Shawn Benge has been appointed the acting Superintendent for both Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks effective March 31 2014. Shawn will be on a 90 day assignment to fill the position held by retiring Superintendent Dan Kimball for the past ten years.
Benge has 26 years of experience with the National Park Service and comes to south Florida from Atlanta where he is the Deputy Regional Director responsible for operations and providing leadership to the Gulf Coast Cluster of national parks.Shawn was the primary agency official responsible for managing NPS oil spill response activities associated with Deepwater Horizon.
A native of Seymour, Texas, Benge graduated from Texas Tech University with a bachelor's degree in Landscape Architecture. He began his career with the NPS at Big Bend National Park in Texas as a Landscape Architect.In 1991 he became a Project Supervisor at the NPS's Denver Service Center, its main park planning, design and development facility.
Benge later became a Park Planner/Landscape Architect for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and, in 2000, he was promoted to Deputy Chief of Facility Management.In 2002, he was promoted to Facility Manager for the park.
While at the "Great Smokies" Benge managed a workforce of more than a hundred people who maintain the park's roads, trails, historic properties, and visitor facilities.He also managed planning and decision-making processes that addressed and resolved a variety of complex issues affecting the future of park resources and visitor use.
"It's both a great honor and tremendous responsibility to be acting superintendent of two very different and important national parks in the southeast region.Each of these parks have significant natural and cultural resources." Benge said."I'm looking forward to working with the parks' dedicated staff, our many supporters, park neighbors and partner organizations to further public appreciation and long-term preservation of these special places."
Did You Know?
Around 200 VIPs (Volunteers-in-Parks) assist Everglades National Park each year through hours of hard work and dedication.