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Former Executive Director of VIHFA Williams Gets Hired By Governor Bryan

CHRISTIANSTED— Governor Albert Bryan, Jr. today named Adrienne Williams-Octalien Director of the Office of Disaster Recovery under the Virgin Islands Public Finance Authority Authority.

Williams-Octalien, a former Executive Director at the Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority has more than 20 years experience in the housing industry and has worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency 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,” Governor Bryan 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 the 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 the Virgin Islands Housing Authority. 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 the Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority, she successfully led the development of 7 homeownership and rental communities across the Virgin Islands 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.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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