Noah Valenstein, First Presidential Fellow in Water Policy at Florida Gulf Coast University, Joins American Flood Coalition As Senior Advisor
Noah Valenstein led Florida Department of Environmental Protection as Secretary and State Resiliency Officer before being chosen as its inaugural Presidential Fellow in Water Policy at Florida Gulf Coast University. As Secretary he advocated for Everglades restoration, spring protection, and coastal resilience while serving Florida – now as its first Presidential Fellow in Water Policy!
But in his application to DEP, he failed to include any list of businesses that he and his wife manage and which have received funding from political and lobbying interests.
Early Life and Education
Noah was an iconic Biblical figure who survived the Flood thanks to his righteous behavior and obedience to God (Genesis 6-9). God chose Noah to save both his family and all forms of wildlife (Genesis 6-9) by having him build an ark large enough for all members of his household as well as breeding pairs from every species (Genesis 6-9).
Secretary Valenstein joined the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in May 2017 after years of working on water policy issues in various capacities within the Executive Office of Governor, Florida House of Representatives, and with several leading environmental nonprofit groups. His passion lies in forging relationships between diverse stakeholder groups with an aim of protecting natural resources and the environment.
Noah Valenstein is the founding partner of Brightwater Strategies Group and serves as senior advisor for the American Flood Coalition. With expertise in environmental, agricultural and energy matters at both the Executive Office of Governor Rick Scott and Florida State Legislature as well as leadership positions with several governmental agencies such as Suwannee River Water Management District he brings an abundance of experience working on environmental, agricultural and energy matters to Brightwater Strategies Group.
Since 2007, he has worked at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection as both policy coordinator under former Gov. Rick Scott, and then as secretary and chief resiliency officer.
Valenstein indicated he had provided Florida well by helping to secure its largest environmental budget ever in its history during his tenure. He advised Shawn Hamilton, deputy secretary for land and recreation within his department will serve as interim secretary.
Achievement and Honors
Valenstein served as Florida Department of Environmental Protection secretary, where he led efforts to enhance water quality improvement, Everglades restoration, record funding for Florida natural resources, and coordinate efforts with state leaders and conservation organizations to safeguard iconic lands throughout Florida.
According to a press release, his new role will involve cultivating collaborative relationships between governments and agencies across Florida, and helping focus the school’s efforts on water policy issues. He will also work toward drawing governmental resources towards Southwest Florida while serving as an instructor.
Valenstein visited Stetson University this week for one of his “listening sessions” with local community members to address Florida’s top environmental concerns, such as spring protection and conservation programs like Florida Rural Lands and Forever.
Noah Valenstein, who served as director of Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection under two governors for four years, will bring his environmental expertise to a national audience as a senior adviser with the American Flood Coalition – an alliance comprised of cities, elected officials, military leaders, businesses and others working against rising sea levels.
He served as Executive Director of Suwannee River Water Management District and boasts more than 10 years of government experience. Additionally, Valenstein became Florida Gulf Coast University’s The Water School Presidential Fellow this August.
His contributions at DEP included Everglades and springs restoration, blue-green algae efforts, coastal resilience efforts and coastal resiliency measures. Representatives from Audubon Florida and Nature Conservancy Florida both applauded his leadership.
Valenstein has built an extensive record of public service during his career. Working closely with both Florida House and Senate as well as creating successful platforms for various environmental initiatives, Valenstein served as both Secretary and Chief Resilience Officer at Florida Department of Environmental Protection under both Governor Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis.
Valenstein has led efforts as the state’s environmental chief to secure record funding for Everglades restoration, springs conservation and coastal resiliency initiatives, as well as helping implement Florida Forever: the state land conservation program.
Valenstein currently works at Brightwater Strategies Group, PLLC as a partner and provides strategic guidance and lobbying services for nonprofit and private clients in Florida. Additionally, he serves as Senior Advisor of the American Flood Coalition.