Brian Strong has been acting director of the division since early 2023 and has been a member of the state parks staff since 2000, most recently as deputy director/chief of planning and natural resources. In his roles, Strong has managed the division's State Trails Program and its major grants initiatives, including the NC Parks and Recreation Trust Fund and the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund and Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership.
Strong holds a master's degree in Natural Resources Policy from Duke University and a bachelor's in biology and geography from Wittenberg University.
North Carolina State Parks manages more than 258,000 acres of iconic landscape within North Carolina's state parks, state recreation areas and state natural areas. It administers the NC Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, including its local grants program, as well as a state trails program, North Carolina Natural and Scenic Rivers and more, all with a mission dedicated to conservation, recreation and education. The state parks system welcomes nearly 20 million visitors annually.