Charles Cuvelier has been named the chief of the National Park Service’s Division of Law Enforcement, Security and Emergency Services (LESES). Cuvelier succeeds Lane Baker, who became superintendent of the National Park Service’s Southeast Arizona parks last March.
“With over twenty years of experience, Cuvelier’s leadership abilities, field experience and knowledge of the National Park Service’s parks, programs and partners made him an excellent fit for this position,” said Associate Director for Visitor and Resource Protection Cam Sholly, who announced the selection.
Stationed at the National Park Service headquarters in Washington, D.C., Cuvelier will provide national leadership and program direction in all aspects of law enforcement, security and emergency services, including investigative services, professional responsibility, intelligence, stress management in critical incidents, firearms, and commissioning of personnel. The division establishes policy and standards for more than 1,500 protection rangers and special agents throughout the NPS. He will also manage a budget of more than $10 million and approximately 60 employees.
“I'm honored and humbled to serve as the chief of LESES,” Cuvelier said. “I look forward to working with the visitor and resource protection team, our NPS colleagues and our partners. Working together we will be able to enhance our law enforcement and public safety mission in order to serve our employees, the visitor and our resources.”
Cuvelier began his NPS career as a seasonal park ranger at Grand Teton National Park while attending the University of Memphis, where he obtained bachelor’s degrees in biology and outdoor recreation. After his early years as a seasonal, he progressed through the ranks, serving as a park ranger and subdistrict ranger and then as a district ranger at Natchez Trace Parkway in 2000. In 2003, he became the chief ranger at the Trace.
In 2006 he became the deputy chief ranger at Yosemite. During this time there, he was detailed for 120 days as the acting chief ranger at Lake Mead National Recreation Area. In 2010, he became the chief ranger of Yosemite. As chief ranger, he provided oversight and direction for a complex program that includes the full spectrum of public safety responsibilities, fire and aviation management, telecommunications, and wilderness management.
Yosemite’s Division of Visitor and Resource Protection has approximately 275 employees and volunteers and a $5.7 million operating budget. Grants, special project funding, emergency operations and initiatives contributed an additional $7.5 million. Additional grants, special project funding, emergency operations and initiatives contribute $7.5 million.
Charles and his wife, Elizabeth Curtis Cuvelier, have three daughters, Scarlett Elizabeth, Savannah Rose, and Sadie Jane. Charles will officially enter on duty on December 16th and the Cuvelier family will move to the Washington, D.C. area in January.