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Office of Disaster Assistance | Leadership

Rafaela Monchek

Deputy Associate Administrator
Rafaela Moncheck

The Office of Disaster Assistance provides loans to businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters to repair or replace disaster-damaged property, helping them recover from a declared disaster.

Prior to joining the SBA, Monchek served as the Deputy Assistant Administrator for National Preparedness at the Federal Emergency Management Agency. She had oversight of the doctrine, programs and resources to prepare the nation to prevent, protect, mitigate, respond to and recover from disasters.

From 2013-2015, Monchek served as the Director for Recovery Policy with the White House, National Security Council , coordinating across the Executive Office of the President and within the agency to strengthen the collective federal capabilities to support disaster recovery operations. She supported White House coordination for drought, severe weather, Atlantic and Pacific tropical activity, wildfires, the Oso mudslide, and the domestic Ebola response. She developed a plan for domestic incident coordination for the Executive Office of the President.

Prior to the National Security Council, Monchek served in many capacities across the Department of Homeland Security/FEMA. Monchek served as Homeland Security Senior Advisor on emergency management to the Secretary. In this role, she provided guidance and built consensus on emergency management and resiliency issues across the department. Following Hurricane Sandy, Monchek served as the Homeland Security Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, building consensus on insurance issues, community planning and capacity building in support of the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force. At FEMA, Monchek’s roles included the Chief of Operations for the Mission Support Bureau, Special Assistant to the Acting Deputy Administrator, Deputy Director of the interagency National Disaster Housing Task Force, and the Applicant Services Manager for the Maryland National Processing Service Center.

Monchek began her federal career with the Department of the Interior’s South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force, where she was responsible for coordinating federal and non-federal Everglades National Park restoration projects. In 2005, following Hurricane Katrina, Monchek joined FEMA as a disaster assistance employee. She facilitated access to federal assistance for disaster survivors in Mississippi. In December 2006, Monchek accepted the opportunity to join FEMA headquarters staff in Washington, D.C. as a senior program specialist for housing assistance policy.

Monchek earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Florida, and remains an avid Florida Gator fan. She also earned a master’s degree from Florida International University in environmental science. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband, Josh.