Chair: Phil Francis
Phil retired in 2013 after serving for 41 years in various capacities with the National Park Service. His positions included serving as Administrative Officer of Chickamauga and Chattanooga NMP, Shenandoah NP, and Yosemite NP; and as Associate Regional Director, Administration, for the Southwest Region. He also served as Deputy Superintendent of Great Smoky Mountains National Park from 1994 to 2005, including three years as Acting Superintendent; then served as Superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway from 2005 until his retirement. As a retiree, Phil joined the Coalition’s Executive Council in 2014, serving as Vice Chair 2014 – 2017 and Chair from 2018 – 2021 before rotating off of the council.
Vice Chair: Don Hellmann
Don Hellmann is the former Assistant Director for Legislative and Congressional Affairs for the National Park Service. Don ended his 40-year career working with Congress at the beginning of 2017, including the last 22 years with the National Park Service. Don joined the National Park Service in 1994 and was responsible for the development, coordination, and implementation of its legislative affairs program.
Before his position with the National Park Service, Don was Vice President for Conservation at The Wilderness Society, where he directed the conservation advocacy program before Congress and coordinated the litigation agenda of the organization. Before assuming this position, Don served as Legislative Counsel for the society. Don joined The Wilderness Society’s staff in 1988.
Don also worked on Capitol Hill for Senator Walter D. Huddleston (D-KY), from his home state of Kentucky, from 1977 to 1985. He subsequently worked for Rep. Tony Coelho (D-CA) from 1985 to 1988. He has a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and is a member of the District of Columbia Bar.
Sue Consolo Murphy retired in 2019 from Grand Teton NP/John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway where she served as Chief of Science and Resource Management. In her 40-year NPS career, she was cultural resources chief, editor of Yellowstone Science, a resource biologist and seasonal interpreter at Yellowstone NP and also worked at Rocky Mountain and Badlands National Parks, Muir Woods NM, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, Manzanar NHS, and Grand Canyon NP as well as the Wasatch-Cache National Forest. Sue was the 2013 recipient of the NPS Director’s Award for Excellence in Natural Resource Management and a 2008 honoree of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee for significant contributions to grizzly bear recovery. She earned a B.S. in Recreation and Park Administration from the Univ. of Wyoming and an M.S. in Forest Resource Conservation from the Univ. of Montana. She lives in Wapiti, Wyoming with her biologist husband, Dr. Kerry Murphy, and has two grown daughters.
Sue Fritzke started with the NPS in 1985 as a seasonal park guide in Yosemite National Park and completed her career as Capitol Reef National Park superintendent in 2023. Her career included positions in interpretation, fire management, resources management, and park management in fourteen parks spanning a breadth of resources, including wilderness, threatened and endangered species, invasive species, ecosystem restoration, community partnerships, and volunteer programs, World War II history and women’s rights, and historic orchards and ranching programs. She developed strong skills in collaboration in parks with difficult relationships with surrounding communities, finding common ground to achieve park and community goals. Sue has a B.A. from U.C. Santa Barbara in Environmental Studies and Physical Geography, and an M.S. from Oregon State University in Plant Ecology and Physical Geography and is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Ecuador).
Russell began his career with the National Park Service as a seasonal park technician in 1978 and retired in 2018 as the Superintendent of Channel Islands National Park. His career brought him to work in seven of our nation’s national parks, from the tip of Florida (Everglades NP) to the largest park (Wrangell-St. Elias NP/P) to one of the most iconic parks (Yosemite NP). Russell is a graduate of the second Natural Resources Trainee Program. He has been honored with the NPCA Stephen Tyng Mather Award, California State University-Channel Islands Robert Lagomarsino Award, NPS Director’s Award for Superintendent of the Year for Natural Resources Management, USFWS Endangered Species Recovery Champion, DOI Honor Award, and George Wright Society Outstanding Natural Resources Management Award.
Russell currently serves on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Expert Assessment Group for the Green List (EAGL). Their task is to determine if and how California’s Marine Protected Areas Network meets the IUCN Green List Standard. He also serves on the Ventura Land Trust Land Committee.
