Joss will oversee operations for 60 units of the National Park System, along with two affiliated areas, three national trails, and many other associated sites within the states of California, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii, parts of Arizona and Montana, as well as the territories of American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands. The Pacific West Region has a budget of nearly $300 million and more than 3,600 employees, according to the news release.
“Laura is an outstanding addition to the senior executive leadership team of the National Park Service,” said Jarvis. “Starting as a volunteer at Mesa Verde National Park, working in parks and with partner organizations across the country, serving as superintendent at three park units and working in several capacities in the Intermountain Regional Office uniquely qualify Laura for this exciting and challenging assignment.”
In her current position in the Intermountain Region, Joss has worked collaboratively with the regional director and deputy regional director for operations in managing the 84 park units in the NPS Intermountain Region throughout eight states of the interior western U.S. Joss worked with parks, partners and tribes to enhance communications throughout the region and improve visitor understanding and protection of the region’s resources.
Previously, Joss served as the associate regional director for resource stewardship and research in the Intermountain Regional Office. In this capacity, she was responsible for a wide variety of programs dealing with the management and preservation of both cultural and natural resources.
Joss earlier served as superintendent at Arches, deputy superintendent of the NPS Southeast Utah Group, superintendent of Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine and Hampton National Historic Site in Maryland, and chief of the cultural resources branch at Yellowstone National Park. She also served as regional curator for the former NPS Rocky Mountain Region.
“Serving as the Pacific West regional director at this time in National Park Service history is an incredible honor. I look forward to working with the region’s outstanding staff, volunteers, visitors and partners as we celebrate the National Park Service Centennial, and to helping prepare for our second century,” Joss said. “The parks of the Pacific West Region protect many globally significant resources and tell compelling and diverse human stories. And, of course, it also has amazing geography, from tropical rainforest, to high desert, to glacier covered mountains. There is something for everyone and great opportunities to help citizens of all ages find their park.”
“I believe in effective collaboration, will listen thoughtfully to the constituents that value our parks in so many ways and will continue the region’s outstanding outreach to urban communities and innovative partnerships,” Joss added.
Joss received a B.A. degree in Anthropology from Indiana University, and an M.A. degree in History Museum Studies from the State University of New York’s Cooperstown Graduate Program. She has worked as either staff or consultant at a number of national parks and museums including Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site, Big Hole National Battlefield, the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, New York State Museum and the John Wesley Powell Museum.
Joss is married to Skip Meehan, a San Francisco native, who is also an employee of the NPS. They have two daughters, Lindsay and Elizabeth, as well as a miniature Australian Shepherd.