A Message from FIRST President Don Bossi

Jul 11, 2019 Written by FIRST President Donald E. Bossi


Update on July 22: For more information on the FIRST President role and responsibilities, view the job posting.

Dear FIRST Community,

When I began my role as President of FIRST® over six years ago, I never imagined the incredible experiences I would have and the extraordinary people I would meet, many who have not yet reached their 18th birthday. Our community and impact are phenomenal. To this day, I am amazed by Dean’s insight and vision thirty years ago, as the need for FIRST continues to grow throughout the world. Our organization is more relevant and impactful today than it ever has been.

Along these lines, I recently initiated a conversation with our Board of Directors about the future leadership of FIRST. Despite my ongoing passion for our mission, for a variety of personal and professional reasons I have made a decision to retire from my position, ideally at some point during our current fiscal year ending June 30, 2020. Hence, the Board and I have begun working together on a thoughtful and deliberate leadership-transition plan for my role.

I remain committed to our cause and believe deeply in our mission, which is why this was a very difficult decision for me. Ultimately, the timing feels right for FIRST, my family, and me personally. The Board and the FIRST leadership team are committed to the ongoing implementation of the strategy we have set about over the past few years, and I am as excited as ever about the future of FIRST and its impact on the leaders of tomorrow.

We anticipate the transition will likely occur in late 2019 or early 2020, but I am flexible and want to ensure the Board has the time it needs to secure a very capable successor. The Board has engaged a leading executive-search firm, Korn Ferry, to facilitate the effort. Of course, we’d love your support in identifying the best possible candidates from within and outside the FIRST community. If you know of such candidates, please feel free to share your ideas and suggestions with Keith Deussing, Senior Partner at Korn Ferry, via email

Most importantly, I am currently still very much in the role of President and will remain fully engaged in the weeks and months ahead until a successor is in place. I will continue to do everything in my power to bring the impact of FIRST programs to more young people around the world, both while I am in this role and after I leave. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me or other senior leaders if you have questions, suggestions, or concerns. 

Lastly, my sincere thanks to each of you for your passion, support, and contributions to our organization. It has been and continues to be an honor to lead this remarkable organization and community. I truly value the many friendships I have made at FIRST and look forward to continuing those relationships long into the future.

Best regards,

Donald E. Bossi

President, FIRST

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