Press Release - May 15, 2013
Successful Technology Executive Named President of FIRST®
Don Bossi brings deep technical and management skills to the international, afterschool, K-12 robotics organization
Manchester, N.H., May 15, 2013 – FIRST ® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a not-for-profit organization founded by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology, has announced the appointment of Don Bossi as President of FIRST. The appointment was announced today by the Co-Chairs of the FIRST Board of Directors, Sheri McCoy and Bob Tuttle, and FIRST Founder, Dean Kamen, and is effective May 22.
“Don Bossi has a solid history of leadership in the business of technology combined with a clear commitment to the objectives of FIRST. He has successfully run big organizations, as well as small entrepreneurial start-ups. He has the right combination of technical smarts, management smarts, and people skills for FIRST,” said Dean Kamen, FIRST Founder.
Bossi, who has excelled in a 20-year career with several high technology companies, primarily in the fiber optics field, is now anxious to give back and help develop the next generation of innovators. Starting his career as a research scientist, first at MIT Lincoln Laboratory and then at United Technologies Research Center (UTRC), he was a part of an advanced project at UTRC which was acquired by JDS Uniphase (JDSU) and he moved to the new company. After a series of promotions at JDSU, he became Vice President and General Manager for JDSU Electro-Optics Products. The Division grew tenfold during his involvement there. Bossi next served as Group President of JDSU Active Components Group for two years, and then as Group President, JDSU Transmission Products Group for two years. In 2005, Don joined Technology Ventures Partners to work with their high-tech portfolio companies. While at the venture group, he served as the CEO of Aegis Lightware, Inc. and then as CEO of Inlet Technologies, positioning the company for a beneficial acquisition by Cisco. Most recently, Bossi served as the COO of CIDRA Holdings in Wallingford, Conn.
“I’m very excited to join FIRST, since I believe so deeply in its mission. In this role, I can help others discover the rewards of an education and career in science and technology that I have enjoyed. I look forward to working with the many volunteers and sponsors who have decided that FIRST is an excellent investment for the future.” said Bossi.
Bossi is the holder of four U.S. patents and author of numerous technical presentations. He holds B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and has completed executive education courses at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. He served on the Boards of Directors of several privately held companies, and is also a member of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering.
Don and his wife, Susan, who have one college-aged daughter, will relocate from Connecticut to New Hampshire. FIRST successfully utilized the firm of Heidrick & Struggles during a thorough search process.
With the support of 120,000 volunteers and sponsors, more than 300,000 young people, ages 6 to 18, participated in four programs during the 2012-2013 FIRST season.
Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies and more than $16 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC® ) for students in Grades 9-12; FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC® ) for Grades 7-12; FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL® ) for Grades 4-8; and Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr.FLL®) for Grades K-3. Gracious Professionalism® is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go to www.usfirst.org.