BRECKSVILLE, Ohio - Cuyahoga Valley National Park has a new Superintendent, Craig Kenkel, who is currently serving as Superintendent at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park in San Francisco, California. Kenkel succeeds Stanley Austin, who became the National Park Service Southeast Regional Director in July 2013.
Kenkel will begin his new assignment this Spring.
In announcing Kenkel’s selection, NPS Midwest Regional Director Michael T. Reynolds said, “Craig’s leadership experience and ability to build strong relationships and accomplish major initiatives with partner groups will serve well to meet the needs of Cuyahoga Valley National Park. He will continue to elevate the park within the Cleveland-Akron metropolis as a major urban national park, will engage new communities, and will lead an effort to build diversity, relevancy, and inclusion," Reynolds added.
“I’m excited to soon be working with Cuyahoga Valley’s dedicated team of park staff, partners and local constituents to enhance what I believe is already a model 21st century park,” Kenkel said of this new opportunity. “Since first visiting the park in 1992, Cuyahoga Valley has been on my personal ‘top ten parks list.’ That one can find this incredible river valley park rich with history, nature, and opportunities to play and learn in a large urban, suburban area is wonderful and compelling; I look forward to professionally and personally experiencing this park.”
Kenkel began his National Park Service career in 1983 as an architecture student intern at the Denver Service Center.
His work has taken him to Sitka NHP, Klondike Gold Rush NHP, Olympic NP, Crater Lake NP, Yosemite NP, Sequoia NP, Point Reyes National Seashore, and Petrified Forest NP.
In 1988, Kenkel transferred to the Western Regional Office in San Francisco, where he served first as a project architect and then as Regional Historical Architect for the national parks of Hawaii, California, Nevada, Arizona, and the U.S. territories of the Pacific.
Kenkel is from Harlan, Iowa along with his nine siblings. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Architecture degree from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, in 1985.
In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, backpacking, biking, cooking, traveling, all things mid-century modern, and improving his pool game. Kenkel is drawn to exploring and understanding urban/wild edges, and he looks forward to engaging in Cleveland’s sustainability and historic preservation initiatives.