WASHINGTON, District of Columbia – On February 23, 2022, after a 13-month executive search, Mayor Bowser announced that Acting Director Karima Holmes would return to District government as Director of the Office of Unified Communications, which she previously led from 2016 to 2021.
During her first tenure at OUC, Director Holmes created infrastructural redundancy for the OUC emergency operations and launched the Office of Professional Standards and Development. Over the past two decades, Director Holmes 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. She has proven herself to be a seasoned public safety professional and a recognized emergency communications industry leader. Holmes has continuously leveraged her industry experience to establish partnerships with local and federal law enforcement and homeland security agencies in every jurisdiction in which she served.
On Tuesday, December 6, 2022, at the last legislative session of the year, the Council of the District of Columbia is set to vote on Holmes’ confirmation. Mayor Bowser, MPD Chief Robert Contee and FEMS Chief John Donnelly, expressed their support for her confirmation at a holiday season public safety presser last Friday.
“We have outstanding leadership at OUC and we in our administration are very troubled that the council has not given my nominee a hearing,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said. “The council has indicated to reporters that they will try to block her nomination.”
“I have answered every question. I have every piece of document. I have investigated every call. We are very transparent,” Holmes said. “I have the backing of the industry, I have the backing of our public safety partners, whom I’ve worked with for about seven years now and our mayor. I am here to help.”
Local officials, industry representatives, and others from across the nation expressed their support for the passing of Holmes’ confirmation resolution, praising her leadership, expertise, and integrity.
In a letter signed by the eight 911 Center directors who serve on the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments 911 Directors Subcommittee, the officials stated, “We were all saddened by her departure last year and quickly felt the impact of the loss of leadership and collaboration. With her return, we have already seen collaboration improve exponentially and her leadership in D.C. is recognized both locally and nationally. For all these reasons, we wholeheartedly support Karima Holmes and welcome her home.”
Please find below statements of support of Acting Director Holmes’ confirmation in their entirety.