Suzanne Dixon, former senior director of the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), has been selected as the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s (ATC) new president and CEO. Beginning on December 11, Dixon will lead the organization in its mission to maintain, protect and celebrate the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T.).

“Suzanne has the extraordinary talent and drive that is necessary to be the leading voice for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy,” said Sandra Marra, chair of the board of directors for the ATC. “Her success in protecting the values of the National Parks, along with her expertise in fundraising, advocacy and programmatic growth, will be a great asset for the ATC and the greater Appalachian Trail community.”

For nearly twenty years, Dixon served key roles in NPCA advocating for the broader protection of the National Park System. She most recently served as senior director of regional operations with accomplishments including the designation of San Antonio Missions National Historical Park as a World Heritage Site. She also played a critical role in the designation of the Waco Mammoth National Monument and the protection of Fort Davis National Historic Site. Dixon currently serves on the board of directors for the Waco Mammoth Foundation.

“The Appalachian Trail is an American treasure, and I’m privileged to lead this team as we celebrate the recreational, economic and cultural significance of the Trail,” said Dixon. “I’m excited to be an ambassador and collaborator with communities up and down the A.T. as we move forward in protecting the Trail and its surrounding landscapes. By working directly with the public, we will strengthen our ability for families to enjoy this precious resource for generations to come.”

The ATC currently has over 42,000 members, a network of over 6,500 volunteers and an operating budget of $9.36 million. As a volunteer-based organization whose mission is to preserve and manage the Trail, the ATC is the only organization dedicated to protecting and promoting the world’s most famous hiking trail. The ATC provides outdoor recreation and educational opportunities for an estimated 3 million A.T. visitors each year.