Commerce Department Announces Members of FirstNet Board

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today named four leading experts on public safety, wireless broadband communications, and state and local government to serve three-year terms on the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Board. FirstNet is an independent authority within Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) mandated by Congress to develop, build and operate the first nationwide wireless public safety broadband network. The network will enable better communication among local, state, regional, tribal, and national emergency services personnel, improving response time and saving lives.

“I appreciate the willingness of these individuals to serve our nation by lending their expertise to the task of building this historic nationwide public safety broadband network,” said Secretary Pritzker. “The Board will continue the important work of ensuring our firefighters, police, and emergency responders have the most advanced technology to communicate effectively and save lives.”

The FirstNet Board represents the interests of a wide range of stakeholders, including public safety; states, territories, tribes and localities; and urban and rural residents. The Commerce Department works with the FirstNet Board’s Governance Committee to select members who bring considerable public safety, network, technology, and/or finance expertise to the group.

Secretary Pritzker reappointed two current Board members to another term:

  • Kevin McGinnis, emergency medical services executive, Maine
  • Annise Parker, Mayor, City of Houston, Texas

In addition, the Secretary appointed two new members to the Board:

  • Neil Cox, technology executive, Illinois
  • Edward Horowitz, venture capitalist, New York

“I am confident that the FirstNet Board has the right mix of individuals with varied experiences in public safety, telecommunications, finance and state and local government to effectively oversee the FirstNet organization as it plans for the deployment of this historic network,” said Lawrence E. Strickling, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator. “I also want to thank Tim Bryan and Frank Plastina for their service to this important mission”

The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 created FirstNet, and Congress directed that FirstNet be governed by a 15-person Board, with the Secretary of Homeland Security, the U.S. Attorney General and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget named as permanent Board members. Congress charged the Secretary of Commerce with selecting the remaining 12 members.

The terms of four FirstNet Board members will expire on August 20: Tim Bryan, Kevin McGinnis, Mayor Annise Parker, and Frank Plastina. Bryan and Plastina did not seek reappointment to the Board.

To view the bios of the FirstNet Board of Directors, visit: To learn more about FirstNet, visit: