The Fire Commissioner, appointed by the Mayor of the City of New York, is the civilian administrator and head of the Department. The current Fire Commissioner is Laura Kavanagh.
As Fire Commissioner, Commissioner Kavanagh oversees the day-to-day administration of the agency’s 17,000 employees and $2 billion-dollar budget. Her role includes overseeing critical units such as fleet, facilities, 911 dispatch operations, technology, data analytics, and health services.
She has been a key leader in the agency’s response to major incidents including the Ebola outbreak of 2015 and the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, as well as spearheading key policy initiatives for the department. Commissioner Kavanagh directed the firefighter recruitment campaign to yield the most diverse applicant pool in Department history, including graduating the largest and most diverse group of women in almost three decades. She also paved the way for technology innovation through the development of applications that provide situational awareness to frontline members; created a fire safety program that installed and distributed smoke alarms in the most at-risk neighborhoods; and advocates for first responders at the City, State and Federal level.
Before City service, Commissioner Kavanagh worked in management and campaign consulting for non-profits, community-based organizations and unions to advance their organizational goals. In that time, she held senior roles on Presidential, Mayoral, Congressional and local campaigns.
Commissioner Kavanagh is an alumnus of the Executive Leaders Program at the Naval Post Graduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security, and the Stanford Graduate School of Business’ Summer Institute. She has a BA in Political Science and International Relations from Whittier College and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.
An avid runner, Commissioner Kavanagh has completed two New York City Marathons and is a regular participant in the stair climbs that honor fallen first responders and their families.
Jennifer is the COO/Chief Legal & Administrative Officer of NYCFC where she is responsible for the overall business operations and legal functions for the Club. In her role, Jennifer oversees legal, human resources, information technology, operations, infrastructure and facilities, safeguarding and community.
Jennifer joined NYCFC from the law firm Arent Fox where she was a partner in the Sports Industry Practice group, specializing in the representation of professional sports leagues, teams, media and technology companies, investors, promoters, hospitality companies and sports, entertainment, and lifestyle agencies. Jennifer has counseled sports and entertainment clients on issues ranging from mergers and acquisitions and other transactions to sponsorships, advertising, media matters, league formations and restructurings, and all forms of commercial agreements, including licensing, merchandising and promotional agreements, venue, vendor, and other special events agreements.
Prior to joining Arent Fox, Jennifer was a partner at a boutique firm (Hand Baldachin & Associates) where she was head of the firm’s Sports and Entertainment Practice Group. She also served as General Counsel of RSE Ventures, LLC, a sports and entertainment venture company and was previously the Commissioner & CEO of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS), the highest-level women’s professional soccer league in North America.
In addition to stints with two other prominent law firms, Jennifer has also held positions at the Arena Football League, NFL, and the Interpublic Group of Companies (IPG), where she worked with various IPG agencies including Octagon, its global sports, entertainment and lifestyle marketing agency.
Jennifer, a native of Clifton, NJ, has lived in Pelham Manor, NY for the past 17 years with her husband Dan and their three soccer playing kids, Daniel (10), Devin (7) and Ainsley (4). Jennifer and her family are massive sports fans, with a special place in their hearts for the beautiful game.