Jeff King named deputy director of
Arkansas State Parks

Jeff King has been named deputy director of Arkansas State Parks, a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. King began his career with state parks as a park planner 14 years ago.

“Jeff has been a leader in the Planning & Development section, prioritizing return-on-investment projects for revenue facilities, while balancing efforts to protect the parks’ resources and improve guest experiences,” said Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. “In his new position, I know he will continue to lead and excel on an even broader scale.”

King joined Arkansas State Parks in 2008 as a park planner and was promoted to chief park planner in 2013. During this time, he served as the division’s staff specialist regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), became a certified playground safety inspector, and led the division’s update of priority projects for long-term capital improvement planning. In 2017, King moved to the Director’s Office to work as the special projects manager/government liaison before returning to the Planning & Development Section in 2020 to serve as the section’s manager.

“Jeff is well known within Arkansas State Parks for his experience and efforts in leading the Planning and Development Section,” Arkansas State Parks Director Shea Lewis said. “His leadership and success leading a large technical team – along with his education, passion and creative thinking – will be a huge asset to this position and Arkansas State Parks.”

Prior to his time at Arkansas State Parks, King worked at the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, Lake Havasu (Arizona) Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management and Park Studies Laboratory of the University of Vermont. He received a Bachelor of Science in education and a master’s degree in recreation management from the University of Arkansas.

“After completing grad school, I traveled the western United States camping, hiking, biking, fishing and backpacking in numerous national parks, national forests, public lands and state parks,” King said. “This experience instilled an honor and reverence for park lands and wilderness opportunities that continues today. Stepping into this role as deputy director and continuing to help lead our remarkable team is truly an honor.”

In 2019, King graduated from the National Association of State Park Directors and North Carolina State University’s State Park Leadership School. He lives in Little Rock with his wife, Jennifer, and their two sons. He spends most of his free time outdoors with his family, but also enjoys golfing, canoeing and duck hunting when he gets the chance.