Erik Kulleseid, a senior vice president of the Open Space Institute, was appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo as commissioner of the state Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, according to a news release.
Kulleseid was responsible for the Institute's Parks and Policy Program, which helped integrate private funding for park improvement projects. He also secured $30 million in private and public funds to support park improvements and expand recreational access to protected land.
Some of those projects included building interpretive exhibits and orientation kiosks at Thacher Park Center, creating a river-to-ridge trail in New Paltz and creating the Minnewaska Visitor Center, to name a few.
"I am honored to have been invited by Governor Cuomo to take the helm at the Office of Parks, to help him continue and expand his extraordinary park legacy," Kulleseid said in a release. "That being said, my departure is bittersweet. Having the opportunity to build the Parks program at the Open Space Institute has been the most rewarding stretch of my career to date, and I am grateful to the support of the board and my colleagues for adding park and public access improvements to OSI's already powerful portfolio of work."