Patrick began his NPS career in 1984 as the Federal Lands Highway Program coordinator with the National Capital Region (NCR) Office of Professional Services. In 1992, Patrick became NCR’s Chief of Planning and was recognized as “Regional Employee of the Year.” During his time with NCR, he oversaw the rehabilitation of all four NCR parkways, managed general management plans for seven parks, started the first regional Geographic Information Science program, and was the lead in creating the first websites for NPS units. Patrick served as the Division Manager for Park Planning and Special Studies under Park Planning, Facilities, and Lands from 2007 until May 2022, where he directed the National Park Planning and Special Studies program. During his tenure, highlights include creating the Visitor Use Management and Foundation Document programs and providing funds to complete 95% of the NPS park units Foundation Documents. Patrick has been recognized throughout his accomplished NPS career, recently receiving a Superior Service Citation from the Department of the Interior and the Wes Henry Excellence in Wilderness Award.
Tim began his 50+ year NPS career as a seasonal laborer in 1967 at Kings Canyon NP and retired in 2021 as the Superintendent of Katahdin Woods and Waters NM. He was a field project supervisor for different types of infrastructure in over ten different parks from the southwest to Alaska. He was an original employee of the Denver Service Center when it was formed in 1971. He worked in Yellowstone National Park for 31 years. He left as the Chief of Maintenance, worked in the Alaska Regional Office, and left in 2013 as the Associate Regional Director for Operations. Tim oversaw rebuilding Yellowstone’s infrastructure damaged by the 1988 fires and managed the Superstorm Sandy recovery in the New York City area. He has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of California, Davis, and a master’s degree in environmental health engineering from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Tim worked on national issues with housing, deferred maintenance, and significant construction programs and also has extensive experience with resiliency, utilities, alternative energy, and solid waste systems. He is a recipient of the Department’s Distinguished Service Award. After retirement, Tim volunteers for a non-profit for a park in Thailand and works with a National Scenic Byway in northern Maine. He and his wife, Mary, a retired NPS engineer, have two grown children and live in Bangor, Maine.
Elaine F. Leslie
Elaine F. Leslie served in multiple positions during her 25+ year tenure with the National Park Service, including Regional, WASO, park program managers, Park Superintendencies, and Acting Superintendent, after serving as a wildlife biologist in private industry for nearly 22 years. Elaine has worked to conserve, restore, and preserve both natural and cultural resources throughout her career, as well as a conservation biologist with an emphasis on landscape and biodiversity conservation. Ms. Leslie currently serves on the NPCA Wildlife Advisory Committee and the Alabama River Diversity Network Executive Board.
Linda retired as Superintendent of Bryce Canyon National Park after 39 years of federal service. She previously worked for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, the Rivers and Trails Conservation Assistance program and as branch chief of Natural Resources at Grand Canyon National Park. Linda served as an environmental quality specialist in the Yellowstone Center for Resources and as a Division Chief of Resources Management and Science in Yosemite National Park. In addition to her time with the NPS, Linda worked as a botanist for the Bureau of Land Management and joined the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho. She has worked with various philanthropic and cooperating association boards in Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Bryce Canyon, and was part of the advisory board for the Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative of Southern Utah University. She also served on the NPS National Wilderness Leadership Council and the NPS National Resources Advisory Group. Linda holds a Master of Science degree in Natural Resources from Humboldt (California) State University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation and Parks from Penn State University. Linda and her family reside in Boise, Idaho.
Jeff retired in 2022 following a 33-year-long career with the National Park Service. During his college and graduate school years, he spent five years working seasonally for the U.S. Geological Survey. In the mid-80s, he spent four years living and working in Yosemite, working for the Yosemite Institute, Yosemite Natural History Association, and the Yosemite Mountaineering School. Jeff began his NPS career working his way through the ranger ranks as a seasonal at GLBA, followed by permanent assignments at KLGO, GAAR, and YUCH. He served as a District Ranger, Chief of Operations, and Subsistence Manager. In 2001, Jeff became the 12th Bevinetto Fellow, which was followed by superintendent assignments at FLFO, KEFJ, and GLAC NP. His detail assignments include the Exxon Valdez Tort Investigation, Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, the newly established NPS Climate Change Response Program, superintendent at DENA, Deputy Regional Director (Intermountain), and an 8-month stint as the Regional Director for Alaska at the beginning of the current administration. Jeff currently lives in Whitefish, Mont., where he serves on the Board of Directors for the Montana Conservation Corps, VIP for GLAC, volunteer with ICCF in Mongolia and Thailand, and, through New Solutions, is providing mentoring for new park superintendents in PWR.
