Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced today that he has appointed Tip Osterthaler as chair of the FirstNet Authority Board.

Osterthaler, a retired U.S. Air Force Brigadier General and private sector CEO, was initially appointed to the board in 2018. He has served as the chair of FirstNet’s Finance Committee and as a member of the Governance and Personnel Committee.

“Tip Osterthaler has been an instrumental FirstNet Board member who will bring exceptional leadership to the organization during the next phase of FirstNet implementation,” said Ross. “FirstNet’s mission has proved even more critical during the COVID-19 pandemic, and I am confident Tip will excel in his new role as he ensures first responders have the connectivity they need to support the American people.

Osterthaler will replace Edward Horowitz, who is completing his two-year term as chair on August 19, 2020. Horowitz will remain on the board until his term expires in August 2021.

The FirstNet Authority Board oversees FirstNet, a Federal government entity within the Department of Commerce that is working with AT&T to build out a nationwide broadband communications network for first responders. The board consists of 15 individuals with expertise in public safety, technical, networking, and/or financial matters. The Secretary of Commerce appoints 12 members, and the board also includes the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Attorney General, and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget as permanent members.

“As Chair, I will ensure FirstNet Authority continues to deliver what public safety needs to stay safe and protect our communities,” said Osterthaler. “I thank Ed Horowitz for his service and leadership as the Chair during a critical time in the evolution of the organization and the network. I look forward to working with Ed, the Board, and the entire FirstNet Authority team as we drive FirstNet forward for America’s first responders.”

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs