Christine Jacobs, who has an extensive background in cultural heritage management and historic preservation, will become the new superintendent of San Antonio Missions National Historical Park this month, the National Park Service announced in a news release.

“I look forward to returning to the National Park Service and working with the San Antonio team to help preserve, protect and share the stories of this amazing park,” Jacobs said in the release Wednesday. 

For the past five years, Jacobs has served as the director of visitor service operations and federal preservation officer for the American Battle Monuments Commission in Paris where she managed the agency’s global interpretation program and spearheaded its first interdisciplinary cultural resources program. Jacobs and her team worked to support commission’s memorial sites around the world by sharing stories of the American military service and sacrifice and preserving the sites’ history and artifacts.

Before her role at American Battle Monuments Commission, Jacobs worked for a National Parks Service regional office as the director for Indian Affairs and American Culture, serving as the tribal liaison and managing the cultural anthropology and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act programs. Jacobs will assume her new role with the National Parks Service Oct. 25, according to the release.

“Christine’s prior experience with World Heritage Sites will be a great asset at the park,” National Park Service regional director Mike Reynolds said in the release. “She has shown exemplary leadership and expertise in partnerships, operations and resource management.”

The San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, which – along with the Alamo – was designated the nation’s 23rd World Heritage Site in 2015 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, preserves the four Spanish colonial missions south of downtown along the San Antonio River: Mission Concepción, Mission San José, Mission San Juan, and Mission Espada.

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Jacobs, who started her career at the National Park Service in the late 1990s as an intern and made her way to other cultural-focused park programs between 2000 and 2014, also has an extensive research background in cultural heritage law, environmental law, and more. She will be moving to San Antonio from Paris with her two children and dog Nina.

The park has been modifying its operations in response to federal, state, and local public health regulations to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and continue offering its visitors the opportunity to explore these historic missions. 

With public health guidelines such as social distancing in place, park visitors have access to the grounds at all four missions, park trails, parking lots, and picnic areas. Visitors can visit the park website to plan their visits and learn more about the park’s COVID-19 modifications. 

Samantha Ruvalcaba

Samantha Ruvalcaba

Samantha Ruvalcaba, who grew up in San Antonio, is a Shiner intern and junior at St. Mary's University studying international and global studies with a minor in communications.