Recently retired, Don Neubacher recently completed a 36-year career in the National Park Service that has included appointments at Point Reyes National Seashore (Superintendent), Glacier Bay National Park, Denver Service Center, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Yosemite National Park (Superintendent) and serving as the Deputy General Manager and Planning Director for the Presidio of San Francisco. Formerly, he was a lecturer at California’s Humboldt State University in Northern California. His expertise includes park management, climate change, resource protection and restoration, youth programs, relevancy, international sister parks, and resource planning. He has the following degrees: University of California, B.S. Degree in Environmental Planning and Management, 1976: and Humboldt State University, M.S. Degree in Resource Management, 1983.
Chris began her National Park Service (NPS) career in communications and public affairs at Golden Gate National Recreation Area during the transition of the Presidio from the U.S. Army to the NPS. She retired in 2020 as the Chief of Staff for the NPS, where she served two Directors overseeing over 400 national park sites nationwide. Previously, Chris worked in the NPS Office of Legislative and Congressional Affairs. Before that, she was an Associate Regional Director for the Midwest Region, overseeing planning, communications, partnerships, and grants for 61 NPS sites in thirteen states. Chris has a background in nonprofit management and was the board chair for the Committee for Green Foothills, leading the organization through an extensive strategic planning process. She also served as President of the Bay Area Open Space Council, a collaborative of 60 park and nonprofit organizations protecting open space in the San Francisco Bay Area. Chris holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Houston, an Undergraduate Certificate in Public Policy from Thomas Edison State College, and graduated from the Midlevel Management Program of the DOI Graduate School. She has been a docent with the U.S. Botanic Garden since 2012 and the lead volunteer gardener for the Tregaron Conservancy since 2020. Chris lives in the District of Columbia with her husband, twin sister, and a cat. She is an avid hiker, birdwatcher, and paddler.
Cheryl Schreier retired as Superintendent of Mount Rushmore National Monument after nearly 40 years of service with the National Park Service. Prior to her tenure at Mount Rushmore, she also served as superintendent of Herbert Hoover National Historic Site, Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site, and completed a detail as acting superintendent at Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Cheryl has worked at 10 different national park units throughout her career, including Bryce Canyon, Yellowstone, and Death Valley National Parks. She spent several years working for the (what was then) Rocky Mountain Regional Office in different positions and programs including the Concessions Management Office, the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance program, and the Natural Landmark Program. Cheryl graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Natural Resources Management. She remains active in NPS issues, including those impacting Mount Rushmore National Monument. She lives in South Dakota and is also a member of the local executive committee of the Black Hills Sierra Club Group in South Dakota.
Bill Shaddox worked for the Department of the Interior for 42 years, spending 10 years with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and 32 years with the National Park Service. Bill served as the Chief of the Land Resources Division of the National Park Service for 26 years, where he was responsible for the Federal portion of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and land acquisition function within the NPS, as well as managing the agency-wide realty management and rights-of-way program. During his tenure with the NPS, Bill helped to complete over 15,000 acquisitions that protected over 1.9 million acres of land. He helped to acquire the first land acquisition at 63 new national park units and worked with tribes across the country by helping to appraise and acquire land for multiple reservations. Bill graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in Agricultural Economics and obtained his Juris Doctorate from the Columbus School of Law, Catholic University, Washington, D.C. He is an enrolled member of the Western Band of Cherokees in Oklahoma.
Chris worked for the Department of the Interior for 40 years, beginning in 1978. Starting in Washington, DC, he worked for the Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service as an Outdoor Recreation Planner working on grant programs, including the Land and Water Conservation Fund. He was also involved in studies including the National Urban Recreation Study and Coastal Barrier Resources Study. In 1982 he joined the NPS and, in 1983, transferred to Fire Island National Seashore as Management Assistant overseeing park planning and coordinating with Fire Island’s many community organizations and outside constituent groups. He returned to Washington in 1988 and worked in NPS’ Rivers and Trails Conservation Assistance program for 4 years again as a planner. In 1992 he moved to NPS Legislative and Congressional Affairs. For 8 years as a legislative affairs specialist, he was responsible for legislative issues for the Northeast and numerous Service-wide programs. In 2000 he transferred to New York and worked initially on National Parks of New York Harbor and then for 3 years served as Jamaica Bay Unit Superintendent at Gateway National Recreation Area. In 2005 he returned to DC and worked in the NPS Partnership Office. In 2008 he returned to Fire Island National Seashore as Superintendent, where he served for the last ten years of his career, retiring in 2018. During his career, he served on 2 NPS International teams and worked on the General Management Plan for Colonial NHP’s Jamestown Project, the precursor to the 400th Anniversary of Jamestown. He splits his time between his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio, and Arlington, Virginia.
