DOC Announces New Chair, Members of FirstNet Authority Board; Secretary Gina Raimondo Quoted

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Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo has appointed Stephen Benjamin, mayor Columbia, South Carolina, as the new chairman of the Board of the First Responder Network Authority.

Benjamin joins 10 other newly appointed and reappointed public safety, technology and finance leaders in sitting on the board and ensuring the development of a nationwide public safety broadband network, the Department of Commerce said Tuesday.

To be developed by FirstNet Authority and AT&T, the proposed network is envisioned by DOC to enable communications between first responders and personnel across the federal government during emergency situations.

The new members serving in their first three-year terms are:

  • Benjamin, also vice chair of the Global Parliament of Mayors
  • Alexandra Fernandez Navarro, commissioner of the Puerto Rico Public Service Advisory Group
  • Kristin Graziano, member of the Major Country Sheriffs of America
  • Peter Koutoujian, resident of the Major County Sheriffs in America
  • Warren Mickens, retired vice president of CenturyLink Communications
  • Sylvia Moir, retired police chief of the Tempe Police Department in Arizona
  • Jocelyn Moore, member of the DraftKings board of directors

Meanwhile, the other leaders reappointed for their second terms are:

  • Richard Carrizzo, chief of the Southern Platte Fire Protection District in Kansas City, Missouri
  • Brian Crawford, executive vice president and chief administrative officer of Willis-Knighton Health System
  • Billy Hewes, mayor of Gulfport, Mississippi
  • Paul Patrick, a division director at the Utah Department of Health


“Their backgrounds and experience reflect the diversity of FirstNet network users and will enable the Board to look to the future for investment opportunities and sound financial management to maintain the only public-private nationwide public safety broadband network,” explained Raimondo.

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