Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, of West Palm Beach, Florida, will succeed David Sumner, K1ZZ, as the chief executive officer of ARRL, effective April 18. In that role, he will oversee all activities at ARRL Headquarters in Newington, Connecticut. Meeting in a special webinar session on January 25, all 15 ARRL Directors voted to elect Gallagher as CEO and Secretary, positions that Sumner will relinquish on April 18. Gallagher will join the ARRL staff as CEO-Elect on February 29, and a transition period will follow.
“I am excited by the prospects of ARRL’s Second Century, but I am equally mindful of Dave Sumner’s enormous 4-decade contribution to our organization and of the extraordinary contributions he has made to advancing the art and science of Amateur Radio, to growing our ranks, and to expanding the sheer enjoyment of ham radio around the world,” Gallagher said.
Licensed in Pennsylvania in 1966 as WA3GRF (and later N4GRF in North Carolina), Gallagher is a member of the West Palm Beach Amateur Radio Group. He describes himself as “an incurable HF DXer and inveterate tinkerer” and credits his first visit to the Franklin Institute’s Amateur Radio station W3TKQ in 1963 for inspiring his interest in ham radio.
Amateur Radio led to an early career in broadcasting. He was a cameraman and technician with WGBH-TV in Boston, the CBS Television Network, and Metromedia’s WIP Radio in Philadelphia.
He joins ARRL following 3 decades as an international investment banker and financial services executive. His career has included senior leadership positions with JP Morgan Chase & Co and CIBC Oppenheimer & Co in New York, and with Wachovia Capital Markets in Charlotte, North Carolina. He has also served as an adjunct professor at the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and as CEO of the Secondary School Admission Test Board in Princeton, New Jersey. Gallagher has served on boards, both public and non-profit, including two NYSE companies, the NPR affiliate in Charlotte, the Executive Board of The PENN Fund at the University of Pennsylvania, and The International Center of Photography.
Gallagher graduated with a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, and he holds an MBA from The Wharton School. He is a graduate of The Lawrenceville School, where he held the Nicholas Noyes scholarship.
In addition to ham radio, Gallagher enjoys saltwater fishing and sailing which, he confesses, is sometimes just an excuse to operate maritime mobile.
At his Florida home along the Intracoastal Waterway, Gallagher has maintained a fairly low Amateur Radio profile, with a wire antenna that, he says, works well into Europe and Latin America. He also has a 40 meter Windom. “I would like to work Asia when I get a better HF antenna solution,” he said. Gallagher has both modern and vintage stations as well as a high-speed multimedia (HSMM) digital repeater.
Gallagher and his wife Lindy Allyn divide their time between West Palm Beach, Florida, and Manhattan. They have three sons. He plans to return to Connecticut; he'd lived previously for 13 years in New Canaan.