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Starr Center for the

Study of the American Experience

Jonathan B. Jarvis - Director, National Park Service

Date: 5:30pm EST March 4, 2014

As the 18th Director of the National Park Service (NPS), Jonathan B. Jarvis helms an agency that preserves and manages some of the most treasured landscapes and valued cultural icons in this nation.

As director, the stewardship and care of our national parks, visitors services, and expansion of community programs are Director Jarvis’s responsibilities. The NPS is an agency of more than 20,000 employees and 140,000 volunteers in 391 national park units and related cultural and natural heritage programs. 

Prior to taking the helm as Director, Jarvis served as the Regional Director of the Pacific West Region, with responsibility for 58 units of the National Park System in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands of Guam, Saipan and American Samoa. He oversaw 3,000 employees with a $350 million annual budget.

Jarvis moved up through the National Park Service as a protection ranger, a resource management specialist, park biologist, and Chief of Natural and Cultural Resources at parks such as Prince William Forest Park in Virginia, Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Texas, Crater Lake National Park in Oregon and North Cascades National Park in Washington. His first superintendency was at Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho and he later served as the Superintendent of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve in Alaska from 1994 until 1999. He became the Superintendent of Mount Rainier National Park in August of 1999. In 2001 he completed training in the Senior Executive Service Candidate Program of the Department of Interior and in September of 2002, became the Regional Director of the Pacific West Region.

Jarvis has published and lectured on the role of science in parks and has obtained extensive experience in developing government-to-government relations with Native American tribes, gateway community planning, relicensing, major facility design and construction, wilderness management and general management planning.

A native of Lexington, Virginia, Jarvis has a B.S. in biology from the College of William and Mary and completed the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Program in 2001. He and his wife Paula have two children, Benjamin and Leah.