David Vela retired from the National Park Service in September 2020 after 30 years with the agency, most recently serving as Deputy Director, Exercising the Authority of the Director. He also served as Chair for the Committee for the Preservation of the White House.
Previous executive and leadership assignments included Associate Director for Workforce, Relevancy and Inclusion and Regional Director of the NPS Southeast Region. In addition, he served as the Superintendent of Grand Teton National Park and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway, George Washington Memorial Parkway, Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park, and Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Site. David also served as Director of the Texas Child Support program under the Attorney General of Texas.
David serves on nonprofit boards to include the National Park Foundation National Council, Eastern National Board of Directors, The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton National Leaders Council, Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area Board of Trustees, and Texas A&M University AgriLife Inclusive Excellence Advisory Board. David is a graduate of Texas A&M University, with a Bachelor of Science degree in recreation and parks. He is the recent author of Hola Ranger, My Journey Through The National Parks. David and his wife Melissa have two children and seven grandchildren.