Victoria Salinas has worked with communities across the United States and internationally to build resilience and recover after major disasters. Passionate about driving social impact centered in partnership and community resilience, she has a steadfast focus on ensuring equitable outcomes for all.
Ms. Salinas is an appointee in the Biden-Harris Administration and currently serves at the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as the Associate Administrator for Resilience. FEMA Resilience aims to help communities across the United States equitably adapt, survive, recover and thrive in the face of natural disasters, climate change, and security threats, through a variety of programs that aim to help communities better understand their risk; transfer risk through insurance; and build the capacity to prepare, protect, respond, and recover from disasters.
Previously serving as the Chief Resilience Officer and Deputy City Administrator for Oakland, California, Ms. Salinas spearheaded planning, policy, and legislative efforts to address climate, disaster, and socio-economic vulnerability. At the World Bank, the United Nations, and in her previous experience at FEMA, she worked alongside officials at all levels of government to plan recovery efforts following major disasters. She started her career in public service following Hurricane Katrina, as a Presidential Management Fellow at FEMA, where she helped lead federal interagency efforts to develop new policies and programs that now guide disaster recovery in the U.S.
Most recently, Ms. Salinas served as the Vice President for Programs and Communication at the non-profit FUSE Corps, where she focused on strengthening the capacity of local government to address pressing community challenges. She partnered with government leaders from 35 cities and counties, ranging from Los Angeles County to the City of Birmingham, Alabama to embed and support FUSE Executive Fellows tackling projects related to climate change, justice reform, affordable housing, inclusive economic development, and equitable access to government services. Ms. Salinas also led the development of FUSE’s racial equity programming, the creation of results measurement systems for all projects, and a solutions-based journalism initiative that lifts up promising practices in local government.
Ms. Salinas has a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard Kennedy School and a bachelor’s degree from the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. She is a Chilean American who grew up in Austin, Texas and considers Oakland, California her second home. She has two sons and is married to a serial entrepreneur.