Park has a new interim superintendent

Kirsten Talken-Spaulding named acting superintendent of Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

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  • Kirsten Talken-Spaulding (Photo provided)

— Kirsten Talken-Spaulding has been named Acting Superintendent of Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. She will take the helm later this month and will be working out of the superintendent’s office at Park Headquarters beginning in early January.

She will be in the park until early spring unless a new permanent superintendent is named before then. A nationwide search to fill the position permanently will be conducted by the National Park Service.

John J. Donahue recently retired from the position of Superintendent after 14 years in the park.

“I am really looking forward to learning more about Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and helping with the transition to a new superintendent,” said Talken-Spaulding. “There are a lot of exciting projects going on in the park right now and I want to maintain that positive momentum moving forward.”

Talken-Spaulding comes to the park with a wealth of experience and leadership skills. She is currently the superintendent at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park in Virginia. Prior to that, she served as the first superintendent of Fort Monroe National Historic Site, also in Virginia, where she led startup operations for a brand new national park unit. She began her NPS career in 1988 at Shenandoah National Park and held positions at Mojave National Preserve in California, NPS Headquarters and the National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington, D.C., Haleakala National Park in Hawaii, and several parks in the National Capital Region including Prince William Forest Park and National Capital Parks-East.

As a Bevinetto Congressional Fellow in Washington, D.C., from 2010 to 2011, Talken-Spaulding served as a staff member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and as special assistant to the NPS director. She also worked with the NPS Legislative and Congressional Affairs office. The Bevinetto Congressional Fellowship is a highly competitive and intensive 2-year training and development program for NPS employees.

More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities.

For information about Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and all of its programs, services and facilities, call park headquarters at 570-426-2452, Monday through Friday (except federal holidays) from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; visit the park’s website at; or follow the park on Facebook.

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