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Director, Office of Unified Communications, District of Columbia
Term Expires: August 2022
Karima Holmes serves as the Director of the Office of Unified Communications (OUC) for the District of Columbia. The OUC is the consolidated Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) serving the District’s 700,000 residents and 20 million annual visitors. OUC manages the city’s emergency 9-1-1and non-emergency and basic city service 3-1-1 call activities and maintains the public safety radio communications infrastructure for police, fire and emergency medical dispatch. Responsible for supporting the Secret Service and all presidential movements, while maintaining radio interoperability with public safety entities across the National Capital Region, the OUC handles a combined 3.1 million 9-1-1 and 3-1-1 calls and 12 million push-to-talk transmissions annually.
A seasoned public safety professional, Ms. Holmes started her career on the front line as a communications officer and rose up through the ranks from Standards Manager, Training Coordinator, Quality Assurance Supervisor, Communications Sergeant, and Assistant Director, to ultimately serve as the executive director of PSAPs in large metropolitan areas in the states of Georgia and Texas, before accepting her position in the District. Over the course of her career, Ms. Holmes has been responsible for overhauling software platforms, technical infrastructure, and other critical programs to evolve PSAPs into entities poised to embrace NG911 advancements.
With an eye toward supporting the national efforts around the industry’s migration to NG911, Ms. Holmes also joined the FCC’s Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC) Work Group I and is working with the group to identify measures to enhance the reliability and effectiveness of NG911 through routing redundancy and maintenance and also on the mitigation of outage threats to both legacy 911 and NG911 systems.
Ms. Holmes has both a B.A. in Criminal Justice and a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Homeland Security. She also holds an Emergency Number Professional (ENP) Certification from the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) and is a Registered Public Safety Leader (RPL) with the Association of Public Safety Communication Officials (APCO). Holmes also currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) 911 Directors Committee and as the District of Columbia’s state representative with the National Association of State 911 Administrators (NASNA).