GWMP Announces New Chief of Staff

The George Washington Memorial Parkway announced the addition of a new Chief of Staff, Dr. Christopher Hershey. The position was formerly filled by Aaron LaRocca who left to become Superintendent of the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park. The Chief of Staff plays a vital role in keeping park projects moving as well as maintaining relationships with GWMP’s Friends groups like the Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail. We’re looking forward to working with Dr. Hershey to continue making the Mount Vernon Trail a world class trail. Dr. Hershey’s bio from NPS is below:

Dr. Christopher Hershey, widely known as “Doc,” is a dedicated public servant, military veteran, and  esteemed member of the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation, a state-recognized tribe in North  Carolina. He has been appointed to serve as the Chief of Staff and Public Information Officer for the  George Washington Memorial Parkway, furthering his commitment to environmental conservation  and public service. Dr. Hershey’s extensive background includes positions in the U.S. Department of  State, The White House, Department of Veterans Affairs and most recently as Chief of Staff  Department of Energy Office of Research, Development, Testing and Evaluation.

Dr. Hershey is a highly accomplished leader with impressive credentials and extensive experience in  Resource Management. In addition to his Doctorate from Saint Thomas University with a focus on  International Affairs and Masters in Public Administration from North Carolina Central University, he has  received specialized training in Legislative Affairs at the Foreign Service Institute, which has further  enhanced his skill set and expertise. As a Certified Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Practitioner from  Cornell University, Dr. Hershey is deeply committed to promoting inclusive and equitable practices within  the National Park Services.

Dr. Hershey and his family reside in the Palisades neighborhood, adjacent to the beautiful Glen Echo Park.  This proximity to the park and Potomac River has given him a unique appreciation for the importance of  protecting and preserving our nation’s natural resources for the enjoyment and benefit of present and future  generations.

Throughout his career, Dr. Hershey has served in various roles that showcase his experience in land use  management, environmental conservation, and collaboration with diverse stakeholders. He has worked with  the Maryland National Capital Parks and Planning Commission as the Director of Special Projects and  Major Capital Construction Projects, focusing on responsible and sustainable development of parks and  recreational facilities. He worked with the Department of Veterans Affairs, collaborating with National,  State and Tribal Cemeteries as part of the National Cemetery Affairs, promoting the preservation of our  nation’s historic and cultural heritage. As Deputy Director for Marine Environmental Response with the  United States Coast Guard, he played a significant role in preserving and protecting our nation’s waters and  marine ecosystems. Additionally, as a member of the RESTORE Council Federal Board of Directors and  Senior Policy Advisor, he contributed to the restoration and conservation of the Gulf Coast’s natural  resources and ecosystems.

Dr. Hershey expressed his enthusiasm for his new role, stating, “I am truly honored to join the National  Park Service. I am deeply committed to working alongside the Superintendent, staff, and stakeholders to  ensure that we protect and preserve our parks for generations to come. I look forward to fostering  meaningful partnerships and engaging with community leaders, nonprofit organizations and elected  officials at local, state, and congressional levels.”

In his new role, Dr. Hershey will be dedicated to supporting the National Park Service mission to protect  and preserve our parks, while promoting partnership, community engagement, and collaboration with  local, state, and congressional leaders. His extensive public service experience, expertise in land use  management, and environmental conservation make him an invaluable asset. Please join us in welcoming  Doc Hershey to the George Washington Memorial Parkway Team.

The Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail needs your help to continue improving the trail. Sign up for a volunteer trail improvement event or Donate to Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail to help us purchase tools and supplies.

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