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Nersesian Selected as Superintendent of Gateway National Recreation Area

National Parks of New York Harbor

National Park News

NEW YORK – Jennifer T. Nersesian has been selected as the next superintendent to lead Gateway National Recreation Area, according to Joshua Laird, commissioner of the National Parks of New York Harbor. Nersesian replaces Linda Canzanelli who retired earlier this year. Gateway National Recreation Area includes 26,000 acres in New York City and northern New Jersey. Gateway is one of the first units of the National Park Service specifically intended to serve the needs of its urban residents. Its beaches, marshes, bike paths and historic sites are great places to have fun and enjoy the outdoors in an urban setting.

“I am very pleased to have Superintendent Nersesian stepping into this important position,” said Laird. “This is a time of great opportunity for Gateway.  With the completion of our General Management Plan, the park is poised to become a model of resiliency and showcase for all that a 21st Century urban national park can be. Through her combination of experiences at New Bedford and Yosemite, Jen has the skills to work with our key partners and diverse stakeholders in order to realize these exciting goals.

Nersesian most recently served as the superintendent for New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park and brings 11 years of experience in the National Park Service (NPS). While at New Bedford Whaling, she pursued new and innovative partnership opportunities, engaging educational institutions, governmental agencies and community groups to establish pioneering projects involving the park.

“This is such an exciting moment in Gateway’s history,” said Nersesian.  “So many pieces are coming together -- the deepened relationship with the City, the educational partnerships, the advisory committee at Sandy Hook,  the interest of philanthropic supporters, the new General Management Plan for the park.  There is tremendous opportunity ahead, and by working together – the staff, the partners, and the community – and connecting our collective assets and resources, we will raise to a whole new level what it means to be a ‘gateway’ to a unique and meaningful experience for millions of urban residents.”

During Nersesian’s tenure with New Bedford Whaling, she led a team engaged in many initiatives; including the formation of a key friends group, developing a new shuttle pilot program for the park in partnership with the City of New Bedford and the Southeast Regional Transit Authority, and increasing the park’s accessibility to both physical and “virtual” visitors through new and emerging technology.

Nersesian’s other positions with NPS include: management assistant to the superintendent of Yosemite National Park, branch chief for public involvement and outreach at Yosemite and realty specialist at the NPS Pacific West Regional Office.  She began with the NPS as a Presidential Management Fellow after working for years in the private sector.

A native of New Jersey, Nersesian holds a master of public policy with a concentration in environmental policy from Rutgers. She will be living on Staten Island with her husband and two children.


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