Dowd, Fitzgerald are out as FirstNet board gains five new members

The board of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) will move forward with five new faces, announced Penny Pritzker, U.S. Secretary of Commerce.

Replacing five members of 12 appointed board members are former Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas; Houston Mayor Annise Parker; Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank; Hennepin County, Minn., Sheriff Richard Stanek; and technology executive Frank Plastina from North Carolina. Additionally, retired telecommunications executive Ed Reynolds was reappointed to the board.

The FirstNet board has 15 total members, with the final three permanent positions rounded out by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Shaun Donovan, director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Lawrence Strickling, assistant secretary of commerce for communications and information and NTIA administrator, said he welcomes "the fresh thinking and energy that new board members will bring to FirstNet." 

The new members fill gaps left by the resignations of former Chairman Sam Ginn and Craig Farrill as well as former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb, whose term was not slated to expire until August 2015 but had expressed his desire to exit the board early. In addition, Charles "Chuck" Dowd and Paul Fitzgerald, both experienced law enforcement leaders who had sought to remain on the board, did not have their two-year terms renewed when they expired last month.

FirstNet is an independent authority within the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). FirstNet was created in 2012 and is mandated by Congress to develop, build and operate the first nationwide wireless public safety broadband network. The LTE network will use 700 MHz, Band 14 spectrum.

Special Report: Sue Swenson, chairwoman, FirstNet- 2014 Influential Women in Wireless

For more:
- see the release and board member bios
- see this FierceMobileGovernment article
- see this IWCE's Urgent Communications article

Related articles:
FirstNet: Dowd, Fitzgerald hope for reappointment to board
FirstNet: Swenson replaces Ginn at helm, puts focus on strategic program roadmap
FirstNet: Costs, deployment details will become clearer in 2015


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