Kristin Duffy is AT&T’s director of legislative and external affairs. While the company is a long-standing NYSWA member, 2023 marks Kristin’s inaugural year serving on the board of directors.
Kristin’s words of advice for those just starting out? “Buckle Up!” Find out why in her interview below.
What drives your passion for the wireless industry?
Working for AT&T, I have learned so much about wireless broadband and all of the many benefits that wireless infrastructure can bring to the community.
Particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, I saw first-hand the difficulties many families endured when trying to work and school remotely in rural areas of the state. During this time, wireless broadband was instrumental. Not just in keeping kids learning and adults working when they were displaced from their schools and offices, but also in keeping families connected.
What are you most excited about when you think of the future of wireless?
Wireless innovation is creating things we only dreamt about – smart cities, Internet of Things, satellite phone calls, improving public safety, reducing carbon emissions, and so on. I can’t wait to see what else we can create using wireless and how we can continue to improve the way we live and work. The possibilities are endless.
What are you most looking forward to contributing to your role as a NYSWA board member this year?
I’m most excited about the opportunities that exist with the Workforce Development Committee and how we can find ways to address the gap between available jobs and skilled workers in the telecom industry.
How has your involvement with NYSWA impacted your career?
I have met so many wonderful people through NYSWA, particularly from attending the networking events. It’s so important to make the time to attend these and make connections.
As a lobbyist for AT&T, learning about what others in the industry are doing is extremely helpful when I am having conversations with lawmakers and their staff on important policy issues.
As our industry looks to the next generation of leaders, what would you share with someone just starting their career in wireless?
Buckle up! This is a very exciting time for the wireless industry. It is an ever-changing field and there is so much to learn.
What is your passion? What gets you out of bed every day?
My family is what drives me to get out of bed every morning (both literally and figuratively!). They inspire me to be the best I can be each and every day.
What is something about you that most people are surprised to learn?
I have five kids! Three step-daughters – Hannah (22), Cara (21) and Abby (16) and my twins, Maddie and Max, who are ten years old.
What is the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever received?
Be engaged and stay engaged in your industry. Networking is a huge benefit to any career and can help your professional development in so many ways.