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Office of the Bureau Chief, Public Safety & Homeland Security Bureau

The Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB) advises, makes recommendations to the Commission, or acts for the Commission under delegated authority, in all matters pertaining to public safety, homeland security, national security, emergency management and preparedness, disaster management, and ancillary operations. The Bureau has responsibility for coordinating public safety, homeland security, national security, emergency management and preparedness, disaster management, and related activities within the Commission, including:

  • Public safety communications (including 911 centers and first responders);
  • Priority emergency communications;
  • Public safety and disaster outreach functions (e.g. , coordinating with PSAPs, first responders, governmental agencies, and others);
  • Alert and warning of U.S. citizens;
  • Continuity of government operations (COG) and Continuity of Operations (COOP) planning;
  • Disaster management coordination (i.e., infrastructure reporting and analysis in times of disaster);
  • Disaster management outreach;
  • Communications infrastructure protection;
  • Network reliability and interoperability;
  • Network security;

Specific responsibilities of PSHSB are contained in section 0.191 of the Commission's rules and its delegations of authority are contained in section 0.392 of the Commission's rules.

The Bureau Chief, or that person's designee, acts as Alternate FCC Homeland Security and Defense Coordinator and principal to the National Communications System.

Admiral David G. Simpson, Chief
Rear Admiral (ret.) David Simpson was appointed Chief of the Federal Communications Commission’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau in November 2013. As Bureau Chief, he oversees public safety, homeland security, emergency management, cybersecurity, and disaster preparedness activities at the FCC. He works with public and private partners and through the rulemaking process to deliver state-of-the-art communications that are accessible, reliable, resilient, and secure, and to help ensure that communications networks meet the public safety needs of Americans during emergencies. He brings to this role more than 20 years of Information and Communications Technology experience supporting the Department of Defense, working closely with other agencies to provide secure communication services and improve cyberdefense readiness. Admiral Simpson served previously as the vice director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). In that capacity, he helped lead an organization responsible for planning, developing and providing interoperable global communications for the Defense community. He also served as a senior delegate to the 2012 ITU World Radio Telecommunications Conference and to the World Conference on International Telecom (WCIT). From 2009 through 2010, as Director for Communications and Information Services for U.S. Forces Iraq in Baghdad, he synchronized strategic and operational-level communications for U.S. Forces and assisted the Government of Iraq in building capacity for the information and communications technology sector. Simpson’s extensive career includes assignments with responsibility for networks, IT, and crisis communications for afloat and other deployed forces in Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America. Simpson is a native of Burbank, California and a 1982 graduate of the United States Naval Academy. He earned a master's degree in systems technology from the Naval Postgraduate School.

David Furth, Deputy Chief
David Furth is the Deputy Chief of the Commission's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau. He is responsible for overseeing policy issues pertaining to public safety and homeland security including public safety spectrum and licensing, E911, Emergency Alert System, and CALEA. Mr. Furth served as Acting Bureau Chief from January to July 2009. From September, 2006 through January, 2009, Mr. Furth was an Associate Bureau Chief. In this capacity, he was responsible for a variety of legal and policy issues in the Bureau, most notably the 800 MHz rebanding proceeding. From March 2003 to September 2006, Mr. Furth was Associate Bureau Chief and Counsel in the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. Since joining the Commission in 1992, Mr. Furth has served as an attorney in the Private Radio Bureau and the Wireless Bureau, Legal Advisor to Commissioner Rachelle Chong, Deputy Chief and Chief of the Commercial Wireless Division, and Senior Legal Advisor in the Wireless Bureau. Prior to joining the Commission, Mr. Furth was in private law practice in Washington, DC and San Francisco, California. He received his B.A. from Harvard University and his J.D. from Stanford Law School.

Lisa Fowlkes, Deputy Chief

Lisa Michele Fowlkes is the Deputy Bureau Chief of the Commission's Public Safety & Homeland Security Bureau. Ms. Fowlkes is responsible for a number of issues handled by PSHSB, including cybersecurity and public safety-related privacy matters; communications reliability, including 911 reliability and outage reporting; and emergency alerting. Ms. Fowlkes oversees the Bureau's Cybersecurity and Communications Reliability Division.

Ms. Fowlkes has led many of the Commission’s public safety efforts including its adoption of rules to enhance the reliability of 911 networks, expansion of outage reporting rules to Internet Protocol-based services such as interconnected Voice over IP, and adoption of rules establishing the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), which allows consumers to receive timely and accurate emergency alerts over WEA-capable mobile devices.

Ms. Fowlkes’s career spans over 20 years during which she has held several positions within the FCC, including Assistant Chief of the FCC's Enforcement Bureau, where she specialized in the enforcement of the FCC’s broadcast obscenity and indecency rules, as well as 911, Emergency Alert System and other public safety requirements and served as the Designated Federal Official for the FCC’s Independent Panel Reviewing the Impact of Hurricane Katrina on Communications Networks as well as the FCC’s Diversity Committee. In addition, Ms. Fowlkes has served as Deputy Chief of the FCC's Public Safety & Private Wireless Division, Senior Attorney-Advisor in the Office of General Counsel, Supervisory Attorney in the Cable Services Bureau and Attorney-Advisor in the Mass Media Bureau.

Ms. Fowlkes also practiced law as a Senior Associate in a Washington, DC law firm where she represented public safety agencies, broadcast licensees, critical infrastructure service providers, government defense contractors and equipment manufacturers before the FCC.

Ms. Fowlkes is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. She is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

Gene Fullano, Associate Chief

Jeffery Goldthorp, Associate Chief
Jeff Goldthorp is Associate Bureau Chief for Cybersecurity and Communications Reliability and Acting Chief of the Communications Systems Analysis Division in the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau. In this role he provides strategic and technical leadership on cybersecurity initiatives. As Acting Chief of CSAD, he also leads a technical and legal staff in the analysis of communications systems reliability and security, including the collection and analysis of communications network outage data, establishing statistically meaningful portraits of communications network reliability and working with industry to facilitate improvements to reliability and security. In times of disaster, Mr. Goldthorp's Division collects and analyzes data that is used to establish more accurate assessments of the condition of communications infrastructure in affected areas. Mr. Goldthorp is also the Designated Federal Officer of the Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council.

Mr. Goldthorp earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from Lehigh University and an MS in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University. He began his career in 1984 as an electrical engineer with Bell Communications Research, which subsequently became Telcordia Technologies. At Telcordia Mr. Goldthorp earned a patent for a DSP-based near-end crosstalk simulator that is in use today in Telcordia's laboratories and was General Manager of Network Access Engineering Services. He joined the Commission in 2001. Prior to his current position, he was Chief of the Network Technology Division in the Office of Engineering and Technology.

Erika Olsen, Special Counsel
Erika Olsen is Special Counsel to the Chief of the Commission's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau. In this role, Ms. Olsen is responsible for addressing policy initiatives for the Bureau including those related to public safety spectrum, including the 700 MHz band, 911 and E911, the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), and the Emergency Alert System (EAS).

Before joining the Bureau, Ms. Olsen served as the Acting Legal Advisor to FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin for wireless and international issues, and previously served as the Deputy Chief of the Telecommunications Access Policy Division in the Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau. Prior to joining the Commission, Ms. Olsen was a partner in the telecommunications practice of a large international law firm. Ms. Olsen received her B.A. from Yale University, and her J.D., magna cum laude, from the Washington and Lee University School of Law, where she was elected to the Order of the Coif.

Sheila Hayes, Assistant Chief for Management

Jaime Rivas, Acting Deputy Chief for Management


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