Appointment of Jon Dudas as FIRST President

From this page on the FIRST web site:

Appointment of Jon Dudas as FIRST President

June 7, 2010

To: FIRST® Community

From: Walt Havenstein, Chairman
Dean Kamen, Founder

We are very pleased to announce that the FIRST Board of Directors has appointed an outstanding new President for FIRST: Jon Dudas, the former U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Jon will be starting in early July.

Mr. Dudas is currently a partner with the law firm Foley, Lardner LLC, specializing in patent policy issues. He joined Foley after serving for five years as the Under Secretary and Director of the USPTO and two prior years as the Deputy Director. As the U.S.A.’s top Intellectual Property (IP) official, Jon personally spearheaded an unprecedented number of patent cooperation and development missions with Brazil, China, Europe, India and several other countries to improve IP systems globally and help inventors establish and enforce IP rights throughout the world. As the CEO of the USPTO, he led a performance-based government agency with 9000 employees and a $2 billion annual budget. Prior to this role, Mr. Dudas held several senior staff positions for the House of Representatives. He started his career in private legal practice in Chicago.

Jon has been an unwavering, long term supporter of FIRST, appearing as a featured speaker at numerous FIRST events. He can easily relate to the students that FIRST serves since Jon and his wife, Nicole, have four children ranging from 7 to 16 years old.

We would like to thank Paul Gudonis again for his many contributions during the last five seasons and his commitment to helping during this transition.

Please join us in welcoming Jon to his new, expanded commitment to FIRST.

Congratulations to Jon! I cannot imagine a more exciting choice, or one which will be more beneficial to the long-term health of FIRST.



This is the best news I have heard in a long time. What a wonderful choice!

Congrats to FIRST, and to Jon Dudas.

Andy Baker

Good to know that this decision/search didn’t linger on too long. Looking forward to how things might change a bit with this insider from the US government. According to the PR he has done some really big things with more than just the US.:cool:

Congratulations to Jon Dudas and your new position. I hope you enjoy it and continue to improve FIRST!

Hopefully an appropriate question, but what happened to Paul Gudonis? Did he just decide to step down?

Dave made a post a little while back about that.

Congratulations to Jon Dudas and to FIRST.

Thank you. I searched on Bills Blog quick before posting, but didn’t find anything, so I decided to ask.

I had remembered that Dave posted a timely thread and I searched Dave’s posts. Kudos to you for searching.


Congratulations to FIRST and to Jon!

Congrats to all.

Congrats to Jon and FIRST.

Enclosed is a photo of Jon’s visit to the 2006 Championship.

Seems like he drew an interested audience.

Congratulations! Just when we were worried that it would be hard to find a great replacement, the board picks one of the best available. I see great things happening in the next few years.

Very exciting news, indeed! Congratulations, Jon! We’re glad to have you!

With Walt as Chairman, and Jon as President - this is an exciting time to be a part of FIRST!

Best regards,