Brian Strong, a 23-year veteran of the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation, has been named director of the division by the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.
“Our state parks are an unparalleled resource that preserve North Carolina’s natural beauty for future generations while making our communities even better places to visit and call home,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “Brian Strong is a proven leader who has shown his commitment to making North Carolina’s state parks even stronger and I’m confident he will serve our state well.”
“We are pleased to name Brian Strong as director of North Carolina State Parks,” said Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Secretary Reid Wilson. “His experience and leadership will serve the division well, and his commitment to the division’s mission of conservation, recreation and education will benefit the people of our state and visitors.”
“I’m incredibly excited to be named director and humbled by the opportunity to serve North Carolina residents and our visitors,” said Strong. “The division has provided me an incredible opportunity to fulfill my passion for providing amazing opportunities for outdoor recreation in the most treasured spaces in our state. I look forward to working with our talented and dedicated staff in this new role.”
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 N.C. 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 N.C 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.
About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) manages, promotes, and enhances the things that people love about North Carolina – its diverse arts and culture, rich history, and spectacular natural areas. Through its programs, the department enhances education, stimulates economic development, improves public health, expands accessibility, and strengthens community resiliency.
The department manages over 100 locations across the state, including 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, five science museums, four aquariums, 35 state parks, four recreation areas, dozens of state trails and natural areas, the North Carolina Zoo, the North Carolina Symphony, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, the African American Heritage Commission, the American Indian Heritage Commission, the State Historic Preservation Office, the Office of State Archaeology, the Highway Historical Markers program, the N.C. Land and Water Fund, and the Natural Heritage Program. For more information, please visit www.ncdcr.gov.