Effective January 8, 2017, Dr. Turkiya L. Lowe entered on duty as the National Park Service’s new Chief Historian. She holds a Ph.D. in African American history and a Master’s degree in United States history from the University of Washington, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in history from Howard University.
Dr. Lowe most recently served as Southeast Region Chief Historian and Chief for the Southeast Region’s (SER) Cultural Resource Research and Science Branch where she oversaw the region-wide History and Cultural Anthropology Programs for 67 (now 70) National Parks located within nine states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In addition, her portfolio included providing assistance to state and local governments, private organizations, and individual stewards to identify, protect and preserve important places through the National Historic Landmarks Program, the National Register of Historic Places, the Historic Surplus Property Program, and other NPS community partnership programs. She also recently had the privilege to steward park resources during a 120-day detail as Acting Superintendent of Cane River Creole National Historical Park in Natchitoches, LA in early 2016. Prior to serving as the SER Chief Historian, Dr. Lowe worked in SER’s Office of Interpretation and Education, where she was the Regional Program Manager for the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program.
Dr. Lowe returns to Washington Support Office (WASO) after 5 years in the Southeast Regional Office. While previously in WASO, she was Program Manager for the Cultural Resources Diversity Internship Program and a Historian and reviewer for both the National Historic Landmarks and National Register of Historic Places Program.
During her graduate school years, she worked as a Principle Investigator on historic preservation projects with the Pacific West Region’s (PWR) Seattle Support Office, investigating the history of civil rights in the Pacific Northwest and identifying associated historic properties for potential preservation and interpretation efforts.
“We are honored to have Dr. Lowe serving as the NPS Chief Historian. Her varied experiences in parks and regional offices in SER and PWR, as well as in the Washington Office, provide a thorough knowledge of NPS cultural resource programs and partnerships. She brings a combination of keen intelligence and positive energy to the Park History program and we are thrilled to have her,” said Joy Beasley, Deputy Associate Director for Cultural Resources, Partnerships, and Science.
Dr. Lowe is humbled by her new service, saying, “I look forward to the multiple and varied opportunities for collaboration, dynamic research and documentation projects, and the exciting challenges of leading the NPS’s Park History program.”