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First female commissioner Laura Kavanagh to lead New York’s fire department

NEW YORK – New York Mayor Eric Adams on Thursday named Acting Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh to lead the department permanently, making her the first female commissioner in the fire department’s 157-year history. from New York.

“Laura Kavanagh is a tried and tested leader, and I’m proud to announce her historic nomination today,” the Democratic mayor said.

Kavanagh, 40, has served as acting commissioner since commissioner Daniel Nigro retired in February. She will oversee a department of 17,000 people, including firefighters and rescue workers.

His appointment as commissioner represents progress for a department seeking to branch out after decades as a white male stronghold.

As of August, there were 141 female firefighters in the FDNY, the most since a lawsuit forced the department to hire women as firefighters in the 1980s.

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Kavanagh was never a firefighter herself. She served as a senior adviser to former Mayor Bill de Blasio and a campaign staffer to de Blasio and former President Barack Obama, before joining the department in an administrative role in 2014. She was named first deputy curator in 2018.

As first deputy commissioner and acting commissioner, Kavanagh oversaw the department’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and its response to tragedies, including a fire in the Bronx that killed 19 people.

She is a graduate of Whittier College in California and holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.

USA Today

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