Sims begins as Superintendent of Gettysburg National Military Park

In this June 5, 2013, file photo, a monument to Gen. Robert E. Lee mounted on his horse Traveller sits atop a ridge held by Confederate troops, above the field of Pickett’s Charge in Gettysburg, Pa.

Steven D. Sims, began his new duties on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 and as a first order of business will welcome Kristina Heister as the acting deputy superintendent of Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site. She will serve in this position for 120 days beginning on February 2, 2020.

Heister currently serves as the Superintendent of the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, a unit of the National Park Service that extends 73.4 miles along the Delaware River from Hancock NY to Port Jervis NY.

Heister is familiar with both park units having recently served as the acting superintendent from mid-April to mid-August 2019. “I am very appreciative of the opportunity to serve as acting deputy superintendent for Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site. I feel truly honored to assist, even for a short time, with the protection of sites that are so important to the preservation of the United States, telling the American story, and that are loved and treasured by the American people” said Heister. “I look forward to working with the new Superintendent, my NPS colleagues, park visitors, partners and the local community.”

She began her National Park Service career as a biologist at Valley Forge National Historical Park (NHP) in Pennsylvania. Since then she has served in a variety of natural resource management positions in parks and regions throughout the country, including Appomattox Court House NHP. In her next NPS post, she spent six years with the inventory and monitoring program working collaboratively to design a long-term monitoring program for parks in the Great Basin and Mojave Desert.

In 2006, she returned to Valley Forge NHP as the chief of natural resources where she led an interdisciplinary effort to develop a highly controversial White-tailed Deer Management Plan and created a complex network of partnerships that integrated work with local non-profit organizations, youth programs, volunteerism, teachers and students. Heister also served as the Chief of Natural Resources for the Northeast Region between 2012 and 2014, where she led a multidisciplinary team of subject matter experts to promote science-based management in parks and increased park involvement in decision-making.

Heister graduated in 1989 with a bachelor’s of science in biology from Salisbury State University and received her masters of science in wildlife and fisheries science in 1995 from The Pennsylvania State University.