The American Red Cross announced today that retired Rear Adm. Michael N. Parks, former Commander, Ninth Coast Guard District, has been appointed Regional Executive, Northeast Ohio Region, effective April 13. He succeeds Mary-Alice Frank, who recently stepped down after 36 years with the humanitarian organization.
“We are absolutely delighted to welcome Mike, who comes to the Red Cross with not only an understanding and passion for our mission but an impressive background in leadership, strategic planning, mentoring, communications and team building,” said David Doll, Chairman of the Cleveland Chapter Executive Board. “As one would expect, he has significant experience in emergency preparation and response as well as working with multiple agencies, states, governments and industries.”
Among other significant assignments during his 35-year Coast Guard career, Parks was deployed in 2010 in support of the U.S. Southern Command to direct emergency response following the devastating earthquake in Haiti, working directly with the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“First-hand experience like that is invaluable and is a significant part of what makes him ideally suited for leadership within an organization whose mission is to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors,” Doll added.
From 2010 to 2013, Parks was based in Cleveland as Commander, Ninth Coast Guard District, responsible for leading and directing all Coast Guard operations throughout the eight-state Great Lakes region, including the 1,500-mile international border with Canada. In that capacity he led more than 6,000 active, reserve, civilian and auxiliary (volunteer) personnel at 75 operational units.
His final Coast Guard assignment was Special Advisor to the Chamber of Marine Commerce, where he promoted distinct economic, environmental and safety advantages of bi-national shipping industry representing more than 100 maritime stakeholders. Previous duties over the past decade included Deputy Director of Operations, U.S. Northern Command; Chief of Staff, Coast Guard Atlantic Area; and Chief of Staff/Chief of Operations Response, Ninth Coast Guard District.
Parks is a 1982 graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Government. He later earned a Master of Public Administration degree from George Washington University and was selected and attended the National War College in Washington, D.C., where he received a Master of Science in National Security Strategy and Policy.