Brooke Merrell Selected as Denali National Park Superintendent
The deputy superintendent of Denali National Park and Preserve is promoted to Superintendent, the first woman to hold the job in the park’s 105-year history. Brooke Merrell has been acting superintendent at Denali for the last nine months.
“I am absolutely thrilled with Brooke’s selection to lead Denali National Park and Preserve,” says National Park Service (NPS) Alaska Regional Director Sarah Creachbaum. “Brooke has already proven she is an exceptional leader and I expect her transition as the permanent superintendent at Denali will be seamless.”
Merrell grew up in Pittsburgh and received a master’s degree in urban planning degree from the University of Utah and a law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School. She worked for DNA People’s Legal Services on the Navajo Nation, the City of Portland, Columbia Riverkeeper, and Gulf Islands National Seashore.
Merrell came to Alaska in 2009 as a National Park Foundation Transportation Scholar working on a statewide NPS long-range transportation plan. She had never considered Alaska as a place to live but soon joined the Alaska Region permanently as a transportation planner, regional environmental coordinator, and then leader of the Environmental Planning and Compliance team. In January of 2021, Merrell moved to Denali as deputy superintendent, where she immediately took on some of the park’s most challenging issues, notably the Pretty Rocks landslide that wiped out part of the park road.
“I am honored to be selected for the job at Denali National Park and Preserve and am dedicated to supporting this incredible park and community,” says Merrell. “There is so much passion for park resources from both park staff and members of the community, and I look forward to leveraging this for everyone’s benefit.”
Merrell lives in the Stampede area of Denali with her husband while their two children attend college in state.