Clarissa García Selected as New Chief Communications and Engagement Officer at NRPA

The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), the nation’s leading advocate for parks and recreation, announced Clarissa García will join the organization as the new Chief Communications and Engagement Officer.

“The diverse experience Clarissa brings to NRPA will be an incredible asset to the organization and to the field of parks and recreation,” said Kristine Stratton, NRPA president and CEO. “We’re grateful for her wealth of knowledge and years of expertise, combined with her passion for healthy communities. We look forward to her thought leadership in this position and are thrilled to have her join us in this important work.”

In this newly created role, García will lead NRPA’s engagement strategy through the marketing, communications, public policy and advocacy teams, with the goal of elevating the field of parks and recreation and building a movement of support for NRPA’s mission. García brings extensive experience to the organization in marketing and communications strategy, advocacy and movement building, strategic planning, program development, and nonprofit operational leadership. Prior to NRPA, García had a long career in public health and held multiple roles at the American Heart Association. Her efforts there resulted in improved diagnosis and treatment for patients and their families, as well as the successful passage of federal legislation benefitting heart and stroke patients.

“As someone who understands the importance of community and individual health, I’m thrilled to join NRPA and continue working toward this important goal,” said García.“I’m looking forward to lifting up the incredible work that park and recreation professionals do every day to work toward this goal, and the opportunities for all individuals that exist in our communities because of these agencies.”

García holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Arizona and lives in the Memphis, Tennessee area with her husband, two children and their golden retriever.  

To learn more about NRPA, visit

About the National Recreation and Park Association
The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is the leading not-for-profit organization dedicated to building strong, vibrant and resilient communities through the power of parks and recreation. With more than 60,000 members, NRPA advances this mission by investing in and championing the work of park and recreation professionals and advocates — the catalysts for positive change in service of equity, climate-readiness, and overall health and well-being. For more information, visit