Ruben Andrade has been selected as the superintendent of César E. Chávez National Monument in Keene. He becomes the park’s first permanent superintendent, after acting in that role for several months.
The park was established in October 2012 by President Barack Obama with much fanfare and a presidential visit to the small community that once served as headquarters for the United Farm Workers.
It became the first unit of the National Park Service in Kern County.
“Ruben has the breadth and depth of skills needed to manage this site, as well as a passion for the story that this site tells,” said Pacific West Regional Director Chris Lehnertz. “He’s creative and resourceful. I’m very pleased that he has accepted this position.”
Prior to arriving at César E. Chávez National Monument, Andrade served as superintendent of Minuteman Missile National Historic Site since 2010 where he oversaw the management and planning process for a new visitor center and its exhibits. He worked to develop and strengthen partnerships in South Dakota to enhance the further development and support of the site. Andrade and his staff focused upon community outreach and involvement by reaching out to the local communities. He was instrumental in developing partnerships focused on sharing resources and enhancing recreational opportunities.
Andrade began his National Park Service Career in 1998, working at Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park in Texas as an interpreter. He has also worked at Capulin Volcano National Monument, Fort Union National Monument, and Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Prior to working at Lyndon B. Johnson, he worked with the US Army Corps of Engineers at Pine Flat Lake in California.
“Having grown up in a family that earned a living as farm laborers in California, I have always had an interest in the work of César Chávez and his influence on the lives of farm workers. Being the first superintendent at this park that tells his story is literally a dream come true. I look forward to continuing to work with our partners to share this story more broadly and establish a vision for the future.”
A native of Dixon, Andrade received both his bachelor’s degree and his master’s degree from California State University, Sacramento, in recreation administration. He and his wife, Diane, are high school sweethearts from Dixon, and have four grown children. Ruben and Diane are looking forward to spending more time with family and friends now that they are back home in the Golden State.
President Obama signed a Presidential Proclamation on October 8, 2012, creating César E. Chávez National Monument. The peaceful site, known as “La Paz,” commemorates César Chávez and the struggles and accomplishments of the farm worker movement. A visitor center and the memorial garden where César Chávez is buried are open to the public.
To learn more, visit www.nps.gov/cech.