(Washington, DC) Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the appointment of Karima Holmes as the Director of the Office of Unified Communications (OUC). OUC consolidates the emergency 911, non-emergency, and 311 call activities from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department (DCFEMS) and customer service operations which connects residents and visitors to essential government services, numbers and information. Holmes, who previously served as the Managing Director of the Southwest Regional Communications Center in Texas, will begin her new role on January 19, 2016.
“Karima brings the experience and passion needed to lead the Office of Unified Communications,” said Mayor Bowser. “She started her career in the emergency communications field and shares my vision for the District. That vision includes ensuring that residents and visitors have the highest quality experience with the District during emergencies by calling 911 or when trying to access government by services through 311.”
During her time as the Managing Director of the Southwest Regional Communications Center – the 911 Call Center for the cities of DeSoto, Duncanville, and Cedar Hill, Texas – Holmes served as the chief spokesperson and managed the emergency communication center for a population of over 150,000 residents. She has also held the positions of Sergeant, Quality Assurance Supervisor, Training Coordinator, and Standards Manager at the Augusta 911 Center in Augusta, Georgia.
Since May, Chris Geldart, the director of DC’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, has served as interim director of OUC.
“I would like to thank Director Geldart and his team who, in 2015, handled a record call volume of 1,464,934 for 911 calls. Under the leadership of Director Geldart, the agency has implemented several reforms including training the first new class of dispatchers in five years and modifying 911 operators call procedures to cut dispatch times. Karima will build on these improvements and continue to reform OUC,” continued Bowser.
Holmes received her Masters of Public Administration with a focus on the Department of Homeland Security and her Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Augusta State University in Augusta, Georgia.