As associate director for finance and administration at the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, Jose Escoto manages the formulation and execution of the zoo’s budget, human resources, park operations, information technology, safety and the registrar function. He provides counsel to the director on the multiple sources of funds available through the Friends of the National Zoo and from other activities.
Escoto has an extensive background in all aspects of finance and operations. His most recent position before joining the Zoo was as chief financial officer of the United States Merchant Marine Academy. In this role he was responsible for the full range of budget formulation, execution, accounting and control functions for the school’s $80 million budget. He also provided Academy management with advice on strategic management, program analysis, managerial/financial reporting, management analysis, internal control and auditing matters. Prior to that position, he was superintendent of Padre Island National Seashore for the National Park Service (NPS) in Corpus Christi, Texas. At NPS, he was responsible for all park operations at the seashore to include public relations, government relations, planning, national environmental policy act compliance, facility management, law enforcement, interpretive programs, resource management, administration and sea turtle science and recovery. In previous years, he worked at the Intermountain Regional Office of the National Park Service in Lakewood Colorado, and as a civilian employee with the United States Air Force.
Escoto completed his bachelor's in business administration in accounting and his MBA at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He was born and raised in San Antonio and has worked for the federal government for over 33 years in various management and leadership roles.