Palmer "Chip" Jenkins, Jr., has been named as the new superintendent of Grand Teton National Park and the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway in Wyoming. Jenkins has more than 34 years of experience working in and leading national parks and is currently serving as the superintendent of Mount Rainer National Park. He will assume his new role in the next 60 days.
“Chip is adept at building coalitions and finding innovative and collaborative solutions to tough challenges. Grand Teton National Park is an important part of the Jackson Hole community, and a strong partnership between the park and the local community is very important. Chip will be a great fit for this iconic national park,” said Rob Wallace, assistant secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
“Chip’s impressive track record of expanding collaborative education programs and his commitment to providing first-rate experiences for park visitors make him an excellent fit in this role,” said Margaret Everson, counselor to the secretary, exercising the delegated authority of the National Park Service director.
“I am honored to join the employees, partners and incredible community of stewards that care for Grand Teton National Park and I look forward to working side by side with the amazing team,” Jenkins said.
As superintendent, Jenkins will manage more than 310,000 acres of park lands, including the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway and much of the iconic Teton Range, whose jagged peaks and distinctive geology make it a classic vista of the American West. Grand Teton is home to a wide range of wildlife species, including grizzly bears, gray wolves and American bison. The park and parkway protect 51 miles of wild and scenic rivers and a cherished assortment of significant cultural resources and historic objects, including 19th-century ranch structures.
“I am very grateful to Deputy Superintendent Gopaul Noojibail for his leadership of Grand Teton National Park through this extended transition,” said Regional Director Michael Reynolds. “Chip is joining a strong team at Grand Teton and brings extensive experience connecting with local communities and partners to this position.”
Jenkins has served as superintendent at Mount Rainier National Park since 2018. His previous service includes serving as superintendent of North Cascades National Park, superintendent of Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, acting superintendent of Yosemite National Park, and as a deputy regional director and acting regional director. Jenkins also worked as a natural resources specialist with the NPS’ Denver Service Center, the agency’s central planning, design, and construction management office. He began his career as a seasonal ranger at North Cascades National Park.
Jenkins’ wife, Laurie, also works for the NPS in the National Natural Landmarks program. Chip and Laurie have two sons, one a senior at the University of Washington and one a freshman at Montana State University. They enjoy hiking, camping, mountain biking, and any kind of skiing.
Jenkins graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara with a bachelor’s degree in geography and environmental studies. He is also a graduate of the Department of the Interior Senior Executive Service Development Program and received the Department of the Interior Superior Service award.
Welcome to Grand Teton, Chip. We look forward to working with you!