President Barack Obama has announced that he intends to nominate Jonathan Jarvis ’75 to be director of the National Parks Service.
Jarvis, a 30-year veteran of the NPS and currently the regional director of the Pacific West Region, will join several other William & Mary alums who have been appointed to key posts in the Obama administration. Earlier this year, Obama re-appointed U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates ’65 to his cabinet. Other appointees include Christy Romer ’81 as chair of the Council of Economic Advisors and Thomas Shannon ’80, who was named U.S. Ambassador to Brazil.
A biology major as an undergraduate at William & Mary, Jarvis was a member of the Outing Club, Sigma Chi fraternity and also worked in Swem Library.
As regional director of the NPS, Jarvis is currently responsible for the 54 units of the park service system in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands of Guam, Saipan and America Samoa, according to a release by the U.S. Department of the Interior. He currently oversees 3,000 employees and a $350-million annual budget.
“President Obama has made an outstanding choice for director of the National Park Service,” U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said in a press release. “There is no substitute for experience, and Jon Jarvis has three decades of hands-on experience in our parks that will be invaluable as we seek to reinvigorate and improve our National Parks System in time for its 100the anniversary in 2016.”
Before becoming regional director in 2002, Jarvis spent three years as the superintendant of Mount Rainier National Park in Ashford, Wash., where he managed the 235,000-acre national park. In the 1990s, Jarvis served as superintendant of Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park Service & Preserve in Alaska, according to a White House press release.
“President Obama has made a commitment to bring new life into our National Parks Service, and Jon Jarvis has proven he is the right person to make sure it happens,” Salazar said.