Governor Taps Adrienne Williams-Octalien to Lead Office of Disaster Recovery

Adrienne Williams-Octalien

On Thursday, Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. named Adrienne L. Williams-Octalien to be director of the Office of Disaster Recovery under the Virgin Islands Public Finance Authority (PFA).

Williams-Octalien, a former executive director at the Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority, has more than 20 years of experience in the housing industry and has worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) since November 2017. She most recently served as the hazard mitigation branch director and as FEMA’s program operations sector chief of the Public Assistance, Hazard Mitigation, and Environmental and Historic Preservation Programs.

“The Bryan-Roach administration is committed to continuing the recovery and rebuilding effort and to utilizing the recovery funding available through the Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery program to procure a more resilient infrastructure, which in turn will support our economic development efforts,” the governor said.

“Adrienne’s career history in the housing industry, her knowledge of urban development, and her successful management of hundreds of millions in federal grant funding over the years makes her the right person at the right time to serve in this capacity. We are looking to her office as a key component in rebuilding our Virgin Islands,” Governor Bryan added.

Williams-Octalien also formerly served as the regional asset manager and the director of the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Programs with HFA. While at its helm, the HCV program was designated with the U.S. Department of Housing Urban Development’s (HUD) premier distinction of “High Performer” and was removed from the troubled list.

Also during her tenure at HFA, she successfully led the development of seven homeownership and rental communities across the territory that provided 332 new housing opportunities totaling $69 million in development costs.

The VIHFA is charged with administering the Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Program with a total allocation of $1.8 billion designated for housing, infrastructure and economic revitalization recovery initiatives, $779 million of which is mandated for mitigation activities that reduce or eliminate the loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters.

Williams- Octalien holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mass Communications and a Master’s in Degree Urban Affairs from Norfolk State University in Virginia.