Vela Tapped to Head NPS
Written by Andrew-Rossi on September 4, 2018
The Superintendent of Grand Teton National Park has been named the new head of the National Park Service.
President Donald Trump has named David Vela the 19th director of the agency, to a job that has been filled only on an acting basis since January 2017. If confirmed by the Senate, the 28-year career veteran of the park service would become the first Hispanic to lead the agency.
Vela has served has served at every level of the organization with distinction throughout his career.
Vela said in a statement that he hopes to reduce a multibillion-dollar maintenance backlog, “protect our national treasures and serve all who come to enjoy the parks.”
Vela has served at Grand Teton National Park for the past five years, attending Cody’s annual Parks Day celebration each year.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said, quote, “his long track record of leadership on behalf of the people and places of the National Park Service distinguish him as the right man for the job,” endquote. And Wyoming Governor Matt Mead noted that Vela has been an effective leader at Grand Teton National Park, calling him, quote, “a good partner,” endquote.
The agency has not had a Senate-confirmed director since Jonathan Jarvis retired in January 2017, just days before Trump took office.
Vela has served as the superintendent of Grand Teton National Park & the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway since 2014. Prior to his current post, Vela served as associate director for Workforce, Relevancy and Inclusion in the NPS Washington headquarters offices. He also served for over four years as the NPS Southeast Regional Director and as superintendent of Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Site, Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park, and the George Washington Memorial Parkway.