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National Park Foundation Names Dr. Tracey Ritchie as New Vice President for Education and Engagement

WASHINGTON – Dr. Tracey Ritchie joined the National Park Foundation (NPF) as vice president of education and engagement, overseeing the organization’s grantmaking for and management of programs that connect people to parks. In this position, she also serves as a key liaison to the National Park Service Office of Interpretation, Education, and Volunteers and the Office of Workforce and Inclusion.

“The national parks have played a pivotal role in my development as an environmental educator and outdoor enthusiast, and I am so thrilled to join an organization that prioritizes conservation, education, and authentic connections to the outdoors for all people,” said Dr. Tracey Ritchie. “I am committed to increasing access for youth, families, and individuals who are seeking not only experiences in the wild landscapes of our most well-known parks, but also deep connections to the stories shared through historical landmarks that so many have yet to discover.”

Dr. Ritchie’s experience in environmental education spans nearly two decades and throughout her career, she incorporates justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion principles as a part of all the programs and resources she develops. Most recently, she was the global Director of Education for EARTHDAY.ORG, an international environmental nonprofit organization working on expanding climate and environmental literacy worldwide. She has also served as adjunct faculty at the University of Florida and has held positions managing and facilitating environmental education programs from Florida to North Carolina that focused on wildlife conservation, civic engagement, and capacity building for educators of all kinds.

“Dr. Ritchie’s extensive background in education, program development, and evaluation will enhance the National Park Foundation’s ability to connect people to parks, throughout their lives, in meaningful ways that inspire a deep commitment to these treasured places,” said National Park Foundation President and CEO Will Shafroth.

Dr. Ritchie holds a Ph.D. from the University of Florida where her research focused on developing systems-thinking skills in students and teachers to more effectively communicate complex environmental issues such as climate change. She holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Education from Florida Atlantic University and a Bachelor’s degree from University of Florida in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. She has also been an active member of the Florida, North Carolina, and DC affiliates of the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE).

Dr. Ritchie joins the National Park Foundation at a pivotal moment when the organization is further expanding its programmatic impact connecting people to parks through programs such as Youth Engagement and Education, Communities and Workforce, and Outdoor Exploration.

The National Park Foundation works to protect wildlife and park lands, preserve history and culture, educate and engage youth, and connect people everywhere to the wonder of parks. We do it in collaboration with the National Park Service, the park partner community, and with the generous support of donors, without whom our work would not be possible. Learn more at