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Business Observer Friday, Aug. 27, 2021 1 year ago

Former state official named presidential fellow at university

Noah Valenstein worked under two governors.

FORT MYERS — Noah Valenstein, who rose to statewide prominence as Florida’s chief resiliency officer and secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, has been named a presidential fellow in water policy for The Water School at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Valenstein began his new role at the Fort Myers-based school Aug. 7, according to a statement.

In addition to his work on behalf of Governors Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis, the former secretary has served as the executive director of the Suwannee River Water Management District. He also brings more than 10 years of combined governmental experience to FGCU, the release states.

“Noah’s experience serving two consecutive governors as the secretary of DEP will help us advance the agenda of The Water School across the state,” The Water School at FGCU executive director Greg Tolley says in the release. “He will also help us focus our efforts on issues related to water policy.”

Among Valenstein’s first projects for The Water School at FGCU is to work with Mike Savarese to advance and support the Southwest Florida Resiliency Compact, the release states. He’s also scheduled to represent The Water School as a keynote speaker at the American Water Resources Annual Conference in November, in addition to teaching classes.

“Since it was announced two and half years ago, The Water School at FGCU has worked to find solutions to our state’s water issues,” Valenstein says in the release. “I’ve watched this program come into its own over the last few years, and I want to be part of the good work happening here.”

“Being a presidential fellow gives Noah much flexibility,” Tolley adds. “In addition to teaching courses, I look forward to his help establishing greater collaboration with The Water School across the state. His assistance in bringing greater resources to Southwest Florida will help The Water School make even bigger impacts on the region.”




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