Catherine Bragaw has been selected as the new superintendent for Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park in Hodgenville.
Bragaw begins work Nov. 10 in LaRue County.
“Catherine is a strong organizational leader with substantial experience in park operations,” National Park Service Southeast Regional Director Robert A. Vogel said in a news release announcing the selection. “Her passion for political science, public history and civic engagement will give her an edge in managing how the park interprets the humble beginnings of a transformative American leader.”
Bragaw said she was honored by the appointment.
“This revered and hallowed place, once set in the Kentucky frontier, inspires and challenges us to explore the life and times of a man who profoundly changed our nation and gives us hope for the future,” she said. “I look forward to collaborating with park colleagues, volunteers, partners and the community to broaden the park’s visitor base by enhancing access and making the Lincoln Birthplace the best it can be.”
Bragaw began her 35-year career with the National Park Service as a volunteer at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park in West Virginia, where she became a park ranger responsible for managing and implementing education, interpretive and living history programs.
Her passion for serving the community led to the creation of long-lasting partnerships with local schools, health care providers and civic groups, according to the news release.
In 2013, she began working as the East District interpretive supervisory ranger at the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park in Maryland. Bragaw oversaw interpretive operations, including a historic mule-drawn canal boat program and the creation of new curriculum-based education programming for K-12 audiences. She was promoted to chief of interpretation, education and volunteers of the park two years later, with responsibility for the day-to-day interpretive, education and volunteer operations, directly impacting the experience of more than 5 million annually visitors.
Bragaw also recently completed an acting superintendent assignment at Women’s Rights and Harriet Tubman National Historical Parks, which are co-managed in New York.
Bragaw was born in the Washington, D.C. area and grew up in Frederick County, Maryland, where she also earned her undergraduate degree in political science with an emphasis in American studies at Hood College. She received a graduate degree in educational leadership from West Virginia University.
Bragaw will soon relocate to the area from Ranson, West Virginia. Her family includes a dog and cat, six children, seven grandchildren and her partner.