AT&T Selects Porter to Lead FirstNet Program, Sambar Moves to New Role
Monday, September 30, 2019 | Comments

AT&T named Jason Porter senior vice president, FirstNet program at AT&T, and announced that Chris Sambar, who previously led the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) program, will move to AT&T’s network and technology team as executive vice president — AT&T technology operations.

In his new role, Sambar will be responsible for AT&T’s next-generation wireless and wireline networks planning, investment, engineering, construction and operations for consumer, business and government customers.

“Working with the FirstNet Authority to bring the incredibly important FirstNet network to life has been a career highlight and a privilege,” said Sambar. “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.

“The program is in excellent care with Jason Porter, who shares a personal passion for serving our country,” Sambar said. “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.”

Prior to his appointment to lead the FirstNet program, Porter served as chief data officer (CDO) and senior vice president — strategic planning AT&T services. In that role, he was responsible for the alignment of global network planning, prioritizing more than half of AT&T’s capital spending, designing technology, managing programs across multiple technology domains and leading the CDO’s center of excellent for data science, artificial intelligence (AI) and automation.

“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. 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,” said Porter. “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 began his career with AT&T in 2002 and before the CDO position, held several leadership positions in engineering, strategy, operations and marketing across both the consumer and business customer segments. Porter graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point with a bachelor’s degree in engineering and has a Master of Business Administration from Regis University. He served in the U.S. Army as an armor officer, leading tank and mortar platoons.

“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,” said 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 launch of the partnership through the successful deployment and adoption of today,” the spokesperson said. “We appreciate his leadership and dedication to our nation’s public-safety community and wish him well in his next endeavors.”

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