The Glacier National Park Conservancy announced the appointment of Doug Mitchell as its new executive director.
Mitchell is filling the position that became vacant in June 2016 after Mark Preiss stepped down.
Mitchell joins the Glacier National Park Conservancy from his current position as the deputy director of the Montana Department of Commerce, where he has served for the past four years. He previously served as Montana’s chief deputy secretary of state for seven years and as the Montana chief of staff for U.S. Sen. Max Baucus for four years. He has prior experience in land conservation, having been a managing director of the Montana Land Reliance for four years, where he helped preserve thousands of acres of land for future generations.
“Doug’s experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors will ensure that the Glacier Conservancy continues to protect and preserve Glacier National Park for generations to come,” Mo Stein, Glacier Conservancy chair of the board of directors, said. “Doug’s deep Montana roots and his commitment to conservation make him the right leader to expand on our recent success and position the Glacier Conservancy as an even more valuable partner to Glacier National Park. We are thrilled to welcome him to the role.”
Mitchell also has extensive experience in the private sector, leading communications firm The Mitchell Group as president and CEO for 10 years. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Stanford University. He and his wife Julie, a Flathead Valley native, have two children.
The Conservancy is the official fundraising partner for Glacier National Park and has raised support for various improvements and services in the park
Doug joins the Conservancy after a record 2016, a year in which it funded 83 percent more projects than the year prior and raised $2.2 million in grants. These donations were funneled toward projects that enhance Glacier National Park, and include maintaining hiking trails, facilitating school field trips and researching Glacier’s habitats.
Last year, park visits increased 25 percent.
“The work being done by the Glacier National Park Conservancy is truly inspiring,” said Mitchell. “In my view, philanthropy is a team sport, and I’m excited to collaborate with our team, our donors, the park, local businesses, other conservation organizations and the larger community to help protect and enhance the iconic treasure that is Glacier National Park. Working together, we will ensure that future generations have the opportunity to experience the power and majesty of the park the same way we have. It is truly the honor of a lifetime to join such an amazingly accomplished team and to be able to give back to a place that’s meant so much to my family and me. I can’t wait to get started.”