Joseph Smith Abbott joined the National Parks Trust of the Virgin Islands in August 1996 as the Deputy Director/Science Coordinator. He was promoted to the directorship in December 1999 and continued to act in this capacity until 2014. Mr Smith Abbott was responsible for the overall management and planning of the territorial protected area system. He is the IUCN WCPA Vice Chair for the Caribbean and a member of the IUCN Iguana Specialist Group. He is a Chartered Manager and Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute. He has collaborated with various UK and US institutions in the identification and implementation of research needs and management approaches in order to improve protected area management in the Territory.

In 2014, Joseph was promoted to Deputy Permanent Secretary in BVI’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour, where he is able to continue with many of his previous interests.