The First Deputy Commissioner, appointed by the Fire Commissioner, is the second highest ranking civilian administrator in the Department, charged with managing the day-to-day operations and activities of the FDNY across all offices and bureaus. Deputy Commissioner Kavanagh was appointed in January, 2018.
First Deputy Commissioner Kavanagh’s first joined the Department senior staff in 2014 as Assistant Commissioner of External Affairs where she built strong relationships with other government agencies, elected officials, and community organizations to secure necessary funding for the Department; pass important legislation protecting first responders; and organized citywide programming such as the “Get Alarmed NYC” campaign, which has, to date, installed and distributed more than 150,000 smoke alarms in homes throughout the city.
In 2016, she was promoted to Deputy Commissioner for Government Affairs and Special Projects where she managed the Bureau of Technology and Development Services (BTDS); the Bureau of Communications (BOC) for fire and EMS dispatch operations; Intergovernmental Affairs; Community Affairs; Recruitment; and the Family Assistance Unit, overseeing critical care and needs for the families of FDNY members killed in the line of duty, as well as those battling World Trade Center related illnesses.
In addition to overseeing the recent firefighter recruitment campaign – which resulted in the largest and most diverse applicant pool in Department history – she has secured funding for renovations to firehouses and EMS stations across the five boroughs; overseen the implementation of Fire and EMS call taking operations at the City's newly constructed state-of-the-art emergency call taking center in the Bronx and the planning and implementation of technology upgrades at the current emergency call taking center in Brooklyn; the development of an in-house customized computer aided dispatch system; and the development of mobile applications that support Fire and EMS operations.
Before joining the Department, Deputy Commissioner Kavanagh served as a special assistant to Mayor Bill de Blasio after acting as Senior Advisor on his Mayoral campaign. Prior to that, she was a deputy director in Pennsylvania on President Obama’s reelection campaign. Previously, she worked in management and campaign consulting with non-profits, community-based organizations and unions to advance their organizational goals. First Deputy Commissioner Kavanagh is a graduate of Whittier College, with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Relations. She resides in Brooklyn with her husband.