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Contact: Jennie Kish Albrinck, 760-367-5520
JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK, Twentynine Palms, California –
Joshua Tree National Park employees gathered Wednesday morning, September 24, to welcome Superintendent David Smith, who assumed his new role on Monday. Smith spoke about his leadership priorities and fielded questions from park staff.
In his remarks, Smith addressed:
• Threats to the park
• Need for taking care of park staff as well as the park itself
• Prioritizing good relationships with tribal governments, and all local communities
• Reaching outto new audiences and historically underserved groups.
Martha Lee, Deputy Director of the Pacific West Region, traveled to the park from San Francisco to introduce Smith, who comes to the park from Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site in Kansas. "We had many outstanding applicants for the position of superintendent," said Lee, "but David Smith's background made him the ideal candidate for the job. We are delighted to welcome him to Joshua Tree and the Pacific West Region."
After the retirement of former superintendent Mark Butler on March 2, 2014, Andrea Compton and Todd Suess served as interim superintendents at Joshua Tree. Their leadership helped create a smooth transition in management. Suess offered his farewell to park staff at Wednesday morning's meeting, as he heads back to his position as Deputy Superintendent at Olympic National Park in Washington. Compton continues her service as Joshua Tree's Chief of Resources Management.