Symanski Selected For Santa Monica Mountains National Rec Area

Print Friendly

David Szymanski currently serves as the superintendent of Lewis and Clark National Historical Park.

David Szymanski, current superintendent of Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, has been selected as the new superintendent of Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area located within the greater Los Angeles region of California. His duties as superintendent will begin in Fall 2012. Szymanski replaces Woody Smeck who recently transferred to Yosemite National Park after serving as the park’s superintendent for ten years.

“David is an excellent leader, manager and supervisor. He is also smart, innovative and strategic, and has a good sense of humor,” said Pacific West Regional Director Chris Lehnertz. “David excels in maintaining and developing sophisticated partnerships with all entities which will be instrumental in continuing to shape the future of Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.”

Szymanski has 19 years of experience working with communities, parks and protected areas, including 14 years with the National Park Service. Szymanski has served at Everglades National Park, Voyageurs National Park and as a Bevinetto Congressional Fellow, where he spent a year working on the Senate Subcommittee on National Parks. In the 1990s, Szymanski also spent two years working in the newly established national park system of Madagascar.

In accepting the position Szymanski said, “I am very excited about working with our neighbors, partners, and park staff at Santa Monica Mountains. I look forward to joining them in their mission to sustain the Mountains and serve all residents of greater Los Angeles and the surrounding areas.”

Szymanski and his wife Elaine have two elementary school children who love being active outdoors. When time allows, David enjoys competing in masters cycling events.

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is the largest urban national park in the country, encompassing more than 150,000 acres of mountains and coastline in Ventura and Los Angeles counties. It comprises a seamless network of local, state and federal parks interwoven with private lands and communities. As one of only five Mediterranean ecosystems in the world, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area preserves the rich biological diversity of more than 450 animal species and 26 distinct plant communities. To learn more, visit the park’s website at or connect with the park on Facebook at