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Date:  Dec 4, 2021
Req ID:  13580

Little Rock, AR, US, 72201

Anticipated Starting Salary:  108,110


Position #:     22092630

Salary:           $108,110

Grade:          SE01

Requisition:    13580

Location:       Little Rock, AR

Closing date:  12/31/2021


The Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism (ADPHT) is seeking a Director of Arkansas State Parks to oversee all operations of the State Parks Division’s 52 parks, as well as the team of professionals that make the system a pillar of Arkansas tourism and outdoor recreation. A successful candidate will combine a proven record of dynamic leadership with a demonstrated commitment to excellence and a passion for service to our guests, our team, and the state of Arkansas.


Under the direction of the ADPHT Secretary, the Director of State Parks leads in the coordination and implementation of programming, administrative, planning, and operational functions of the state parks system. The Director bears primary responsibility for ensuring the division achieves results that are aligned with the strategic direction of the Department and the mission of Arkansas State Parks.



  • Lead a high-impact team that supports an innovative, customer-focused culture that aligns with the Department’s mission and values.
  • Determine the vision, strategic priorities, and goals for the Division, in coordination with the ADPHT Secretary. Establish program objectives and performance goals and lead in assessing progress toward their achievement. Demonstrate an ability to stay focused on results despite changing conditions.
  • Model hospitality, as a division and as a leader, in a manner that sets a standard for the tourism industry on the state and national level.
  • Practice good stewardship as a division leader, serving as an example for employees and other divisions of government.
  • Participate in the creation of the division’s $125 million budget to ensure proper funding, personnel, and other resources to best serve the people of Arkansas and our guests.
  • Develop and implement a robust construction program including both capital improvement and major maintenance projects to maintain exceptional facilities across the park system.
  • Direct the preparation of reports, contracts, leases, and permits connected with or affecting the operation of state parks and recreation areas.
  • Engage with various stakeholders to exchange ideas and build support for Department and Division initiatives.
  • Foster and encourage partnerships with individuals, organizations, government agencies, nonprofits, and companies that help achieve the goals set for state parks.



  • Bachelor’s degree in parks and recreation management, natural resource management, public administration, business administration, or related field.
  • Five years senior management work experience.
  • Executive-level composure and presence with highly effective communication and collaboration skills. Utilizes good judgment, initiative, resourcefulness, courtesy, and tact.
  • Analytical and decision-making ability for immediate and long-term decisions. Utilizes strong strategic thinking skills.
  • Strong team development skills. Must be able to lead, motivate and develop talent.
  • Possesses an in-depth understanding of park operations including a strong ability to plan, organize, lead, and guide all aspects of division administration including budget development, prioritizing major construction projects, and park-wide operational management.
  • Strong knowledge of the variety of outdoor recreation opportunities in Arkansas.
  • Fundamental knowledge of the legislative process and government operations.
  • Strong communications skills capable of expressing ideas, both orally and in writing, concisely and clearly.


Preferred Qualifications

  • Management and leadership experience in natural resources, hospitality, and/or historic preservation organizations (e.g., parks, outdoor recreation, public lands, hotels, lodges, resorts, restaurants, land conservation, museums).
  • Authoritative knowledge of organization, administrative policies, and procedures of a typical state park system. Experience with the legislative development process, rulemaking, or other administrative procedures.  
  • Management and leadership experience in state, local or regional government, including budgeting, human resources, public engagement, and working with elected officials.
  • Demonstrated experience in organizing, assigning, and directing the work of a large staff.
  • Successful experience collaborating on projects and initiatives with a range of partners such as government agencies or private/public partnerships.
  • Prior experience as a certified law enforcement officer either as a park ranger or with another state or local agency.



The Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism has three major divisions: Arkansas State Parks, Arkansas Heritage and Arkansas Tourism. Arkansas State Parks manages 52 state parks and promotes Arkansas as a tourist destination for people around the country. Arkansas Heritage preserves and promotes Arkansas’s natural and cultural history and heritage through four historic museums and four cultural preservation agencies. Arkansas Tourism improves the state’s economy by generating travel and enhancing the image of the state.






Position Information

Class Code: U068U

Grade: SE01


Salary Range: $108,110.00 - $147,200.00




Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Minimum Qualifications


The State of Arkansas is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, age, disability, citizenship, national origin, genetic information, military or veteran status, or any other status or characteristic protected by law.

Nearest Major Market: Little Rock