National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis announced the appointment of Christine S. Lehnertz as the new superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park. Lehnertz, currently superintendent of Golden Gate National Recreation Area in northern California, will assume her new post in August.

“Chris brings outstanding leadership skills and an outsider’s perspective to the National Park Service. Since she joined the NPS, she has helped us think differently about conservations, preservation, employee engagement and public collaboration,” said Jarvis.

Trained as an environmental biologist, Lehnertz started her conservation career in the Rocky Mountains, where she worked as a seasonal wildlife and biological technician for Colorado Division of Wildlife, U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Lehnertz spent 16 years with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency before she joined the National Park Service.

In 2007, she entered the National Park Service as deputy superintendent at Yellowstone National Park, and then served from 2010 to 2015 as regional director for the NPS’ Pacific West Region. She has been superintendent at Golden Gate National Recreation Area since May 2015. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder.

“Together with the staff and managers at the park, I look forward to keeping up momentum on the important conservation, preservation and operational activities at the Grand Canyon” Lehnertz said. “Regarding the sexual harassment issues that we’ve learned about, Grand Canyon National Park now has a responsibility to lead the National Park Service in eliminating the factors that have allowed such behaviors. Staff and managers are already working hard to change the working environment there, to ensure that the Grand Canyon is a respectful, inclusive place to work and visit.”

Sue Masica, Intermountain Regional Director, said, “Grand Canyon National Park connects people to the land and water in an incomparable and inspiring way. We have asked Chris to lead the organization at the Grand Canyon in order to strengthen our employee’ connections to the critical NPS mission, and to ensure that we all perform our duties with integrity and the highest ethical standards. Chris brings a deep commitment to these standards and will help the National Park Service to fulfill them at the Grand Canyon.”

Lehnertz and her spouse Shari Dagg, and their cat Choco, look forward to settling in and living on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon this autumn.

Grand Canyon National Park receives close to five million visitors each year and includes over a million acres of land. The park is 277 miles long – the canyon carved over millions of years by the Colorado River. Grand Canyon is known throughout the world for this intricate and colorful landscape. The oldest human artifacts are nearly 12,000 years old, and there has been continuous use and occupation of the park since that time. Eleven traditionally associated tribes are actively involved with the National Park Service at the Grand Canyon.