Valdes, who was first elected vice chair in 2010, joined the board in 2007. He is scientific advisor for biotechnology at the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, where he serves as the senior biological scientist and advisor to the Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Group, and he is senior research fellow at the National Defense University's Center for Technology and National Security Policy. Valdes holds a bachelor of science degree from Loyola University of Chicago, a master's from Trinity University, and a Ph.D. in neuroscience/chemistry of behavior from Texas Christian University. He was a postdoctoral fellow in neurotoxicity at The Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health. Valdes is an adjunct professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio and an adjunct professor in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Maryland. He is the author of more than 130 scientific journal articles and 55 technical reports. He has given more than 300 presentations to international scientific professional groups, and he holds seven patents.