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Marta Cruz Kelly Named National Chief of Interpretation

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avatar Marta Cruz Kelly Named National Chief of Interpretation
November 20, 2010 06:28PM
Marta Cruz Kelly Named National Chief of Interpretation
For Immediate Release:
November 19, 2010

Washington, DC – National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis today announced the selection of Marta Cruz Kelly as the agency's new chief of interpretation.

"Marta is an exciting and innovative leader," said Jarvis. "She is passionate about helping people of all ages understand and connect with their natural and cultural heritage. For the last 30 years, she has designed and managed large-scale education and civic engagement programs incorporating partnerships and cutting edge technology." Kelly will oversee all National Park Service interpretive services, including education programs, community outreach, planning, employee training, cooperating associations, and the volunteer-in-parks program. She will provide guidance to 5,100 permanent and seasonal interpreters and 196,000 volunteers. Last year, 173 million people participated in National Park Service interpretive activities.

Kelly's love of history and the outdoors originated with frequent childhood trips to visit relatives in Puerto Rico. "I roamed the rainforest and explored San Juan's historic fort with my cousins," she said. "My great-grandfather was a wonderful storyteller who enthralled all of us with tales about pirates and treasures. He made history exciting and alive. He sparked a lifelong interest in me to do the same."

"In college, I was overjoyed to discover that I could get a job that allowed me to pursue my passion for the outdoors," she said. "I became an interpretive park ranger at nearby Indiana Dunes and stayed there for eight years. I am from a multi-cultural family and bilingual so I especially realized the importance of reaching out to all Americans. I eventually became a supervisor and the park's bilingual programs coordinator. It has been my mission to help everyone and anyone form deep personal connections with their environment and heritage."

Kelly's other National Park Service experience includes serving as the site manager at Mary MacLeod Bethune National Historic Site in Washington, DC, a training manager at Albright Learning Center located in Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, and superintendent of New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park.

Kelly is currently the E-Training Project Manager for the Department of the Interior where she has used technology and media to improve government operations and public service. She has also worked in the Department of the Interior's Office of Educational Partnerships and for the Student Conservation Association, the Philadelphia Ranger Corps, and Earth Force, Inc. in a variety of supervisory outreach roles.
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