National Park Service Regional Director Gay Vietzke has named Hugh Hawthorne as the new superintendent of Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland and Virginia. Hawthorne will begin his new assignment in June.
“Assateague Island National Seashore will benefit from Hugh’s experience in spearheading deferred maintenance projects vital to park infrastructure needs while balancing the park’s remarkable and sensitive resources,” said Vietzke, director of NPS Region 1. “At his last park, he managed more than $2 million in projects over the last two years, with several more in the pipeline. His energy, focus and balance will be a strong asset for Assateague.”
“I feel honored and humbled by this appointment,” said Hawthorne. “I’m excited to work at a coastal park, especially one that is such an amazing and treasured place. I look forward to collaborating with staff, partners, visitors and stakeholders to safely maximize park access, especially during this challenging time.”
After working for the United States Naval Reserve and Navy, Hawthorne joined the National Park Service in 2000. Before coming to Assateague Island National Seashore, he served as superintendent at two other parks: Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument in New Mexico and, most recently, William Howard Taft National Historic Site in Ohio. Over his career he has worked closely with and run joint operations with the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Forest Service and Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. He has also worked closely with various Native American tribal groups and large nongovernmental organizations. Hawthorne holds a Bachelor of Science in history from the University of Idaho, where he also undertook graduate studies in geology.