City of Fort Collins Announces New Director of Department of Natural Areas

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Katie donahue

The City of Fort Collins is delighted to announce the hiring of its new Director of the Department of Natural Areas, Katie Donahue. The Director of Natural Areas plays a vital leadership role, guiding a department that provides immense value to the community. With strategic and forward-thinking leadership focused on equity, Donahue will oversee the city’s network of 52 natural sites spanning 37,607 acres and a staff of over 50 responsible for the management of this precious conserved land.

Since 2016, Katie Donahue has served as the Canyon Lakes Ranger District Ranger in the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland. She began her career as an economist for the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, measuring inflation rates for nearly a decade before following the call of the outdoors and natural resources. His previous roles with the US Forest Service include as a program manager for recreation costs and business planning and a district ranger role in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests in Virginia. Donahue holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Economics from American University and a Masters in Public Management from the University of Maryland. She spends her free time gardening and exploring Colorado with her husband and two children on foot, bike and ski.

The director of natural areas reports to the director of community services. Community services include the departments of parks, recreation, natural areas, cultural services, and park planning and development.

Donahue will take on his new role this month. She replaces Zoe Shark who served as Acting Director of the Department of Natural Areas since January 2020. Shark will return to her former role as Head of Public Engagement.

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