U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the appointment of two leaders in public safety and law enforcement to serve on the Board of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority).

The new members bring the FirstNet Board to a full complement, 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. The Board oversees the activities of the FirstNet Authority to ensure the building, deployment and operation of FirstNet, the nationwide public safety broadband network.

“These new Board members will ensure FirstNet continues to deliver for America’s emergency responders,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “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.”

Secretary Ross appointed two members to the FirstNet Authority Board:

  1. Karima Holmes, Director, Office of Unified Communications, Washington, D.C., supervises all of the District’s emergency 911 and basic city service 311 call activities. She led efforts to prepare the District’s dispatch centers to accept Next-Generation 911.
  2. Matt Slinkard, Executive Assistant Chief of Police, Houston, Texas, serves as an executive command officer with the Houston Police Department where he manages the investigative and special operations functions that include 22 divisions and five commands.

“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,” said Diane Rinaldo, Acting Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator. “I also want to thank our outgoing members Teri Takai and Richard Ross for their service to FirstNet and the public safety community.”

“I am pleased to welcome our newest members to the FirstNet Authority Board,” said Chair Edward Horowitz. “They are experts in their fields and bring additional substantive technical and public safety experience to the Board as we continue to drive the FirstNet Roadmap forward based on public safety’s priorities.  I want to personally thank Secretary Ross for his continued support of FirstNet with these new appointments.”