DENVER – Hugh Hawthorne, a 15-year veteran of the National Park Service (NPS), has been named superintendent of Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument in New Mexico, announced Intermountain Regional Director Sue Masica. Hawthorne will assume his new responsibilities on April 20, 2014.
Currently, Hawthorne is the director of Visitor Services, Youth and Education Programs at Boston Harbor Island National Recreation Area in Massachusetts. He supervises a complex visitor service, interpretation and education program as part of a unique partnership park made up of federal, state, municipal and non-profit entities.
"Hugh has all the tools to be an effective superintendent," said Regional Director Sue Masica. "With his background, Hugh will continue his solid record of service to our nation and the National Park Service."
Hawthorne began his NPS career as a student conservation association intern at Cedar Breaks National Monument in Utah. He worked seasonally at a number of park units throughout the service and began his permanent NPS career at Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico in 2004. Hawthorne also served a 3-year stint as chief of interpretation at Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming.
Hawthorne earned a bachelor's degree in history at the University of Idaho in 1982, and has also done graduate work in geology and interpretation. Prior to his NPS career, Hawthorne served 7 years as a surface warfare officer in the United States Navy and holds the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the Naval Reserve.
"I am looking forward to moving back to the west and returning to the desert," said Hawthorne. "As a 'Theodore Roosevelt' specialist, I love the thought of managing an original Roosevelt National Monument and look forward to sharing resources with the United States Forest Service in another unique partnership arrangement."
Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, located in southwestern New Mexico, was established in 1907 to protect the architectural remains of an ancient village. The cliff itself was created by volcanic activity and subsequent erosion and contains the remains of dwellings built in five cliff alcoves by ancient Puebloan people of the Mogollon area. A generation of people lived in these cliff dwellings in the late 1200s CE (Common Era) before moving on during a time of many migrations.
More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.