FirstNet -- the organization spearheading the federal government’s plan to launch a nationwide public safety communications network -- has hired former telecom executive Jim Gwinn as CIO, according to multiple news reports.

Gwinn, who held a variety of management positions with Verizon Business and MCI, will be responsible for building FirstNet’s information technology organization “from the ground up,” according to information posted on his LinkedIn profile. Gwinn’s profile says he took the job in March.

FirstNet General Manager Bill D’Agostino, in an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications, said Gwinn will oversee internal communications and support functions for the FirstNet organization, formally known as the First Responder Network Authority. D’Agostino added that the architecture for the FirstNet network will be directed by a yet-to-be-named chief technology officer, although Gwinn will consult with that person.

In addition to his private-sector telecom experience, Gwinn spent five years as CIO of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency.