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John Valencia

Executive Director, City of San Diego Office of Homeland Security

John Valencia was appointed Executive Director of the City of San Diego’s Office of Homeland Security in November 2014.


Prior to joining the Office of Homeland Security, Valencia served for twelve years on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps as an Armor Officer. His most significant active duty experience includes serving as the Senior Watch Officer for the international military task force that responded to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, and a deployment to Fallujah, Iraq as the leader of a military advisor team. 

Executive Director Valencia joined the Office of Homeland Security in 2008, where he has held previous positions as Supervising Homeland Security Coordinator and Program Manager.  Under Executive Director Valencia’s guidance, the City has lead efforts to strategically invest over $60,000,000 in Urban Areas Security Initiative Funds toward regional risk management and planning programs, infrastructure protection capabilities, interoperable communications, improving regional CBRNE response methods, and strengthening training and exercise programs.

Executive Director Valencia is a nationally-recognized security expert and has provided comments and strategic advice to the Department of Defense Human Factors Engineering Technical Advisory Group, National Homeland Security Association, The International Emergency Management Society, UCSD Strategic Studies Forum, and the National Church Safety and Security Summit, among others. 

Executive Director Valencia also currently serves in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. He was activated and deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan during most of 2012 as the commander of a Civil Affairs Detachment, and he is currently the Executive Officer for 1st Civil Affairs group based at Camp Pendleton, CA.