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Contact: Mike Litterst, 202-245-4676
WASHINGTON –Gay Vietzke, a national park manager with 23 years' experience and expertise in public-private partnerships and historic preservation, will serve as superintendent of National Mall and Memorial Parks. She will manage iconic monuments and memorials and care for treasured neighborhood green space with a budget of approximately $33 million and alongside a staff of nearly 300 and more than 6,000 volunteers. More than 25 million visitors to the National Mall and Memorial Parks contribute more than $800 million to the local economy annually. Vietzke begins her assignment on Monday, September 28.
"Gay is a strong leader with a track record of excellence in park management and engagement with partners," National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said. "I am confident that she will continue the tradition of visionary leadership that allows this park to welcome thousands of visitors every day to the place affectionately known as America's front yard."
Since 2011, Vietzke has served as deputy regional director for the NPS's Northeast Region where she is responsible for supervising 20 park superintendents and overseeing Park Operations, Resource Stewardship and Science, and External Affairs and Partnerships.
"Understanding firsthand the opportunities, challenges and humbling responsibility that come with leading National Mall and Memorial Parks, I know that Gay's diverse experience and collaborative approach are exactly what's needed as the National Park Service pursues new ways to work with partners, serve communities and welcome visitors from around the world," Regional Director Bob Vogel said.
"On the eve of the National Park Service centennial, we are focusing on how our mission can benefit people in urban communities and youth," Vietzke said. "I believe that National Mall and Memorial Parks, our team of employees and our world-class partners are perfectly positioned to fulfill our shared vision for a model urban park –from the way we maintain the places to how we serve and teach people about American history and democracy today."
As superintendent of Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine and Hampton National Historic Site in Maryland, Vietzke was instrumental in creating a Baltimore-based youth employment program. She managed the design and construction of the eco-friendly Fort McHenry Visitor and Education Center –a $15 million partnership-funded facility. Her tenure at Hampton NHS was marked by major preservation efforts to the historic buildings and grounds and a dramatic shift in the park's educational programming to include the site's historic workforce –paid, indentured and enslaved.
Earlier in her career, she served as superintendent of Sagamore Hill National Historic Site in Oyster Bay, N.Y., where she oversaw the park's general management plan, strengthened relationships with partners and opened the newly rehabilitated Old Orchard Museum. She served as management assistant to the Northeast regional director, deputy director of the NPS Northeast Museum Services Center, curator at Boston National Historical Park and chief of visitor services at Weir Farm National Historic Site, Conn.
Vietzke holds a bachelor of arts in art history from the University of Connecticut and a master of science in historic preservation from the University of Pennsylvania.
About National Mall and Memorial Parks. The National Park Service's National Mall and Memorial Parks preserves, protects, and interprets the symbolic and monumental civic spaces and commemorative works in the center of the Nation's Capital that honor American ideals and values, distinguished public figures, and military and civilian sacrifices and contributions. On the National Mall these sites include the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, World War II Memorial, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. National Mall and Memorial Parks also serves as a public park and open space for active civic and cultural engagement, recreation, and public enjoyment.