagh has been with the FDNY since 2014, serving in several leadership positions.

She oversees the department’s 17,000 employees and a $2 billion budget.

Kavanagh played an important role in the FDNY’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and the Ebola outbreak in 2015.

She led a recruiting drive to diversify the FDNY — a sore spot for a department where more than three-quarters of firefighters are white men.

Prior to joining the FDNY, Kavanagh worked at City Hall as a special assistant to former Mayor Bill de Blasio. She also worked on former President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.


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