Grace has a life-long passion for America’s parks and the outdoors. As a young girl, Grace and her family spent summers camping and hiking at national parks across the country and she continued this tradition with her own family.
Since 2006, she has overseen the significant expansion of National Park Trust's mission and park preservation and youth programs, including in 2009 the launch of NPT's innovative Buddy Bison School Program which currently engages more than 60 Title 1 schools across the country with their local, state and national parks. This was followed by the creation in 2011 of Kids to Parks Day, a nationwide day of play in collaboration with schools, parks, national non-profit organizations, mayors, governors, and senators representing all 50 states and Washington, D.C. – with more than 640,000 participants annually. In addition, NPT is currently working with the National Park Service on a "wish list" of priority land acquisition projects that will benefit nearly 50 national park units.
During her tenure at NPT, Grace has overseen the strengthening and diversification of the National Park Trust Board, the establishment of a Leadership Council, the rebuilding of NPT’s staff and operations, the development of foundation/corporate partners and collaborators, and the redesign of its websites and communications and branding strategy. She also is responsible for the enhancement and the development of key partnerships and collaborations with government, conservation, education and health organizations, including the Department of the Interior, First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative, National Park Service, American Academy of Pediatrics, US Army Corps of Engineers, US Forest Service, Children and Nature Network, and numerous independent, public charter, and public schools across the country.
Grace holds an AB degree in chemistry (biologic specialization) from Duke University, worked as an analytical chemist at the National Institutes of Health, and then as an editor for Analytical Chemistry published by the American Chemical Society. For ten years, Grace served on the board of the Bullis School, an independent school in Potomac, Maryland, as vice chair and played a leadership role in the school’s strategic plan and development initiatives including two capital campaigns and the annual fund.