Thursday, July 05, 2018

Sources: Grand Teton chief is Trump's pick to lead NPS

After leaving the job vacant for nearly 18 months, President Trump is expected to nominate the superintendent of Grand Teton National Park as the 19th director of the National Park Service, according to several sources familiar with the process. David Vela, 57, the Grand Teton superintendent since 2014, has already been interviewed for the post at the White House. If nominated and confirmed, he would become the first Hispanic to lead the agency. "I am deeply humbled by the rumors and speculation and, if true, would be honored to serve," Vela said this morning. The Senate hasn't voted on the Park Service director's position since 2009, when Jonathan Jarvis won confirmation as President Obama's NPS chief. The White House policy is not to comment on nominations until they're formally announced. And even if Vela is nominated, there's no guarantee he would get a quick Senate vote, with many Interior Department positions still vacant. Sources said both Zinke and Smith met with Vela in recent weeks and signed off on his nomination. They're awaiting approval from Trump, who would then send the nomination to the Senate...MORE

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