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Contact: Darren Boch, 212-668-2251
NEW YORK, New York —National Parks of New York Harbor Commissioner Maria Burks has named Linda Canzanelli as superintendent of Gateway National Recreation Area. Canzanelli will be responsible for the 26,000 acre park, which spans locations in New York and New Jersey, and drew more than nine million visitors in 2009. She succeeds Barry Sullivan, who retired.
Canzanelli, a 33 year National Park Service veteran, is currently associate regional director for park operations for the NPS northeast region which includes 13 states and 78 parks from Maine to Virginia. "With a great background in many phases of park operations as both a superintendent and in her current position, Linda is the right person to lead a complex and magnificent park like Gateway," said Burks.
"More than 20,000 acres in America's most urban area is both a dream come true and a challenge to preserve," said Canzanelli. " I look forward to working with many partners and interested citizens to complete our management plan and improve the park for our visitors.
"From preserving the buildings at Fort Hancock in Sandy Hook, to improving the facilities at historic Floyd Bennett Field to serving as the starting gate for the New York City Marathon at Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island, Gateway is as every bit as diverse and rewarding as the region itself."
Canzanelli began her career as a clerk typist at Boston National Historical Park in 1977, and worked as an interpreter and supervisory park ranger at the park before transferring to Jean Lafitte National Historical Park as the first unit manager of the French Quarter Unit in 1980. Following a stint as a park manager at Chalmette National Historical Park (now part of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve), Canzanelli became chief of interpretation and visitor services at Gateway National Recreation Area in 1985.
In 1989, she became superintendent of Women's Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, New York, and stayed at the park during the five and a half years of construction at the Wesleyan Chapel Block.
In 1994, Canzanelli was named deputy superintendent of Cape Cod National Seashore in Massachusetts, and later served as deputy associate director for park operations and education at NPS headquarters in Washington DC. From 2000 to 2005, she was superintendent of Biscayne National Park in Homestead, Florida.
Canzanelli holds a bachelors degree in American History from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a masters degree in Public Administration from Northeastern University, Boston.