Chief Strategy Officer and Senior Vice President
Over the past 30 years, Paul Rainwater has distinguished himself as one of the nation’s most experienced disaster recovery funding professionals. Local, state, and federal government agencies including the HUD National Disaster Recovery Unit - as well as the executive branch - have relied on his collaboration to develop action plans, policies, and deployment strategies that promote environmental justice by prioritizing equitable rebuilding and development for historically vulnerable communities.
Paul helped design and then led the Louisiana Road Home Program - the largest housing reconstruction program in U.S. history. After the 2016 floods in Louisiana, he worked with Governor John Bel Edwards to secure additional funds. In response to Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey, he helped Governor Chris Christie’s staff develop the state’s federal aid request and response plan.
Through successful congressional testimony, Paul was responsible for the appropriation of more than $14B in FEMA and HUD programs approved for Louisiana after hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and Ike. He played a significant role in the settlements and negotiations surrounding the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, ultimately serving as operations manager working directly with the White House in recovery efforts. Paul has also led successful emergency management initiatives for the City of New Orleans’ Sewerage & Water Board, the Restore Louisiana Program, and The Louisiana Watershed Initiative.
Earlier in his career, Paul served as Legislative Director for U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu’s office negotiating provisions related to environmental justice and racial disparity issues involving the recovery of New Orleans after Katrina. As Chief of Staff for Louisiana Governor Jindal’s administration, Paul worked closely with the Bush and Obama administrations as well as Congress on racial disparity and environmental justice. He also served as Executive Director of the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA).
A colonel in the United States Army Reserves and Louisiana National Guard, Paul earned a Legion of Merit, a Bronze Star and Combat Action Badge for deployments to Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
Salve Regina University
M.A. International Relations
B.A. Government Studies
Executive Program Management
Federally Funded Programs
Community and Hazard Mitigation Planning
Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR)
FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Programs (HMGP)