Press Release Oct 15, 2015

National Parks Conservation Association Names Theresa Pierno to CEO Position

NPCA names organization's first woman to serve as President and CEO in its nearly 100-year history.

WASHINGTON – The Board of Trustees for National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), a nonprofit and nonpartisan advocacy group, today named Theresa Pierno the organization’s new President and Chief Executive Officer. Pierno, who will be the organization’s first woman to serve in this role in its nearly 100-year history, will take the helm effective immediately.

“Theresa has an impressive record of accomplishments working for conservation organizations, including National Parks Conservation Association,” said Fran Ulmer, chair of NPCA’s Board of Trustees. “Her passionate commitment to our national parks will enhance NPCA’s efforts to celebrate the National Park Service’s Centennial in 2016 and NPCA’s own centennial in 2019. Theresa’s leadership is exactly what we need at this important time in our history. Her leadership will help to ensure that the parks are preserved well into their second century, as we work to grow millions of advocates to support them.”

Pierno first joined NPCA in 2004 as Vice President of Regional Operations. In that role, she successfully doubled the organization’s field program to include more than 60 staff working in 24 offices across the country. The move further enhanced NPCA’s connection to national parks and their gateway communities and helped to solidify the organization’s role as the voice of America’s national parks.

In her most recent role as NPCA’s Chief Operating Officer, Pierno played a critical role in the recruitment of talented, diverse, and experienced staff, led the development of strategic priorities with a focus on water and land use policy, and helped to ensure the financial health of NPCA through revised management practices and successful fundraising efforts. Further, in an effort to engage and inspire new park stewards and advocates, she formed NPCA’s Next Generation Advisory Council—a group of young rangers, civil servants, public land advocates, educators, students and activists with a strong desire to lead national park advocacy efforts well into the future.

Pierno is also the Co-Founder and Co-Chair of America’s Great Waters Coalition, a group of 70 member organizations working together to protect and restore waters in and around our national parks that are central to the health of the ecosystem and the recreation of their visitors.

“I am truly honored to be part of a long tradition of committed national park leaders who have served as the President of NPCA,” said Pierno. “I’ve spent my career in conservation, advocating for some of our nation’s most important natural resources and for the national parks that serve a critical role in protecting them. There are many challenges that lie ahead, but also many opportunities. I look forward to taking them on and ensuring our national parks thrive well into their second century.”

Pierno resides in Annapolis, Maryland with her husband Bob. Together they have two adult children and three grandchildren. She is an avid sailor with a passion for travel, having visited numerous national and international parks.