Press Release

October 13, 2021

State Parks welcomes new director of diversity, equity and inclusion

OLYMPIA – Oct.13, 2021 – Washington State Parks welcomes Dr. John Scott as the agency's new director of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

Scott brings with him more than 25 years of experience specializing in DEI strategy, goals and action plans. Most recently, Scott served as the Senior Vice President of Equity for the Washington Charter Schools Association where he was responsible for equity strategic planning, coaching, leadership approach and trainings for staff at every level of the organization.

“John is an innovative leader with extensive experience guiding organizations through implementing DEI trainings and practices,” said Peter Herzog, interim agency director. “We are excited to move forward with this critical work, and I know that John's background and expertise will help us to improve accessibility and inclusivity for agency staff and the public we serve.”

Scott's personal passions align with the goals and mission of Parks. He has spent many hours hiking, running, bicycling and enjoying the beautiful natural environments in parks throughout the state.

“I'm honored to be in the DEI director role where I can help support equitable access for all Washingtonians, regardless of ability, race, gender, age, economics and beyond, to enjoy these amazing spaces,” said Scott. “I'm excited to work with a motivated and committed team to integrate practices and values of diversity, equity, and inclusion into all of our policies and practices. A primary piece of my professional work over the past many years has been about creating better relationships with ourselves, each other and the natural world. I look forward to supporting Parks and our communities to strengthen and sustain these same relationships through a DEI lens and ongoing practice.”

Previously, Scott served as a clinical intervention specialist and later the director of diversity, equity and inclusion for Washington state with Seneca Family of Agencies.

Scott earned his doctorate in environmental studies and philosophy and an MA in counseling psychology and drama therapy from the California Institute of Integral Studies. He holds his undergraduate degree in incorporation of the arts and social justice in education from Antioch University Seattle. Scott has served as an adjunct faculty member at both CIIS and UC Berkeley, teaching narrative research and educational leadership and democracy.

News media contact:
Amanda McCarthy, Interim Communications Director

About Washington State Parks

The Washington State Park Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks’ statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.