FirstNet announced during yesterday's meeting that the search for a general manager to head the effort to deploy and maintain a nationwide LTE network for first responders has been narrowed to four candidates.

FirstNet's search for a lead staff member began with "several dozen" interested candidates applying for the general-manager position early in December, according to a report from board member Tim Bryan, who is heading the search committee with fellow board members Charles Dowd and Teri Takai. Bryan said that "just under a dozen" of the candidates were interviewed to narrow the list to the four finalists.

Board member Craig Farrill has been serving as FirstNet's acting general manager until a full-time general manager is hired. During yesterday's meeting, FirstNet Chairman Sam Ginn said it is important that FirstNet hire a general manager and fill other key staff positions.

"As you can imagine, it's a real priority to get our senior management team in place," Ginn said. "It's real important, so that we can revert back to being board members and not a part of operating management, which we don't want to be."

Barnett joins D.C. law firm

Jamie Barnett, the former chief of the FCC's public safety and homeland security bureau, has become a partner in the Washington, D.C., law firm of Venable LLP. Barnett will head the firm's government division, according to a press release.

After departing from the FCC, Barnett was senior vice president for national-security policy at the Potomac Institute for Public Policy in Washington, D.C. A retired Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy with four Legion of Merit medals, Barnett worked in private practice from 1984 through 2002, representing public entities in the board room and in state and federal court, according to the Venable press release.

Thales names new lead for business development

Thales Communications has appointed Aaron Brosnan as the company's new vice president of business development. Brosnan comes to Thales after serving as vice president of business development for SCI Technologies, a Sanmina-SCI company. Before joining SCI, Brosnan worked at Thales in several business development positions, including serving as director of business development for Army programs. A U.S. Navy veteran, Brosnan also worked at Raytheon Systems in the U.S. and U.K.