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Contact: Mike Johnson, 402-661-1760
Contact: Tawnya Schoewe, 218-283-6670
OMAHA− Michael M. Ward, a 32-year veteran of the National Park Service, has been selected as the new Superintendent at Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. Ward has been in the Acting position since December 3, 2015, upon the retirement of former superintendent Thomas A. Bradley. Ward has served in the Midwest Region (MWR) of the National Park Service for his entire 32-year career.
In announcing the appointment, Midwest Regional Director Cam Sholly said, "Mike has the right blend of experience to take the helm at the Arch. He has a proven track record of leading complex operations and building strong coalitions with partners and communities.”
About this assignment, Ward said, "I am honored and excited to accept the Superintendent position at Jefferson National Expansion Memorial during such an incredible revitalization project. I look forward to working with the many partners and staff who have displayed remarkable vision to create new and lasting meaning to what partnerships can achieve."
Prior to assuming the Acting role, he spent the last seven years as the Superintendent of Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota. Prior to moving to Voyageurs, Ward spent 16 years in the St. Louis area at Ulysses S Grant National Historic Site as superintendent and facilities manager, and began his career in 1983 at Lincoln Home National Historic Site in his hometown of Springfield, Illinois.
In 2009, Ward received the MWR Director’s Award for Natural Resources as Superintendent of the Year for his work related to air quality at Voyageurs. In 2002, he was a co-recipient of the John Wesley Powell Prize for Preservation from the Society for History in Federal Government. In 2000, he was a co-recipient of the Cultural Resources 2000 Award from the NPS Director for leading, training, & developing a day labor crew into skilled historic preservation experts who served 27 parks in project support.
He has been married to Betsy Carlson-Ward since 1993 and has a son, Connor who attends the University of Minnesota, and a daughter Libby who just started high school. The Ward family will miss the beauty of the north woods and the wonderful people they have met in Minnesota, but are happy to be returning closer to extended family.