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V.I. Native Named FEMA Division Director

Dec. 19, 2007 – Mark A. Walters, born and raised in the U.S Virgin Islands, has been promoted to an executive level position at the Federal Emergency Management Administration regional office in New York City, according to a press release from FEMA Region II Regional Administrator Stephen Kempf Jr. Region II covers the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, New Jersey and New York.
Walters began working for FEMA on St. Thomas following Hurricane Hugo in l989, helping hurricane victims get home repair grants and managing construction of new homes. For the next five years, he traveled nation-wide working on disasters like Three Kings Floods in Puerto Rico, Hurricane Andrew, tornadoes in Mississippi and a Nor'ester in New Jersey.
In l993, he accepted a full-time position at the FEMA Region II office in Puerto Rico, where he worked as a manager on such disasters as Hurricanes Marilyn, Bertha, Lenny and Hortense. Another promotion took him to FEMA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. to establish a national processing center. He was then sent to FEMA Region II in New York City as a lead disaster assistance officer. After working on 9/11 in New York City, Walters spent nine months in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina as a FEMA liaison.
"I will never forget Hurricane Hugo," Walters says. "For me, Hugo opened a door to my public service career with FEMA helping disaster victims. "
In his new position as Director of the Management Division for FEMA Region II, Walters is responsible for the financial management of disaster grants, human resources and information technology support, including the FEMA bunker on St. Thomas. In addition, he will be responsible for the financial oversight of multi-billion dollar homeland security grants recently transferred to FEMA from the Department of Homeland Security.
His father, Benjamin E. Walters of St. Thomas, passed away on July 25, 2007. His aunt, Lynnette Walters, is an accounting manager at the V.I. Port Authority. He donates his time and services as a photographer and Web master for the V.I. Amateur Boxing Association. Walters is married to Susanna Velazquez of the Dominican Republic. They have two children, Matthew and Meaghan, and they live in New Jersey.

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