Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced the appointment of Chief Richard Carrizzo to serve as Board Chair of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority).
Carrizzo is the Fire Chief for the Southern Platte Fire Protection District in Missouri who was first appointed to the FirstNet Authority Board in 2018 and reappointed in 2021, serving as the Board Vice Chair and the Advocacy Committee Chair. He succeeds Mayor Stephen K. Benjamin, who resigned as Board Chair effective March 31, 2023, to assume a position in the White House.
“Rich Carrizzo has been an outstanding FirstNet Authority Board member who will bring strong leadership to the organization during the next phase of FirstNet implementation,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “I want to thank Mayor Stephen Benjamin for his leadership of the FirstNet Authority Board. Under his leadership, the FirstNet Authority saw the deployment of the initial 5-year network build-out and made critical investments to improve resiliency and coverage on the network. I congratulate Steve on his new position in the White House.”
Representatives from government, industry and public safety serve on the Board to oversee the activities of FirstNet and ensure that the FirstNet Authority and AT&T, its commercial partner, develop, build, and operate a nationwide broadband network that will best equip first responders to save lives and protect U.S. communities.
“Chief Carrizzo will excel as the new FirstNet Authority Board Chair. His steady direction will be a huge asset as FirstNet moves towards future investments to upgrade its network and meet the needs of first responders,” said Alan Davidson, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator. “Chief Carrizzo will bring continuity and leadership during this critical time period.”
The First Responder Network Authority is an independent entity within the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The FirstNet Authority’s mission is to ensure the building, deployment, and operation of the nationwide public safety broadband network that equips first responders to save lives and protect U.S. communities. In March 2017, the Department of Commerce and FirstNet announced a partnership with AT&T to build and operate the first responder network. It is delivering the technologies and infrastructure that public safety relies on for day-to-day operations, disaster response and recovery, and securing of large events.
In the Middle-Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Congress created the FirstNet Authority, and directed that it be governed by a 15-person Board, with the U.S. Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security, 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 non-permanent members and appointing a Board Chair.
About the National Telecommunications and Information Administration
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is the Executive Branch agency that advises the President on telecommunications and information policy issues. NTIA’s programs and policymaking focus largely on expanding broadband Internet access and adoption in America, expanding the use of spectrum by all users, advancing public safety communications, and ensuring that the Internet remains an engine for innovation and economic growth.