William J. Whalen was the 10th director of the National Parks Service. He joined the United States National Park Service in 1965 as a Job Corps counselor and advanced to posts in National Capital Parks and Yosemite before becoming superintendent of Golden Gate National Recreation Area in 1972. His experience in the burgeoning urban parks field contributed to his appointment as director in July 1977, yet the most significant event of his tenure was President Jimmy Carter's proclamation of much Alaska wilderness as national monuments in 1978, doubling the area under NPS jurisdiction. Friction with park concessioners led to congressional calls for Whalen's removal in 1980, and Secretary of the Interior Cecil D. Andrus returned him to Golden Gate. He left the NPS in 1983.
A native of Burgettstown, PA, he joined NPS as a job corps counselor in 1965 and became well known in Washington, D.C., as manager of the Summer in the Parks Programs. He was deputy superintendent at Yosemite National Park and then managed all NPS areas in the bay Area of San Francisco, including Golden Gate National Recreation Area. As Director he saw the national park double in area. Management of an expanded System including vast new parks in Alaska challenged his best talents. Whalen has returned to San Francisco Bay Area as general superintendent of Golden Gate National Recreation Area..
|Director of the National Park Service|
1977 – 1983
| Succeeded by|
Russell E. Dickenson
- ↑ http://www.cr.nps.gov/history/hisnps/NPSHistory/direct.htm
- ↑ 65th Anniversary, National Park Service, August 25, 1981