The Changing Landscape of Park Leadership

Shenandoah National Park Superintendent Pat Kenney retired April 30 after nearly 34 years in the National Park Service (NPS). 

Pat Kenney began his tenure at Shenandoah National Park and Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park in 2020. Kenney’s career in the NPS began in 1990 in Big Cypress National Preserve, where he was a natural resource manager. In his extensive career he served as the Planning Branch Chief at Denver Service Center, Superintendent at Cape Lookout National Seashore, and Deputy Superintendent at Yellowstone National Park. 

“I will leave with many memories of the things that we have accomplished, the experiences I have had in amazing places, and all the great people that I have worked with throughout the Service,” said Kenney. “Looking forward, there are many things I want to do and places I want to experience.” 

Retired Superintendent Pat Kenney

We were able to say a bittersweet goodbye to Pat at our April Board meeting, thanking him for wonderful years of partnership and wishing him well as he and his wife plan to travel across the country and reconnect with friends they’ve made through the years.  

Lewis Rogers, Superintendent at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, has been named interim Superintendent while a permanent replacement is sought. Rogers began duties as interim Superintendent for both Shenandoah and Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park on May 1st. Rogers has served at 12 different NPS units, including Independence and Valley Forge National Historical Parks and Booker T. Washington National Monument. His career spans a variety of NPS disciplines including law enforcement, emergency services, and interpretation, in addition to several leadership roles. 

Interim Superintendent Lewis Rogers

“I have worked in the NPS for 40 years and have experience in a variety of places and conditions. Through this time, I have learned the critical role relationships play in NPS site management,” said Rogers. It is through relationships that we create an environment, an ecosystem that we all live, work, and play in. It is up to each one of us to determine if we will engage in clean or polluted contributions to that ecosystem. I like to encourage others to make good, clean contributions.” 

We are looking forward to working with Rogers and continuing our work, events, programming, and relationship-building in the park during his time as Interim Superintendent. 

In addition to these changes in the Superintendent position, Deputy Superintendent Raquel Montez has accepted a 120-day detail as Acting Superintendent for Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Ajo, Arizona, beginning this past weekend.  

Cynthia Sirk-Fear, Shenandoah’s Chief Ranger has accepted a detail as Deputy Superintendent while Raquel is at Organ Pipe. Shenandoah’s Deputy Chief Ranger John Craig will serve as Acting Chief Ranger. 

Deputy Superintendent Raquel Montez

We are thrilled for these park leaders who are taking on exciting new opportunities, and we’re thankful for all the consistency and support our NPS colleagues have given us throughout these changes to keep our work and events on track in Shenandoah.  

If you see a ranger in Shenandoah this spring or summer, please thank them for all their hard work to keep the park thriving in the midst of so much change! 

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