Suess has worked more than 26 years with federal land management agencies, most recently as deputy superintendent of Olympic National Park in Washington State. Like Mojave, Olympic has complex and varied resources spread over a large area. During his five year tenure at the 922,650-acre park, Suess supervised all operations, including administration, resource and visitor protection, resources management, interpretation and education, and facilities programs. He also worked extensively on the Elwha River dam removal and restoration project, one of the largest restoration projects in National Park Service history.
“Todd is an experienced leader with the National Park Service, and we are convinced that his skills, experience, and passion for the desert southwest make him a great fit for Mojave National Preserve,” said Pacific West Regional Director Chris Lehnertz. “I am delighted to keep him in our region and know that park staff, partners and community members will enjoy working with him.”
Suess served as acting superintendent at Joshua Tree National Park in California late last year, and has experience managing several other parks. From 2001 to 2010 he was superintendent at Jewel Cave National Monument in South Dakota, where he developed strong collaborative relationships among the local communities and park staff. Suess had previously worked at Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming, both as chief of resource management and as acting superintendent, and in the same capacities prior to that at Pipestone National Monument in Minnesota.
Suess earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Forestry in 1988. After graduating, he held numerous seasonal positions at various national parks, and then worked for the Bureau of Land Management for four years as an outdoor recreation planner in Arizona, before returning to the National Park Service in 1995.
“Early in my career I worked for the BLM in Yuma, Arizona, and very much enjoyed the desert environment,” said Suess. “It was not until I returned to the desert this past summer as acting superintendent at Joshua Tree National Park that I realized how much I had missed that environment. I am very excited to be returning to manage the desert resources of Mojave National Preserve, and I look forward to working with preserve staff and stakeholders who care so deeply about this area.”
Suess and his wife Jackie have four children, two of whom still live at home. He is an avid bike rider, and enjoys many activities that allow him to be outdoors with his family. He also enjoys reading and working on old cars.