New York Fire Department to Be Led by Woman for First Time

By: Seat Earnings

New York Fire Department to Be Led by Woman for First Time Laura Kavanagh, currently the acting commissioner, was appointed to the post on Thursday by Mayor Eric Adams.

Mayor Eric Adams on Thursday named a woman to lead the New York City Fire Department for the first time in the agency’s 157-year history.

Mr. Adams promoted Laura Kavanagh, the acting commissioner of the department for the last eight months, to the post of commissioner at a news conference at a fire station in Manhattan, surrounded by a large group of top women leaders in his administration. 

Mr. Adams said that his deputy mayor, Philip Banks III, had conducted a national search for a fire commissioner and interviewed several candidates. “I kept coming back to her over and over again,” the mayor said. “Over and over again, I just kept coming back to her leadership.”

Mr. Adams pointed to his experience working with Ms. Kavanagh on the response to a deadly fire in the Bronx in January and to members of the department who died this year. Ms. Kavanagh, 40, will oversee 17,000 employees.

During her tenure, Ms. Kavanagh led a firefighter recruitment campaign that produced the most diverse applicant pool in the agency’s history, according to her biography on the department website. 

Before joining the department, Ms. Kavanagh, who holds a master’s in public administration from Columbia University, worked as a senior adviser on former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign. She then served as a special assistant to Mr. de Blasio. 

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