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National Park Service Southeast Regional Director Stan Austin announced on May 14 that Cindy MacLeod has been selected as the acting superintendent of Great Smoky Mountains National Park effective June 1. MacLeod is the superintendent of Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia. She replaces Pedro Ramos who has been the acting superintendent since January. Ramos will return to his position as superintendent of Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida.
“Cindy is an experienced superintendent and I know she will bring great leadership and energy to the Smokies until we complete the search for a permanent superintendent,” Austin said.
MacLeod said: “I think this is a dream job, especially for the summer. I look forward to working with the park staff, volunteers, and partners to continue to meet the mission of taking care of and learning about the wondrous diversity of life, and providing for its enjoyment in a safe, sustainable way.”
MacLeod began her career with the National Park Service in Michigan in 1980 as an architectural historian. She worked in the National Park Service regional offices in Omaha, Neb., and in Philadelphia. She served in international assignments in Poland and France. Prior to joining Independence National Historical Park, she was superintendent of Richmond National Battlefield Park and Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site in Virginia.
MacLeod has a master’s degree in architectural history from the University of Virginia and a bachelor’s degree from Duke University, where she majored in both zoology and comparative literature. She completed Harvard University’s Senior Managers in Government Program and the Senior Executive Service training program. She is married to architect Douglas Harnsberger, and they have two children.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the largest protected land areas east of the Rocky Mountains, with more than 500,000 acres of forests and more than 2,000 miles of streams. It spans eastern Tennessee and Western North Carolina along the high peaks of the Appalachian Mountains. It is the nation’s most visited national park, with more than 9 million visitors a year.