Changes within NPS leadership

Adapted from Federal agency emails and news releases

On August 7, 2020, U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt announced the designation of Margaret Everson to exercise the delegable authority of the director of the National Park Service (NPS). Deputy Director for Operations David Vela, who had been serving as the Acting Director of the NPS, retired in September. Margaret had been serving as Counselor to Secretary Bernhardt supporting the NPS and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “David Vela has served the public for 30 years and announced his upcoming retirement today. He has always been committed to the mission of the National Park Service, and I wish him well with his future endeavors,” said Secretary Bernhardt. “Margaret Everson is a great leader who will provide a steady hand as this transition takes place for the National Park Service.”

As of August 30, 2020, the permanent NPS Deputy Director is Shawn Benge, who has served as the Acting Deputy Director for Operations since October 2019 and is now responsible for the day-to-day operations of the NPS. Before his current assignment, Shawn served as the associate director for the Park Planning, Facilities, and Lands (PPFL) Directorate. “Shawn brings 32 years of experience at every level of our organization to our leadership. He is well respected throughout our organization and I am thrilled to have him serve in such a vital capacity on our team,” Margaret said. “His deep knowledge and understanding of park facility management will be invaluable as we implement the Great American Outdoors Act.”

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