Sheridan Steele retired as the Superintendent of Acadia National Park & St. Croix Island International Historic Site in 2015 after 38 years with National Park Service. He previously worked at Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area as a Management Assistant and attended the DOI Management Training Program. In addition to his work at Acadia, Sheridan served as the Deputy Superintendent at Rocky Mountain National Park and as the Superintendent at Fort Scott National Historic Site and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park & Curecanti National Recreation Area. He has also worked in the private sector as the Executive Director of the Cuyahoga Valley Park Federation. He continues to have a strong interest in building partnerships and engaging kids in the outdoors.
Terri Thomas is a natural resources manager, ecologist, and planner with 36 years of national park experience. She worked in Crater Lake, Yosemite, and Everglades National Parks and served as the Chief of Natural Resources Management and Science at Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Terri also held the position of Director of Conservation, Science and Research at the Presidio Trust and helped establish the Golden Gate International Biosphere Reserve. After retirement from federal service, she served as Director of Natural Resources and Climate Resiliency for Conservation Corps North Bay. Terri is currently Vice President of the George Wright Society, on the Board of Directors of the Marin Conservation League, and Director of Ecology for the Environmental Forum of Marin. She has a BS in Forestry from U.C Berkeley and an MS in Forest Ecology from the University of Washington through the National Park’s Cooperative Park Studies Unit, where she studied fire ecology at Crater Lake NP. She lives in Sausalito, California.
Clara Wooden has over 30 years of service with the National Park Service. She lived in Alaska for 20 years and during her time there, managed Regional Youth Programs, Regional Fee Programs, Park Ranger Programs, Federal Employed Women’s Programs, Equal Employment Opportunity, and Recruitment, Diversity, and Inclusion Programs. Clara relocated from Alaska to Omaha to become the Associate Regional Director, Equal Employment Opportunity, Special Emphasis Programs, and Relevancy, Diversity, and Inclusion, employing the only fulltime recruitment position in the NPS. In 2010 she established the Midwest Region Student Academy. She also served in the position of Associate Regional Director, Administration, Information Technology, EEO, and moved on to serve in the position of Deputy Regional Director before her retirement. Clara was awarded the Secretary of the Interior Diversity Award in 2021. Workforce diversity has always been Clara’s passion and she will continue to champion the NPS and its employees.
Amy Gilbert Fehir: Executive Director
Amy oversees the day-to-day operations of the Coalition. In her role, she leads the planning and execution of our membership, fundraising, and communications activities. She works closely with our board and members to highlight and amplify our issue and advocacy work. Before joining CPANP, Amy served as the Senior Officer, Communications Partnerships for the United Nations Foundation (UNF). In this position, she managed key strategic communications relationships, including partnerships with major brands, marketing partners, and individual supporters. In addition, Amy also helped secure and maintain relationships with corporate partners and the entertainment industry on behalf of various UNF campaigns and initiatives as a member of UNF’s Global Partnerships team. From 2005-2011, Amy worked as a seasonal National Park Service (NPS) Ranger at Arlington House, the Robert E. Lee Memorial. During her time with the NPS, she worked at the Interior Department on the 2016 NPS Centennial projects. She served on the board of the Association of National Park Rangers. Additional professional experience includes two years overseeing environmental grants for Conversation International as part of the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund. In 2008, Amy worked at the World Health Organization on World Health Day, which was focused on climate change’s impact on health. Amy received her B.A. from Boston University in Political Science and Public Health and an M.P.S. in Political Management from George Washington University.
Emily Weisner Thompson: Deputy Director
Emily is a writer and historian with a background in nonprofit management and communications. She spent six years with the National Park Service, developing a skill set focused on interpretation, communications, public affairs, and strategic planning. During her time with the NPS, Emily worked at numerous park units across the country. Special project work included developing a funding distribution plan for twelve border parks in the southwest and an assignment as the NPS Inaugural Assistant during the 2009 Presidential Inauguration. Emily also served as a board member for the Association of National Park Rangers and editorial advisor for Ranger magazine. Following her work with the NPS, Emily served as the Executive Director of the Santa Claus Museum & Village in Santa Claus, Indiana. She received her B.A. in American Studies and Anthropology from the University of Notre Dame and an M.A. in Public History from American University. Emily is the author of three books (including two silver medal winners in the Independent Publisher Books Awards) and also works as a freelance writer. She currently lives in Ohio.
