Home / About / Press Room / 2007 / Freedom Center Elects Donald Murphy, Former
National Park Service Executive, As New CEO
Freedom Center Elects Donald Murphy, Former National ParkService Executive, As New CEO
Click here to view an interview with Don Murphy
Cincinnati, Ohio, February 23, 2007 --- The National Underground Railroad Freedom Centerannounced today that it has selected Donald Murphy, the former Deputy Director of the National Park Service, to be CEO, effective May 1.Murphy will succeed John Pepper, who has served as the Freedom Center's CEO since January 2006.Pepper will remain with the downtown museum and cultural center as Co-Chair of the Board, and willalso continue to play a leadership role in the Freedom Center's development activities. The FreedomCenter's President, Dr. Spencer Crew, will work with Murphy on programs, exhibitions andeducational initiatives.As Deputy Director of the National Park Service (NPS) from 2001 to 2006, Murphy provided strategicplanning and leadership for the NPS' $2.3 billion annual budget and its staff of 23,000. The NPS, partof the U.S. Department of Interior, manages 390 natural and historic park sites and some 84 millionacres of wildlife and habitats. Among his duties at NPS, Murphy was responsible for visitor andresource protection, IT systems, facility construction and maintenance, international affairs, outreachpartnerships, educational programs, volunteer recruitment and staff training.Murphy's earlier career was largely spent in his native California. From 1991 through 1997, he wasDirector of the California State Parks – the largest in the world – with some 268 park facilities and 1.3million acres of park land.Throughout his professional career, Murphy has had extensive management experience with museumsand cultural and historic sites. As part of his duties at the National Park Service, Murphy helped directthe department's "Network to Freedom" program that provides strategic assistance to more than 200documented Underground Railroad sites nationwide. He also was responsible for security at heavilyvisited national historic sites, including the Statue of Liberty, Mt. Rushmore and Independence Hall.During his tenure at California State Parks, Murphy managed the world-renowned California StateRailroad Museum, the Hearst Castle State Historic Monument, and several other state museums.Pepper said Murphy's extensive leadership experience in managing the United States' national heritagesites, as well as his understanding and commitment to the Freedom Center's Mission and his vision forits future, made him the clear choice to be CEO."Don Murphy is an individual who exemplifies focused, inspiring leadership," Pepper said. "Within ashort time of meeting him, you know you are in the company of a big picture thinker who understandshow to deliver organizational excellence. Together with Spencer, Don will offer fresh thinking andtremendous vision as the Freedom Center expands its national presence and programmatic reach."Added Rev. Damon Lynch, Jr., Co-Chair of the Freedom Center Board: "We recognized that finding aperson to replace John Pepper was going to be a nearly impossible task. But we found our man. DonMurphy's background and experience are a perfect fit for the Freedom Center in the years immediatelyPage 1 of 2Freedom Center Elects Donald Murphy, Former National Park Service Executive, As Ne...2/28/2007http://www.freedomcenter.org/about/press-room/2007/freedom-center-elects-donald.html?...