Mount Rainier National Park didn’t have to go far to find its new leader.
The National Park service announced Thursday that Chip Jenkins, who launched his career at North Cascades National Park, will be Rainier’s new superintendent. He replaces Randy King, who retired in January.
Jenkins is the NPS Pacific West Region deputy regional director. He is based in Seattle but has been on assignment since March at Yosemite National Park, where he is the acting superintendent.
With 31 years experience with the NPS, he says he’s excited to work at Rainier.
“In my current job, I’m often away from home,” Jenkins said. “Mount Rainier has always been a beacon of sorts for me. When I see it, I know I’m home. And now that cannot be more true. I am honored to have the chance to work with the professional and passionate people who make Mount Rainier a magical place.”
Jenkins got his start as a seasonal ranger at North Cascades. His career has taken him to the Yosemite, Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, and parks in California, Colorado and Indiana. He served as superintendent at North Cascades National Park and worked as a special assistant to the NPS director in Washington, D.C.
“Chip brings with him his years of experience working in the Pacific Northwest,” said Martha Lee, acting regional director for the Pacific West Region. “His leadership acumen and established rapport with many key partners in Washington state will serve the park well.”
His wife, Laurie Lee Jenkins, also work for the NPS. They have two sons, Hayden and Logan. Hayden attends the University of Washington and Logan is in high school.
Jenkins is scheduled to start his tenure at Rainier in mid-March. Tracy Swartout is the park’s acting superintendent.