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National Park Foundation President and CEO to Step Down

Washington – Today, Neil Mulholland announced his decision to step down as National Park Foundation president and CEO, bringing to a close his five-year tenure with the organization that serves as the official charity of America’s national parks. The change in leadership comes at a strategic moment as preparations for the National Park Service’s 2016 Centennial move from the planning phase to implementation.

Since 2009, Mulholland led the National Park Foundation in achieving record-level donations and substantial growth in the reach of its work to connect more Americans to their national parks. Under Mulholland’s leadership, the Foundation successfully raised over $40 million to build the Flight 93 National Memorial, and this year the Foundation will conclude its most successful fundraising year in its 47-year history.

“Neil is a visionary leader who brought professionalism and dedication to the shared efforts of the National Park Service and National Park Foundation to protect, preserve and share our national parks with the American people,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “I thank him for his commitment to our work and wish him well in his future endeavors.”

During his tenure, Mulholland also helped lay a foundation for the upcoming campaign to promote and celebrate the National Park Service’s Centennial in 2016, as well as provided valuable expertise in improving the financial accounting and investment portfolio of the National Park Foundation.

"Neil Mulholland has demonstrated a true passion for engaging the American people in their national parks and protecting these special places so that generations to come can discover their beauty," said Ellen Alberding, vice chair of the National Park Foundation's board of directors. "Neil has also set the Foundation on an exciting and ambitious course to celebrate the National Park Service's Centennial in 2016, and we are grateful for his leadership and vision."

“I am honored to have served as the leader of the National Park Foundation for the last five years and am very proud of all we have accomplished together heading toward this seminal moment in the history of our national parks,” said Mulholland. “It has been a distinct pleasure working with the extraordinary Foundation staff, the dynamic and engaged board of directors, National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis, and the dedicated men and women of the National Park Service. These dedicated individuals exponentially further the national park cause and all these special places represent, and together will leave a lasting positive impact on our national parks for the next 100 years and beyond.”

The National Park Foundation's board of directors will begin a national search to identify a successor. The interim president will be Dan Wenk, currently superintendent of Yellowstone National Park and former deputy director of the National Park Service. Mr. Wenk brings considerable experience working with nonprofits, including raising $100 million while serving as superintendent of Mount Rushmore National Memorial and Yellowstone National Park. Mr. Wenk will return to his duties as superintendent of Yellowstone as soon as a permanent successor has been named.

The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation raises private funds to help PROTECT more than 84 million acres of national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts, CONNECT all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture and rich history, and INSPIRE the next generation of park stewards. Find out more and become a part of the national park community at