Katherine Chesson serves as vice president, programs and partnerships at the National Park Foundation. In this role, she works closely with National Park Service staff and local park partners to develop and implement high priority projects and programs across the country that engage people with their national parks. From NPF’s flagship Open OutDoors for Kids program which has connected more than one million young people to their local national park, to providing leadership opportunities for college-age students via service corps, to bringing the Junior Ranger Angler program to life at parks across the country, Chesson is passionate about providing those first-time, awe-inspiring moments that can spark a lifetime love of our national parks.
Her team works hard to ensure our National Park Service colleagues are supported in creating meaningful opportunities for all people to connect with these treasured places, with a special focus on those who have yet to experience national parks as part of their lives. Chesson and her team are also committed to helping the National Park Service in their efforts to tell more expanded and inclusive stories through national parks.
Raised in North Carolina, Chesson has a love for good biscuits and sweet tea. She earned her master’s degree in public administration from the University of Washington in Seattle and her bachelor’s degree in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She lives in Washington, DC with her wife and two children, who are no strangers to Rock Creek Park.