Mike Valentine, Principal, PE, MPA
Mike Valentine has worked in the private sector specializing in water and wastewater engineering for over 30 years.  He learns something new every day at Valentine Environmental Engineers but he just took on a wealth of knowledge while earning and receiving his Master of Public Administration (MPA) at University of Southern California, Sol Price School of Public Policy.  Mike wanted to further develop his professional expertise, specifically in the public sector to gain a firm grasp of private-public partnerships knowing the water industry is moving in that direction on a large scale.


The mission at Valentine is to provide clients with progressive, out-of-the-box thinking to produce successful projects that ultimately preserve the future of water.  Understanding the private-public partnership arena in a better light and seeing things from the client’s eye gives him and his team the ability to improve project delivery and client communication.  The MPA curriculum provided Mike with additional tools and insights into the public arena – issues they face, constraints they tackle, and how they deal with these issues and constraints.  Coupled with Mike’s experience in the private world, this additional insight and expertise provides a complete, holistic understanding of the public-private working relationship.

“I work with municipalities every day and it was essential to me to better understand how we can work together to create sustainable solutions to tough problems,” said Mike Valentine, principal at Valentine Environmental Engineers.  Read more about Valentine’s vision and mission.

Community Gardens

The highlight of Mike’s experience was working with highly educated and experienced individuals in both the public and private disciplines through various team projects and assignments which expanded his awareness and appreciation for these working relationships.  He also experienced the best of the best in terms of social media strategies as a communication tool through the online program.

Mike and his project team enjoyed the much appraised Community Gardens project in the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego, an area focused on revitalization by USC Price’s namesake, Sol Price, and his nonprofit Price Charities.  Urban agriculture can be a source of neighborhood pride, drive civic participation, improve health and food access, and be an economic catalyst. The group recommended ways these community gardens can become self-governed, sustainable enterprises through community engagement, leadership development, intersectional collaborations, and supportive structures and systems.  Learn more about this and other projects at http://news.usc.edu/#!/article/52601/from-san-diego-to-zimbabwe-online-mpa-students-tackle-social-issues/.

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