Pam Watts has been appointed as executive director of the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) National Center, Corvallis, OR, after serving the association for 12 years in high-ranking positions.

According to the association’s website, the NIRSA Board of Directors made this decision to ensure operational stability through its 2013 co-located conference in Las Vegas with the American College Personnel Association (ACPA), a comprehensive student affairs association.

During the recent leadership change from previous director Kent Blumenthal, NIRSA spent $440,000 for legal, public relations, travel and negotiations related to the transition, the association reported at its annual meeting of the members at the 2012 NIRSA Annual Conference and Recreational Sports Exposition, held March 27-30 in Tampa, FL.

Notice about Blumenthal’s departure was posted on the association’s website on Jan. 9. Blumenthal, who had been a member of the NIRSA Foundation board since 1997, left “to continue his professional and personal growth and to pursue other interests,” according to the NIRSA website.

Watts has been with NIRSA since 2000, serving as the association’s chief operating officer and chief finance and strategy officer before taking on the role as deputy executive director last June. As the executive director of NIRSA, Watts is responsible for managing the NIRSA National Center (NNC) staff team, NNC operations, and the association’s finances. She serves on the NIRSA Board of Directors, as well as on the boards of the NIRSA Foundation and the NIRSA Services Corp.

“Pam has stepped up and led our NIRSA National Center team with great passion and commitment,” the NIRSA Board of Directors reported. “She brings the added advantage of having a deep understanding of NIRSA and current issues and opportunities in the field of collegiate recreation. This unique skill set will afford her the ability to provide a measure of continuity during this time of transition.”