Rodney Franklin Named Texas State Parks Division Director

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AUSTIN— Rodney Franklin, a 27-year veteran of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, has been selected as the Texas State Parks Division Director.

Franklin, previously the Deputy Director of Texas State Parks, succeeds Brent Leisure who recently assumed the role as Interim Chief Operating Officer for TPWD after 8 years in the state parks director role.

“Rodney Franklin’s career with the department is a long and distinguished one,” said TPWD Executive Director Carter Smith.  “He cut his teeth on the operations of state parks at an early age and has demonstrated an exceptional ability to lead teams and carry out the mission of our nearly 100-year-old state park system.  I have complete confidence in Rodney to lead the teams that steward Texas’ 95 state parks, which represent some of the state’s most iconic landscapes and preserve our rich history.”

As director of Texas State Parks, Franklin will oversee a workforce of about 1,350 employees who proudly protect and manage the more than 630,000 acres that comprise the state parks system in Texas.  State parks represent the principle gateway to the outdoors where nearly 10 million visitors discover adventures in hiking, camping, fishing and countless other outdoor pursuits every year.

“I am extremely honored to have been selected to lead our state parks team,” said Franklin.  “As we approach the Centennial of Texas State Parks, I am truly excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.  I consider it a privilege to work alongside an outstanding TPWD leadership team, as well as all the conservation professionals throughout the agency and the state parks division.”

Franklin grew up in the small northeast Texas town of Powderly.  It’s here that he first discovered a strong interest in conservation and public service as a seasonal employee at the Sam Bell Maxey State Historic Site in nearby Paris, Texas.

Through his tenure at TPWD, Franklin has effectively led teams at state parks such as Lake Bob Sandlin and Cooper Lake, as Regional State Parks Director for north, north-central, and Panhandle state parks, and most recently, as the Deputy Director of Texas State Parks.

“I have spent a number of years working with friends, colleagues, partners and organizations dedicated to caring for the special pieces of Texas represented in our park system,” said Franklin. “I look forward to continuing this important work as the Texas State Parks Division Director.”

 A photo of Rodney Franklin can be found on the TPWD Flickr page.