A 20-year National Park Service veteran has been tabbed to oversee management of Fort Monroe National Monument in Virginia.
Kirsten Talken-Spaulding, who has held National Park Service positions from Hawaii to Washington, D.C., was handed the reins as the monument's superintendent on Wednesday, the day after President Obama turned to the Antiquities Act of 1906 to add Fort Monroe to the National Park System as a national monument.
“Kirsten has the intelligence, passion and leadership skills to ensure that Fort Monroe National Monument honors the site’s history and natural resources as it takes its place as America’s newest national park," Park Service Director Jon Jarvis said in making the appointment.
Superintendent Talken-Spaulding most recently was a National Park Service Bevinetto Congressional Fellow who worked in both the agency's Washington legislative affairs office and a congressional committee office on Capitol Hill during the two-year leadership program. She previously served at National Capital Parks-East as chief ranger. She has held other management positions at Prince William Forest Park (Va.), Haleakala National Park (Hawaii), and Mojave National Preserve (Calif.).
“Coming to Ft. Monroe is like coming home. I grew up in this area,” said the new superintendent. “Several generations of my family have served in the military, and I’m honored to work with the community, park partners, and the City of Hampton who first developed the vision for this national monument.”
Superintendent Talken-Spaulding served in the United States Navy Reserve. She holds a bachelors degree in Biology from The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and a Master of Divinity from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina.
While the National Park Service works with the community to start the planning for the new park, most of Fort Monroe will continue to be open to the public. More information is available at the new website: www.nps.gov/fomr.