Cuyahoga Valley National Park's new deputy superintendent is returning home to the place she started her career.
Karen Dorn, currently the superintendent of Hopewell Culture National Historical Park in Chillicothe, will transfer into her new role at CVNP in mid-February and relocate to the Akron area in March.
"We are thrilled to welcome Karen to our leadership team. We will benefit from her wealth of operational and partnership experience as we move our three parks into the future,” said CVNP Superintendent Lisa Petit, who along with Dorn also oversees James A. Garfield National Historic Site in Mentor and First Ladies National Historic Site in Canton. “She has proven herself to be a passionate, collaborative and caring leader who is committed to the mission of the National Park Service and to the professional and personal success of her employees and colleagues.”
According to CVNP, Dorn is a 36-year veteran of the National Park Service, serving in a dozen park units and several disciplines, including visitor and resource protection, natural and cultural resource management, interpretation, public affairs and partnership development.
A Northeast Ohio native, Dorn began her career as a seasonal law enforcement ranger at CVNP. Before taking the superintendent position at Hopewell Culture in 2018, Dorn served as superintendent of Pinnacles National Park in California and superintendent at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park in Seattle, Washington.
During her time at Hopewell Culture, CVNP said that Dorn worked closely with the Ohio History Connection to submit a nomination for the “Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks” to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. She has also worked to improve communication with the park’s Tribal Nations partners to support projects, youth employment and recognition of Native American history and heritage, CVNP said.
“I am honored to be selected as deputy superintendent and excited to return to my park service 'roots' at CVNP,” Dorn said. “I look forward to being part of the amazing changes underway to support environmental, recreational and economic benefits for the visiting public and local communities.”
Dorn graduated in 1984 from Kent State University with a bachelor's degree in biology and enjoys Rotary Club activities, horseback riding, traveling and hiking. She completed the Penn State University Executive Program for Emerging Leaders in Public Service and the National Park Service Superintendent’s Leadership Academy.
Dorn is filling the role previously held by Petit, who was became acting superintendent and later was named permanent superintendent after Craig Kenkel left the post last year to become superintendent of the Point Reyes National Seashore in California. He had served as CVNP superintendent since 2014.
Petit is the first woman to serve as superintendent of the 33,000-acre Cuyahoga Valley National Park since it was established as the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area in 1974. It was renamed Cuyahoga Valley National Park in 2000.
This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Karen Dorn named Cuyahoga Valley National Park deputy superintendent