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Annual Conference - Keynote Address

Heritage in America’s Great Outdoors

Stephanie Smith Toothman, Ph.D., Associate Director for Cultural Resources, National Park Service

America has changed dramatically since the birth of the National Park Service (NPS) in 1916. While the roots of the NPS lie in majestic natural wonders and in places that represent our cultural heritage, its reach now extends to places hard to imagine 100 years ago—into urban centers, across rural landscapes, deep within oceans, and across night skies. The National Park Service’s second century will promote new initiatives like America’s Great Outdoors to harness the collective power of the parks, historic preservation programs, and national heritage areas and to develop new partnerships that leverage additional resources.

Stephanie Smith Toothman was appointed Associate Director for Cultural Resources at the National Park Service in 2010. She is responsible for policies that affect the management of historic and cultural properties in all 394 national parks, including 27,000 historic structures, nearly 70,000 archaeological sites, and the largest system of museums in the world. She oversees the NPS’s many community preservation programs for federal, tribal, state, and local governments and nonprofits.

Toothman also directs initiatives including grants, the $5 billion tax credit program, outreach programs, and documentation programs like National Historic Landmarks, National Register of Historic Places, Historic American Buildings Survey, and Cultural Resources GIS Survey. She manages the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, National Heritage Areas program, and Technical Preservation Services.

During her 34-year career with the National Park Service, Toothman has also served as Chief of Cultural Resources in the Pacific West, preservation planner in Washington, DC, and regional historian and acting superintendent at the National Mall and Memorial Parks during the 2009 inauguration. She graduated magna cum laude from Smith College and received her Master of Arts and Doctoral degrees in American Civilization from the University of Pennsylvania.