Career Opportunity: Director, New Hampshire State Parks

Jun 7, 2022

Vacancy:  The New Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation Seeks New Director

The New Hampshire Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) seeks a State Parks and Recreation Division Director. This position serves as part of the DNCR Commissioner’s senior leadership team and must be an experienced, inspiring, and effective manager.

The Division of Parks and Recreation is one of five divisions at the DNCR, which along with the Division of Forests and Lands, the Division of Historical Resources, the New Hampshire State Library, and the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts share the following mission: to protect, preserve, promote and manage the State’s natural and cultural resources, supporting New Hampshire’s high quality of life and strengthening the experiences of our residents and guests.

The mission of the Division of Parks and Recreation is to provide New Hampshire’s citizens and guests with outstanding recreational, educational, and inspirational experiences through the responsible management and cooperative stewardship of the state’s natural, recreational, and cultural resources.

The parks system includes 39 day-use areas, 23 campgrounds, 22 beaches, 7 waysides, 16 historic sites, 6 natural areas, 668 buildings, many retail and concession sites, Cannon Mountain state operated ski area, Sunapee ski area under lease, 7,000 miles of snowmobile trails, 1,100 miles of ATV trails, and 259 miles of roads accessing 145,000 acres of private timberlands. The Division shares management responsibility for over 489,000 acres of state reservations with the Division of Forests and Lands.

The total operating budget for the Division is 34 million dollars. The Division operations and administration are entirely self-funded through fees and other sources of revenue. Capital investment and improvements are funded by a combination of general funds, LWCF funds, and surplus revenue. Work is carried out with approximately 1100 employees (100 of which are full time), 126 volunteer motorized trail clubs, 36 volunteer organizations (primarily hiking trail groups) and 11 statutory boards and advisory committees.

The Divisions management is innovative and dynamic, emphasizing outstanding customer service, meeting diverse needs, and developing strong partnerships with other public and private entities. The State parks are valued and recognized as a critical contributor to New Hampshire’s economy and unique quality of life.

This position is appointed by the Governor of New Hampshire and is approved by the Executive Council. It is a 4-year term.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

By law, the Director of the Division of Parks and Recreation, under the supervision of the Commissioner of Natural and Cultural Resources, is responsible for all matters related to the design, development, administration, operation, and maintenance of the state park system Section 216-A:2 Duties, Director of Parks and Recreation. ( . The intent of the park system is set forth in Section 216-A:1 Intent. (

In general, daily duties include the direction of the state parks system and program operations including park, historic site, and trail management and operations, compliance with state financial and human resource requirements, business systems management such as camping and property admissions, policy and standards development and implementation, stakeholder and partnership relations and permits, property capital improvements, complex issue management, fiscal responsibilities, disaster response, interpretation and education, and the general leadership of staff and volunteers.

The Director:

  • Leads legislative processes, including monitoring legislation for effects on the Division, drafting legislation, and preparing and delivering testimony.

  • Secures support for the Division through productive relationships with the Governor’s Office, Executive Councilors, state legislators and legislative committees, congressional members, town and municipal officials, community organizations, special interest groups, advisory boards and groups, the business community, and constituents.

  • Negotiates complex agreements and partnerships with third party business, towns, non-profit organizations, state and federal agencies, and others.

  • Oversees the preparation and management of the budget and is responsible for overall financial health and security of the Division.

  • Leads the organization with vision and integrity. Works closely with the agency senior leadership to support their efforts and build trust with all agency staff and park system users.

  • Promotes the advancement of the Department’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, both in the internal management of the Division as well as in the Division’s external facing work.

  • Incorporates proactive and strategic communications that connect the Division’s work to existing and new audiences using appropriate media platforms and approaches.

  • Develops and implements goals, policies and programs to effectively manage park and trail resources for citizens and visitors.

    Attributes of a successful Director:

  • Ability to set priorities and develop and measure program outcomes.

  • Ability to create and maintain strong working relationships with key stakeholder groups and

    work collaboratively to resolve problems and satisfy expectations.

  • Ability to foresee and identify problems, determine accuracy and relevance of information, and

    use sound judgment and appropriate context to evaluate alternatives and make and implement


  • Outstanding written and interpersonal skills with the ability to build relationships, establish

    credibility, and influence leaders, staff, and partners, at all levels.


  • Bachelor’s degree in parks and recreation management, natural resource management, business administration, hospitality, or related field.

  • Five years senior management work experience in parks and recreation management, natural resource management, business administration, hospitality, or related field.

  • Executive-level composure and presence.

  • Highly effective communication skills – written and oral.

  • Strong strategic thinking with the ability to develop and implement high-impact solutions.

  • Excellent judgement with analytical and decision-making ability for immediate and long-term


  • Strong ability to plan, organize, lead, and guide all aspects of department administration

    including budget development and management.

  • Must be able to lead, motivate and develop talent to achieve organizational strategy.

  • Good understanding of the shared interests and diversity of recreation opportunities.

  • Fundamental knowledge of the legislative process and government operations.

    Hiring salary range - State Unclassified Labor Grade GG: $78,520 – $109,408
    Benefits: Please see attached link: for details on all benefits, to

    include the following:

    Health & Dental Insurance, Flex Spending Heath Care, $50,000 State Paid Life Insurance, Prescription Drug Plan, NH Retirement Defined Benefit Plan as well as deferred compensation.

    How to apply:

    Applicants are asked to apply by submitting the following:

  • A letter of Interest explaining what makes you a competitive candidate for this opportunity.

  • A current resume detailing your education and experience.

  • Three (3) professional references.

    This posting will remain open until filled. Application packages should be sent to:

    Sarah Stewart, Commissioner
    NH Department of Natural and Cultural Resources: Sarah.l.stewart@dncr.nh