Wilbur Ross Appoints New Board Members for FirstNet®

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Board Members Appointment

The Secretary of US Department of Commerce, Wilbur Ross recently appointed five FirstNet® board members and appointed Neil Cox again, finishing an overhaul of FirstNet®. It is charged with managing the deployment of the countrywide broadband network of the fastest internet provider AT&T®, devoted to public safety. As per the department’s press release, its new board members are:

  • Richard Carrizzo, who is Southern Platte Fire Protection District’s Chief, and serves as the lead fire rep on the policy board managing the 911 system in the region.
  • Welton Chase, Jr., US Army’s Retired Brigadier General, Army IT (Signal), who led its biggest theater IT organization that supports more than 430,000 users across eighty-one data centers in thirty-eight states.
  • Billy Hewes, Gulfport Mayor, who played an important part in recovery operations from man-made and natural disasters.
  • Brian Crawford, Shreveport City’s Chief Administrative Officer, who is responsible for its police, public works and fire departments.
  • Paul R. Patrick, the Division Director of Utah Health Department’s Family Health and Preparedness, and National Association of State EMS Officials’ previous president. He has also led the FirstNet® Public Safety Advisory Committee for many previous months.

Neil Cox, on the other hand, presently chairs Technology Committee of the FirstNet® board.

“I am proud to announce the selection of these highly qualified new board members, whose experience in public service and the private sector will ensure FirstNet® continues to provide the world-class communications network our emergency responders need,” Ross said. “I thank our new members for their willingness to join the board and guide FirstNet® in its mission to save lives and keep our communities safe.”

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This sentiment was echoed by David Redl, the Assistant Secretary for DoC’s Communication and Information, and NTIA’s Administrator. “I want to thank and welcome all of the new board members and congratulate Neil Cox on his reappointment,” he said. “I am confident we have the right board in place, under the leadership of [new FirstNet® Chair] Ed Horowitz, to guide FirstNet® as it deploys around the country and connects our first responders.”

Edward Horowitz expressed his full support for the appointees too. “I am pleased to welcome our newest members to the FirstNet® Board,” he said. “Each are experts in their fields—from local leaders to public safety officials and business and technology executives. I want to thank Secretary Ross for supporting FirstNet® with these new appointments and the reappointment of Neil Cox. With these accomplished leaders on board, we are set to drive FirstNet’s success—now and in the future.”

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