Brecksville, OH

Cuyahoga Valley National Park to appoint their first female superintendent

James Stephens
Cuyahoga Valley National ParkWikimedia Commons

BRECKSVILLE, OH – Cuyahoga Valley National Park elects Dr. Lisa Petit as their superintendent, making her the first woman to be appointed as Superintendent of Cuyahoga Valley National Park since the park was first established back in 1974. The Director of National Park Service, Bert Frost, announced Dr. Petit to have her position as superintendent for the past 6 months be made permanent.

Frost stated that Dr. Petit has been contributing to the development and growth of Cuyahoga Valley National Park for over 20 years. “During this time, she fostered strong professional and personal relationships with key agencies, non-profit partners, and surrounding communities to improve the condition of park resources and enhance the visitor experience, especially on the Cuyahoga River,” he added.

Her new work as a superintendent of Cuyahoga Valley National Park includes managing James A. Garfield National Historic Site and First Ladies National Historic Site. She feels honored to work and contribute to maintaining both historic sites.

“I am excited to continue working with the exceptional staff, partners, and communities to realize the potential of Ohio’s only national park and its affiliated historic sites in bringing environmental, recreational, and economic benefits to our surrounding communities and the American public,” she added.

Before her recent position, she has experience with numerous leadership positions in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. She began her professional journey in NPS as a Wildlife Biologist. Then, she became Chief of Resource Management at the park. She was a Deputy Superintendent before she was appointed as the Acting Superintendent.

She also worked as a Research Biologist for eight years under the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. As a researcher, she focused on the role of parks in resource conservation. Her research was then published in peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. Petit's education background started with her Bachelor’s degree in Zoology from The Ohio State University, continued with her Master of Science degree in Biology which she earned from Bowling Green State University. She earned her Ph.D. in Zoology at the University of Arkansas. She also spent a year in England when she was a Doctoral Scholar at Cambridge University. She lives with her family near Akron where she is a contributing member of the community in her neighborhood.

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