Teresa Ford: Business Manager
Teresa’s career has spanned over 30 years in newspaper and magazine journalism and communications for schools, other public agencies, and nonprofit groups. For nearly 25 years, she was editor, designer, and publisher of Ranger magazine and website coordinator for the Association of National Park Rangers. During her last eight years at ANPR, she handled business management using standard accounting procedures in QuickBooks software.
She then edited, designed, and published her son Ryan’s book, “Parkour Strength Training,” popular in niche audiences worldwide. She has handled website work and social media sites for various clients. Teresa also edits manuscripts for prospective book authors, edits copy for a customer communications group in Denver, and edits/proofreads documents for several public agencies.
Her volunteering has included work for AfricAid, a Denver-based nonprofit supporting girls’ education in Tanzania, and treasurer for Colorado Press Women for 10 years handling accounting and budgeting. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder. A native of Grand Junction, Colorado, she resides in Denver.
Steve Pittleman: Web Administration
Steve oversees the management and operation of the Coalition website. Steve started his career with the National Park Service in June 1979 as a Seasonal Park Technician at the C&O Canal. He retired over 35 years later as a Supervisory Information Technology Specialist. In the first half of his career, Steve was a park ranger for law enforcement, emergency services, and visitor services at the C&O Canal, Great Falls Park, and Gettysburg. The latter half of his career was spent in management positions, and he was a founding member of the nps.gov Web development and operations team, I.T. Division Chief at the Harpers Ferry Center, and WASO Program Manager for the NPS Wide Area Network. Steve retired in 2014.
Thomas J. (Tom) Jensen
Legal Counsel and Environment, Energy and Resources Partner at Perkins Coie LLP
Tom Jensen is a partner in the Washington, D.C. Office of Perkins Coie, where he is a nationally recognized practitioner of natural resources and environmental law. In his practice, Tom advises clients throughout the business, government, and nonprofit sectors, reflecting his credentials in both the legal industry and the public sector. He served as the majority counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and was the associate director for natural resources on the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Tom’s legal expertise is focused on natural and cultural resources, public lands and marine areas, takings law, and the National Environmental Policy Act. He has written numerous pieces of legislation that have been enacted into federal law and has published and lectured widely in the field. Tom is a graduate of Lewis & Clark Law School and the University of Southern California, where he graduated with a B.A. in History.
Edward (Ted) Boling
Legal Counsel and Environment and Natural Resources Partner at Perkins Coie LLP
Ted Boling is a partner in the Washington, D.C. Office of Perkins Coie. Prior to joining the firm, Ted served in the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), the President’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). At DOI, Ted handled matters involving energy development on the outer continental shelf, including offshore wind power development, and wind energy projects on public lands. As an associate director at CEQ, Ted worked on the National Ocean Policy, CEQ’s climate change guidance, the regulatory response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster, and the establishment of numerous national monuments, including the first marine national monuments in the United States. At DOJ, in the first 10 years of his career, Ted litigated significant cases involving the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), endangered species, marine mammals, wetland protections, and public lands. Ted is a graduate of Mary Washington College, where he obtained a B.A., and the Washington University School of Law.
Donald Baur, Legal Counsel to the Coalition, 2006-2022
Donald Baur served as legal counsel to the Coalition since its inception until his passing in December, 2022. He was a partner in the Washington, D.C. Office of Perkins Coie, where he practiced environmental, natural resources, and Native American law. Don began his legal career as an attorney for the National Park Service in the Solicitor’s Office of the Department of the Interior. Later, he served as General Counsel of the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission.
Don was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Law and Trinity College, where he graduated with a BA in History, summa cum laude, and Phi Beta Kappa. He was the recipient of the Coalition’s 1872 Award in 2008.
To read the Coalition tribute to Don Baur, click here.
Immediate Past Chair: Mike Murray
Mike worked in various capacities for the National Park Service for 34 years. During the first half of his career he served as a law enforcement/ emergency services ranger at Everglades NP, Yosemite NP, New River Gorge National River, Sequoia-Kings Canyon NP, and Yellowstone NPS. During the latter half of his career Mike served as Deputy Superintendent of Cape Cod National Seashore; performed a detail assignment as Associate to the Deputy Director in the Washington Office; and concluded his NPS career as Superintendent of the Outer Banks Group before retiring in August 2012. Mike joined the Coalition’s Executive Council in January 2014.