FirstNet gets new AT&T lead as Jason Porter replaces promoted Chris Sambar
AT&T today announced that the carrier’s FirstNet leader Chris Sambar has been named as an executive vice president in the company and will be replaced by Jason Porter, who previously served as a AT&T’s chief data officer (CDO) and led the strategic-planning organization for AT&T Technology Operations.
“I’m honored to lead our FirstNet program and carry on the important responsibility of delivering public safety’s vision for a dedicated, nationwide communications platform that’s second to none,” Porter said in a prepared statement. “Serving our first responders through FirstNet isn’t just a dream job for me, it’s a calling, and I’m excited to take on this special mission.
“Chris Sambar has been instrumental in driving the success of FirstNet. His dedication, leadership and contributions have been invaluable to transforming the future of public safety communications, creating a solid foundation for FirstNet’s continued success.”
Porter has been with AT&T since 2002 and has served in numerous leadership roles in “engineering, strategy, operations and marketing spanning across the consumer and business customer segments,” according to a biography provided by AT&T. Before serving as CDO, Porter was vice president of global technology planning and program management, leading the financial and technology roadmaps for AT&T’s network deployments. Porter also previously led AT&T’s cybersecurity business.
Porter will replace Sambar, who has served as AT&T’s senior vice president for the FirstNet program since AT&T was named as the nationwide contractor for FirstNet in March 2017.
“Working with the FirstNet Authority to bring the incredibly important FirstNet network to life has been a career highlight and a privilege,” Sambar said in a prepared statement.
“The ability to lead our FirstNet program for the past several years has been especially meaningful to me, aligning with a deep personal passion to serve the men and women that serve us without question each and every day. It’s been a true honor, and I look forward to continuing to support the expansion of the FirstNet network as I move into a new opportunity within AT&T.”
Sambar expressed optimism about the future of FirstNet under the leadership of Porter.
“The program is in excellent care with Jason Porter, who shares a personal passion for serving our country,” Sambar said in a prepared statement. “Jason brings the strategic foresight, wealth of industry expertise and bold thinking needed to guide the FirstNet program forward, ensuring it delivers the coverage and advanced capabilities our first responders nationwide expect and deserve.”
AT&T is building the FirstNet nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN) as part of a 25-year contract with the FirstNet Authority, which issued the following statement about the leadership changes at AT&T:
“We are pleased to welcome Jason Porter to the AT&T FirstNet program and look forward to working with him on the continued growth, evolution and adoption of FirstNet,” according to a statement from a FirstNet Authority spokesperson. “Jason’s expertise in network deployment for AT&T, as well as his understanding of FirstNet, will be an asset to public safety as we continue the nationwide expansion of their dedicated network.
“Chris Sambar led the AT&T FirstNet program from the launch of the partnership through the successful deployment and adoption of today. We appreciate his leadership and dedication to our nation’s public-safety community and wish him well in his next endeavors.”