Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy Names New Leader from Country’s #1 Park System

DEC 6, 2017 

Top executive of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to become President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy

Jayne Miller, currently superintendent of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, is moving to Pittsburgh to become President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. Minneapolis Parks has been ranked multiple times as the #1 park system in the country by the Trust for Public Land. 

Photo of Jayne Miller


Following a national search, Miller was chosen to replace Meg Cheever, who founded the Parks Conservancy and also has served as its president and CEO for 21 years. Cheever will retire at the end of March 2018. 

Under Miller’s leadership, the Minneapolis Parks system was named the #1 among U.S. park systems for the last five of Miller’s seven years. Miller’s accomplishments also include forging an agreement with the City of Minneapolis to provide an additional $250 million in funding over 20 years for the City’s 160 neighborhood parks, reversing decades of chronic underfunding and establishing the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board as the leader in racial and economic equity work. 

“The bar for selecting our next president and CEO was very high, based on Meg Cheever’s magnificent $100-million park restoration and revitalization programs,” said Daniel Booker, chairman of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy Board of Directors. “As we consider our path forward for the next decade, our goal is to achieve a more sustainable parks infrastructure, enhance operating performance and ensure equity across all city parks. Jayne’s expertise matches perfectly with our strategic vision.”

The overarching goals for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy are significant:  To establish a unified parks management plan and become one of the leading park systems in the country. “This will entail securing increased funding and streamlining our important working relationship with the City of Pittsburgh,” added Booker.

In her current position, Miller has also been actively engaged as an industry professional and community member. She has been a board member of The City Parks Alliance, a national organization based in Washington D.C; a board member of the international organization World Urban Parks, Minneapolis Urban League, Minneapolis Parks Foundation, Meet Minneapolis, Sports Minneapolis, and St. Anthony Falls Heritage.  Miller also has served as a Founding Member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism in Public Health.

“I believe in strong communities, which are anchored by thriving park systems that enable emotional, intellectual and physical development,” said Miller. “As a park system leader, I’m committed to making connections in my community.” With roots in upstate New York, Miller was connected to parks at a young age. “They inspired my active lifestyle and belief about strong community infrastructure,” she added.

Prior to her appointment as Minneapolis Parks Superintendent, Miller served as director of the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority, a five-county regional park system in southeast Michigan; community services area administrator for the City of Ann Arbor and a number of other positions with the City of Ann Arbor for more than 22 years.  Miller holds a master’s degree in recreation administration from the University of Maryland and a bachelor's degree from Midland University in Nebraska.

Miller assumes her new position on February 5, 2018.  She will work alongside Meg Cheever in a two-month transition period through March 31.

"Who wouldn't be proud to say that her successor has led the #1 ranked park system in the country," said Cheever. "With Jayne Miller as our next leader, the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy is in prime position to help make our Pittsburgh park system even more amazing for our region."


About Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy:

The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy was founded in December 1996 by a group of citizens concerned with the deteriorating conditions of Pittsburgh’s historic city parks. A non-profit organization, the Parks Conservancy works closely with the City of Pittsburgh under an official public-private partnership agreement to restore and improve the city’s park system to its full potential. To date, the Parks Conservancy has raised over $105 million and completed 17 major park improvement projects.  Annually the Parks Conservancy works with thousands of volunteers and provides programming for more than 5,000 children.