2018 Common Ground Summit

Morning Keynote Address

Becky Kelley - Director, Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites


Becky Kelley was appointed Director of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Parks, Recreation & Historic Sites Division in September 2002.  As director, she leads a resilient team of professional and part time staff and works with partners, volunteers and allied agents to oversees one of our nation’s most robust state park systems: 

  • 49 State Parks and 15 State Historic sites that encompass over 85,000 acres; amenities including campgrounds, cottages, group camps, golf courses, lodges and conference centers, historic homes and culturally significant lands, and over 530 miles of trails on both land and water.
  • Under Becky’s leadership, the division has thrice been a finalist for the National Gold Medal Award for excellence. The division also received the inaugural 2009 National Award for Planning Excellence for Georgia’s Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP), a policy guidance document that outlines opportunities to enhance Georgia’s future for health and livability, economic vitality and resource conservation through outdoor recreation.
  • Prior to her work with Georgia DNR, Becky was with DeKalb County, Georgia’s Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs.  She worked her way up through the department over 26 years and was their director for 10 years from 1992 – 2002.

Becky is active with the National Association of State Parks Directors and National Recreation & Parks Association. She serves on the Board of Regents for NASPD’s State Park Leadership School. Becky also serves as a founding member and current vice-chair of the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area Alliance and is a member of the Georgia Recreation and Parks Association.  In 2014, Becky became one of the youngest members to be inducted into the GRPA’s Professional Hall of Fame.

Becky is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Georgia with a BS degree in Recreation Administration. She grew up in Cordele and Stone Mountain, Georgia, and she and her husband, Steve, currently live in McDonough, Georgia.