Skip to content

Leadership Training

Ron Walker Leadership Program



Meeting strategic needs and developing leaders.

The Ron Walker Leadership Program engages participants in various formats to discuss, study, and examine leadership in the everchanging world of park management. The program combines online preparatory study and experiential learning opportunities and concludes with a field-based seminar at Clemson University concurrent with the George B. Hartzog Awards and Lecture series each Fall. This program consists of approximately 45 contact hours of study that can be taken for continuing education.

Apply Now

Application would include the following:

  • Name and contact information. (Include email address)
  • Current position and job description.
  • Organization/Agency

About Ron Walker

Eighth director of the National Park Service (NPS), Ron Walker:

  • At age 36, the youngest to ever hold the position.
  • As NPS Director, Walker prepared the Service for a high influx of new parks and program responsibilities, realigned regional boundaries and added North Atlantic and Rocky Mountain offices.
  • Initiated planning for the American Revolution Bicentennial activities.
  • Prior to his NPS service, Walker was Director of the White House Office of Presidential Advance.



About the program

The program provides the perfect mix of field experiences at signature state parks in the region and the resources and beauty of the Clemson University campus. Taking place during the George B. Hartzog Awards and Lecture week, participants will have the opportunity to engage with parks leaders and subject expects from across the nation.

Topics include:

  • financial sustainability. 
  • visitor use management.
  • increasing capacity and effectiveness.
  • disruptive innovations.
  • employee retention.
  • the role of science and research.
  • leadership and effective decision making.


The Walker Way

We ground our actions in our national, collective parks mission and our personal missions:

 to protect, preserve and enhance the natural and cultural resources entrusted to our care.

We use the best available sound science to ensure that our decisions protect our nation’s resources and heritage, and connect all people to them through meaningful visitor experiences.

We serve the long-term public interest, mindful of the responsibility that we have to promote the shared stewardship of our natural and cultural resources for current and future generations.

We make decisions with accurate fidelity to the law to ensure that the laws of our nation are faithfully executed and are well understood by our staff, agencies, stakeholders and the public.

We have the courage and the commitment to anticipate and address the challenges and opportunities of our time and involve diverse perspectives to proactively make informed, balanced decisions.

We share our ideas, expertise and commitment to advance our profession and the significance of our parks and our natural and cultural resources: our network can count on each other for advice, support and encouragement.

We lead with integrity, vision, passion and humility, crediting those who are the doers of deeds and supporting them in daring to take risks and stay the course through the vagaries of political tides.

We are proud to be Walkers and will lead as Ron Walker led, understanding that all real leadership happens within Roosevelt’s Arena.

Walker First Cohort

Walker Second Cohort

Clemson University Institute for Parks
Clemson University Institute for Parks | 281 Lehotsky Hall, Clemson, SC, 29635