Press Release Aug 25, 2010

Dirk Kempthorne Joins Board of National Parks Conservation Association

NPCA welcomes former Interior Secretary to Board of Trustees

Washington, D.C. – Dirk Kempthorne, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, has been elected to the Board of Trustees of the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA). The board is the governing body for the nonprofit advocacy organization, which is the nation’s leading voice for our national parks.

“The National Parks Conservation Association is extremely fortunate to have Dirk Kempthorne join our board,” said NPCA President Tom Kiernan. “During his tenure as Interior Secretary, he made caring for and enhancing the national parks his highest priority. He truly understands the value of our parks, and will provide tremendous guidance to our organization.”

Kempthorne became the 49th Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior in May 2006 and served in that role until 2009. Previously, he was the Mayor of Boise, Idaho – the state’s largest city and capital. After serving one term in the United States Senate, he was elected Governor of Idaho in 1998 and re-elected in 2002.

As Secretary of the Interior, Kempthorne launched the National Park Centennial Challenge, a public-private partnership to prepare for the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016, which provided additional funding for park enhancement projects at national park sites throughout the country. Additionally, Kempthorne secured the largest operating budget ever for our national parks.

Kempthorne earned the Distinguished Service Medal, the top civilian honor from the Idaho National Guard. As Governor of Idaho, his colleagues elected him as Chairman of the National Governors Association (NGA). He also served as President of the Council of State Governments and Chairman of the Western Governors Association. Secretary of Education Rod Paige appointed then-Governor Kempthorne to the National Assessment Governing Board, and Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge appointed him to the Homeland Security Task Force. His last act as Idaho’s Governor before resigning to become Interior Secretary was to secure a $10 million increase in funding for Idaho’s state parks.


About National Parks Conservation Association
Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than one million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit