Sams most recently served on the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. He is an enrolled member of the Cayuse and Walla Walla of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and the first Native American to lead the National Park Service.
He was confirmed by a voice vote, which signifies that a nominee is noncontroversial.
His confirmation comes after the agency was led for years by acting heads under the Trump administration.
The NPS saw four acting directors during the Trump administration. Sams marks the first Senate confirmation of a director since 2009, when it confirmed Jonathan Jarvis. Jarvis remained in his position for the remainder of the Obama administration, departing in January 2017.