National Park Service names new Alaska regional director
WASHINGTON – Sarah Creachbaum, a 22-year National Park Service (NPS) veteran was named today as the agency’s new regional director for Alaska. Creachbaum comes to the role from Olympic National Park in Washington where she has served as the park’s superintendent since 2012. She begins her new role on January 16.
“Throughout her career, Sarah has proven herself to be a skilled manager and effective leader with a demonstrated track record of innovation in resolving complex land management challenges,” said Shawn Benge, NPS deputy director. “Sarah is also known for her inclusive approach to managing parks, ensuring local communities and Indigenous peoples’ voices are heard and reflected in decisions.”
As Alaska regional director, Creachbaum will oversee operations for 15 national parks, preserves, monuments, and national historical parks, as well as 13 national wild rivers, two affiliated areas, and a national heritage area. Alaska is also home to 50 National Historic Landmarks, 16 National Natural Landmarks, one of the United States’ 24 World Heritage Sites, the nation’s largest glacial system, world-class wildlife viewing, and North America’s tallest peak.
“I first fell in love with Alaska on a trip to Denali as a young adult and became deeply interested in the State’s issues while serving as the NPS Alaska desk officer in Washington, D.C. in 2005,” Creachbaum said. “I am thrilled to return to Alaska to lead the dedicated team of NPS professionals working to protect millions of acres of diverse and vital wilderness, preserve Alaska’s unique and important human history, and ensure Alaska’s Indigenous peoples’ lifeways thrive but also have a central voice in how the NPS carries out our stewardship responsibilities.”
Creachbaum has served as a national park superintendent since 2006, first at War in the Pacific National Historical Park in Guam, then at Haleakala National Park, and currently at Olympic National Park. She was also tapped to serve as the interim head of Grand Canyon National Park in 2019 and Lake Mead National Recreation Area in summer 2021.
In addition to graduating from the Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program in 2017, she has completed training with the Federal Executive Institute, served as the Chairperson for the NPS National Wilderness Stewardship Council, and was awarded the NPS Bevinetto Fellowship, an honor established by Congress to improve mutual understanding and cooperation between the NPS and Congress.
Creachbaum received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Arizona and a Master of Landscape Architecture from Utah State University. She will move to Alaska with her husband Bob and border collie Jimmy.