Please join us in congratulating José Valenzuela on a well-deserved promotion to Vice President and Director of Tidal Basin Caribe. Our Tidal Basin Caribe branch serves Puerto Rico in housing and infrastructure recovery, providing support with federal funding opportunities and program management. José has had a major part in our mitigation efforts both on and off the island since he joined Tidal Basin more than two years ago.
With over two decades of experience in government, public policy, planning, regulations, floodplain management, grants management, and environmental risk management, José has worked on a dozen federally declared disasters in Puerto Rico throughout his professional career. He first joined Tidal Basin from his previous post as State Hazard Mitigation Officer (SHMO) for Puerto Rico, which he was appointed to following hurricanes Irma and Maria.
During his time as SHMO for Puerto Rico, he oversaw FEMA’s largest Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) award ($2.9 billion) and largest Code Enforcement mitigation grant award ($144 million). He led the mitigation team to develop a comprehensive mitigation grant program and initiated an extensive standardization and update process for 78 local mitigation plans across the island. His responsibilities also included coordinating all efforts related to risk reduction including the FEMA Mitigation Assessment Team (MAT) report for hurricanes Irma and Maria, the adoption of the Advisory Base Flood Elevations (ABFE), and the implementation of the 2018 ICC Building Codes. His efforts were recognized with the 2019 Community Service Award by the International Code Council.
He was appointed in January 2017 as an Associate Member and Vice President of the Puerto Rico Planning Board, the agency that manages the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), land use regulations, and planning for the island. He was also appointed by the Director of the Puerto Rico Permits Management Office as an Associate Member of the Adjudicative Board, which is responsible for the evaluation and determination of all discretionary permit applications.
Beginning in 2009, he served Puerto Rico as the Advisor to the Governor on Energy, Environment, Infrastructure, Permitting and Planning Affairs, a position he held during the entire term of the administration. As the Governor’s advisor, he actively participated in the drafting process of the Puerto Rico Energy Reform, which culminated in the approval of Acts Nos. 82 and 83 of July 19, 2010, the Permits Reform Act, and the Public Private Partnership Act.
José first joined Tidal Basin as Deputy Director of Mitigation in 2019 and quickly moved into a higher leadership position as Senior Director in service to our mitigation and grant management efforts. His role has included providing expertise and strategy on hazard mitigation, floodplain management, disaster planning work, and disaster recovery consulting for FEMA programs such as HMA (HMGP, FMA, and PDM), NFIP, CRS, and PA, among others. He also provides counsel regarding available services to program applicants, state grantees, and other eligible entities seeking grant support and has served as Consultant for the State of Hawaii, HMGP for DR 4365, 4366, and 4395.
Over the last year, José has taken on the additional role of Project Manager on the Corporación del Proyecto ENLACE del Caño Martin Peña program, overseeing the development and submission of HMGP grant applications as well as any prospective grant funding opportunities through the Community Development Block Grant – Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) program.