Valerie E. Simon is currently the Chief of the Resources Management
office for the Bureau of Reclamation’s Lower Colorado Region and
is a key point of contact for the Department of the Interior’s interests
in the Salton Sea. She has a long career of Federal service beginning
on St. Patrick’s Day 1983 when she joined the United States Marine
Corps after earning her Bachelor’s degree in Social Science from Michigan Technological University.
In 1993, after serving on active duty for ten years, she rejoined the civilian workforce as the Museum Director for the Cocopah Tribe in southern Arizona, where she worked with the Tribe to build and operate their state of the art museum and cultural resources programs. In 1995, she moved to Twentynine Palms, CA to join the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center as an Environmental Protection Specialist, working in the fields of archeology, rangeland management and environmental compliance. Her dual life as a reserve Marine officer saw her in such billets as Operations Officer for the Joint Contact Team Program in Albania. She also taught peace-keeping operations in Mali, Senegal, and Malawi.
Valerie moved to Alaska in late 2001 to take on the challenges of the National Environmental Policy Act and Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration Coordinator for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, traveling extensively to native villages throughout the state. By then a Lieutenant Colonel, she also served in 2002 as the Executive Officer for Alaska’s Joint Military-Civilian Program Annette Island Road project, redeploying shortly thereafter for the invasion of Iraq as a civil affairs officer.
After return from the war, Val retired from the Marine Corps reserve, and in 2007, moved back to southern California to continue working for the BIA in Palm Springs as an environmental professional. A promotional opportunity in 2009 introduced her to Reclamation where she has continued to provide leadership in the fields of cultural and natural resources management and environmental compliance. Her profound interests in the Salton Sea are both professional and personal, as she and her husband, retired 25-year veteran Nevada Highway Patrol Sergeant Scott Simon, treasure their homestead in the nearby Morongo Basin and plan to spend many years enjoying this area they call home.
Valeria E. Simon
Bureau of Reclamation
Lower Colorado Region