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Monday, September 20th, 2021

Commerce Department announces two appointments to FirstNet Board

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The Department of Commerce has appointed Karima Holmes and Matt Slinkard to the First Responder Network Authority Board (FirstNet Authority).

The FirstNet Authority’s mission, per authorities, is to ensure the building, deployment, and operation of FirstNet, the nationwide broadband network that equips first responders to save lives and protect communities.

“These experienced, highly qualified new Board members will ensure FirstNet continues to deliver for America’s emergency responders,” Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said. “I thank our new members for bringing their leadership to the Board and guiding FirstNet in its mission to save lives and keep our communities safe.”

Holmes, director of the Office of Unified Communications, Washington, D.C., supervises all of the District’s emergency 911 and basic city service 311 call activities, leading efforts to prepare the District’s dispatch centers to accept Next-Generation 911.

Slinkard serves as executive assistant Chief of Police in Houston, Texas, where officials said he manages the investigative and special operations functions that include 22 divisions and five commands.

Holmes and Slinkard’s appointments bring the FirstNet Board to a full complement, officials noted, with 12 non-permanent members selected by the Department of Commerce and three permanent seats filled by the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

“As FirstNet expands its public safety network throughout the country and supports our first responders, I’m confident in the FirstNet Authority Board’s membership and leadership under Ed Horowitz,” Diane Rinaldo, acting assistant secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator, said. “I also want to thank our outgoing members, Teri Takai and Richard Ross, for their service to FirstNet and the public safety community.”