The Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation has announced the appointment of Keven M. Walker as the new chief executive officer of the foundation. Walker, who was selected from among 35 candidates, comes to the foundation from the Antietam National Battlefield in Sharpsburg, Maryland, where for the past 11 years he served as cultural resources program manager and historian.
His first day on the job was May 27. He steps into the role formerly held by W. Denman Zirkle, who retired from the SVBF on March 31.
Walker takes the helm of the foundation during the busiest year in its history. Ambitious programs in coming months include the Campaign for Third Winchester battlefield restoration and interpretation effort, new interpretive trails at Fisher's Hill, the renovation of the historic Lee-Jackson Building into an orientation center, store, and cafe, major land preservation efforts and various 1864-2014 Sesquicentennial programs, including a conference on the 1864 Shenandoah Campaign on Aug. 2 and the 150th Anniversary of the Third Battle of Winchester on Sept. 19 and 20. These will include tours, descendant programs, a kids camp, the "Stars Over Winchester" gala with Robert Duvall and Ed Bearss and the climactic commemorative program, "The World on Fire: Third Winchester and the 1864 Shenandoah Campaign."
At Antietam, Walker was responsible for historic research, historic architectural history, the preservation and restoration of historic structures, the survey and evaluation of historic sites and multidisciplinary preservation planning. Walker serves as member of the National Park Service's national advisory team on cultural resources and historic preservation.
Walker was formerly executive director of The Walker Foundation for Historic Preservation in Charles Town, West Virginia.