We have a new State Parks Division Director!

Rodney Franklin has been named to serve as the next State Parks Division Director and the newest member of Texas Parks & Wildlife agency’s senior leadership team.  With a nearly thirty (30) year career at TPWD with our State Parks team, Rodney distinguished himself amongst an exceedingly competitive and talented group of candidates for this position with his breadth of leadership experiences across the state; his depth of knowledge about all facets of park operations, stewardship, and administration; his vision for the future of parks in Texas; and, of course, his unending passion and commitment for our mission, our colleagues, and for the millions of park visitors whom we welcome and serve.

A native son of Paris (Texas that is) and a proud, fighting Texas Aggie, Rodney started his career with the Department as a seasonal employee at the Sam Bell Maxey House State Historic Site.  After graduating from Texas A&M, Rodney was set to enter law school and embark upon a career as a lawyer when he received a phone call that changed the course of his career and his life.  That call was an invitation to apply for the Superintendent’s position at the Sam Bell Maxey House, the very same site where had worked back in High School.  After considerable soul searching, he threw his hat into the proverbial ring, was selected for the job, elected to forego law school, and the rest we shall say, is history.

Rodney fully embodies the agency’s core values of Stewardship, Integrity, Teamwork, Service and Excellence.  Those values have been on full and unambiguous display as he has effectively led our teams at state parks such as Lake Bob Sandlin and Cooper Lake, as our Regional State Parks Director for our north, north-central, and Panhandle state parks, and most recently, as the Deputy Director of our state parks team.  He is an alumnus of several prestigious leadership development programs, including the Governor’s Senior Leadership Development Program at the University of Texas LBJ School and the National Conservation Leadership Institute fellows program.

As Texas Parks & Wildlife proudly approaches the 2023 centennial of state parks in Texas, Texas Parks & Wildlife Director Carter Smith says “I am unequivocally convinced that Rodney is the right leader to help innovate, align, prepare, and lead our state park teams into the next century of exemplary state park cultural and natural resources stewardship, outdoor recreation, outreach and education, accessibility, and service to all Texans, young and old, rural and urban, now and to come.”