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Karima Holmes, Director, Office of Unified Communications DC911/DC311
Karima Holmes is a seasoned public safety professional and a recognized 9-1-1 industry leader. She has served as executive director at emergency communications centers (ECC) across the U.S. where she overhauled their technical infrastructure and critical public safety programs. Holmes also leveraged her industry experience to establish partnerships with local and federal law enforcement and homeland security agencies in every jurisdiction in which she served.
Highly notable is her oversight of Washington, DC’s deployment of its cache of 8,000 radios for National Special Security Events, State of the Union Addresses, and the 2017 and 2020 Presidential Inaugurations. In fact, Ms. Holmes was at the helm of the sole ECC in the nation’s capital throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the ongoing civil unrest of 2020, and the January 6, 2021 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol.
In October 2019, she was appointed to the FirstNet Authority Board by the U.S. Commerce Secretary. Chosen for her public safety expertise and substantive technical experience, in this role she supports the development and operation of the country's first and only nationwide public safety broadband network dedicated to first responders. In 2021, Ms. Holmes chaired the Federal Communications Commission’s 911 Fee Diversion Strikeforce subcommittee on the Impacts of 911 Fee Diversion and coauthored the Strikeforce’s final report and recommendations on ending the practice of diverting 911 fees for non-911 purposes, which was submitted to Congress.
After serving as Senior Director at ShotSpotter where she led a team of analysts in the use of patented technology to detect, locate and alert police to gunshots in real time, Holmes returned to the District of Columbia government and currently serves as Director of the Office of Unified Communications. She is also the treasurer for the 911der Women Inc. Board, a nonprofit created to ensure that women are empowered to contribute significantly to the public safety industry and push through roadblocks in pursuit of their goals. Ms. Holmes has 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). In addition, she is a graduate of the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security’s (CHDS) Executive Leaders Program.