New Valles Caldera Superintendent Is Leadership Los Alamos Graduate Jorge Silva-Banuelos

2015 Leadership Los Alamos graduate Jorge Silva-Banuelos, left, with fellow participants during a youth session in January. Photo by Martha Katko

Staff Report

Jorge Silva-Bañuelos has been named the new superintendent of Valles Caldera National Preserve. He graduated in May from the Leadership Los Alamos program.

Jorge Silva-Bañuelos

National Park Service (NPS) Intermountain Region Director Sue Masica announced the appointment of Silva-Bañuelos to the top post.

“Jorge brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Park Service,” Masica said. “His background and leadership skills, including his previous assignment as head of the Valles Caldera Trust will serve him well as a NPS park superintendent. I am confident he is ready to manage this unit as one of the NPS’ 408 national treasures.”

Jorge Silva-Bañuelos is a native New Mexican and 10-year federal employee. He most recently served as executive director for the Valles Caldera Trust where he was responsible for day-to-day administration and management of the Valles Caldera National Preserve.

Before coming to the Valles Caldera Trust, Silva-Bañuelos was special assistant to the assistant secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks at the Department of the Interior (DOI) (2012-2014). In that role, he gave policy guidance on operations, management and budgets of the NPS and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He also worked on several high-profile issues for the DOI, including Interior’s bison conservation initiative, the DOI working group on Indian water rights settlements, and Interior’s recommendation to the White House to designate the Río Grande del Norte National Monument in northern New Mexico.

Silva-Bañuelos previously served on the staff of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee (2007-2012), advising Chairman U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) on public lands and natural resource policy.

Silva-Bañuelos earned a bachelor’s degree in international relations and Spanish from the University of San Diego. In 2001 he completed a semester of intensive language and cultural immersion studies at Nanzan University in Nagoya, Japan. He also is a graduate of the inaugural class of the President’s Leadership Workshop, a six-month development program sponsored by the White House.

Silva-Bañuelos will assume his new responsibilities Oct. 1 at the Valles Caldera National Preserve.

“I look forward to continuing to work on behalf of the NPS with local tribes and gateway communities to protect this very special place and share it with the American people,” Silva-Bañuelos said.

Valles Caldera National Preserve, was established by Congress in 2000 under the management of the Valles Caldera Trust. On Dec. 19, 2014, the enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 (Public Law 113-291) re-established the 89,000-acre preserve as a unit of the National Park System. The legislation provided for a management transition from the Trust to the NPS over a period of months, ending Sept. 30.

More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 408 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at

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