Next Generation 911

Former Washington DC 911 and 311 Director Karima Holmes presented on “Next Generation 911.” Holmes called for an overhaul of the emergency phone number system from “landline to the digital age,” including capabilities such as video, texting, call-sharing, and more. She said a national upgrade would cost $12-$15 billion. 

About the Speaker

Karima Holmes is a distinguished Senior Leader and Advisor. She has served as executive director at emergency communications centers (ECC) across the U.S. where she overhauled technical infrastructure and critical public safety programs. Holmes also leveraged her industry experience to establish partnerships with local, federal, and international public safety and homeland security response agencies. In these roles, she successfully oversaw a team of over 400+ employees and managed $125M in annual operating and capital budgets. 

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. Karima’s 20+ years of experience leading large scale communication operations includes managing up to 400 FTEs, and execution of a $125M annual budget. 

Ms. Holmes has a B.A. in Criminal Justice and a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Homeland Security. She also is a Registered Public Safety Leader (RPL) with the Association of Public Safety Communication Officials (APCO). In addition, she participated in the 2019 adjudication of the National Emergency Communications Plan (DHS) and is a graduate of the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security’s (CHDS) Executive Leaders Program (2021).

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