Maryland Department of Information Technology Hires David Bahar as Director of Telecommunications Access of Maryland

For immediate release:
August 25, 2019
Contact: Patrick Mulford
patrick.mulford@maryland.gov
410-697-9495

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Former Virginia Relay Manager will oversee all TAM programs, including Maryland Relay and MAT program

BALTIMORE – The Maryland Department of Information Technology (DoIT) announces that David Bahar has been hired as director of Telecommunications Access of Maryland (TAM).

In this role, Bahar will oversee and lead the planning, strategic direction, and facilitation of all TAM programs, including Maryland Relay, the free public service that allows people who are unable to use a standard telephone to make and receive calls, and the Maryland Accessible Telecommunications (MAT) program.

Bahar comes to Maryland from Virginia, where he was most recently the Relay Manager for the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. He possesses 15 years of experience working in government, legislative and regulatory affairs to advance telecommunications access. His previous roles include Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs for Communication Service for the Deaf, where he founded the non-profit organization’s Office of Public Safety, and Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for Convo Communications, where he secured the company’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) certification as a Video Relay Service (VRS) provider and spearheaded development of the industry’s first interoperable Web-based videophone.

He also spent six years as a legislative assistant on Capital Hill, working to improve communications access for people who are Deaf. During his tenure, he pushed to advance the timeline for giving VRS users 10-digit telephone numbers, replacing IP addresses for dialing. Bahar was also involved in developing the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, an accessibility law for the modern age.

In addition to his professional roles, Bahar has served on numerous federal committees and boards pertaining to telecommunications and disability issues. He is a founding board member of the MITRE Telecommunications Relay Services Center of Expertise and a two-term member and workgroup facilitator for the FCC’s Disability Advisory Committee. He currently serves on the board of the Lexington School and Center for the Deaf in East Elmhurst, New York.

Bahar holds a master’s degree in Legislative Affairs from The George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in Politics and Government from the University of Puget Sound.

“I am looking forward to working closely with Maryland’s Deaf community and carrying TAM and Maryland Relay’s legacy of equal telecommunications access into the next generation,” said David Bahar, Director, Telecommunications Access of Maryland.

“Mr. Bahar’s extensive experience and commitment to the deaf and hard of hearing community will be a huge asset to the State of Maryland and to ensuring access to all of its citizens” said Secretary Michael G. Leahy. “DoIT is excited to have Mr. Bahar continue to expand on Governor Hogan’s commitment to ensure that all citizens of Maryland have the telecommunications access they deserve.”

David Bahar currently resides in Bowie, MD with his wife and two sons.

About Maryland Relay
Maryland Relay provides a free public service that allows people, unable to use a standard telephone, to both make and receive calls. The Maryland Accessible Telecommunications (MAT) program distributes State-provided assistive telecommunication devices to qualified applicants. Maryland Relay is easily accessed by dialing 7-1-1 and is overseen by Telecommunications Access of Maryland and the Maryland Department of Information Technology. For more information about Maryland Relay and its services, please visit mdrelay.org or call 800-552-7724 or 410-767-6960 (Voice/TTY) or 443-453-5970 (Video Phone).