Carrie Hardin.

Carrie Hardin, Chief of the Facility Management Division for the Outer Banks national parks.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.     

Hometown: Born in Seattle, Washington, but raised in Arlington, Virginia. 

Program of study, relevant job experience: Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Master of Business Administration. I spent the last 20-ish years working as a Department of Defense (DoD) federal civilian working on various software and hardware research, development and testing projects/programs for the U.S. Navy.  The last 10-ish years were predominantly focused on project/program management, contract management and resource (money and people) management.    

Position in our Outer Banks national parks: I started in March 2023 as the Chief of the Facility Management Division for all three Outer Banks parks.    

Where you can be found: My office is in the headquarters building at Fort Raleigh National Historic Site in Manteo, but I try to be out in the field as much as possible. 

Other national parks you have worked at: This is my first job with the National Park Service.   

Currently listening to/watching/reading (whichever applies best to you): Listening to: Women’s soccer (or women’s sports in general) podcasts and, according to my 2023 Spotify Wrapped, Taylor Swift and Odesza. Watching: Women’s sports (mostly soccer, but also basketball, hockey, tennis), NHL hockey (Let’s go Caps!) and probably a terrible Netflix series. 

What do you like to do in your free time? Cook new recipes, spend time with my 15-year-old miniature dachshund and my wife, and spend time on the beach. 

A 15-year-old miniature dachshund.

Carrie’s 15-year-old miniature dachshund.

What do you like most about the Outer Banks? The sense of community here and of course the beautiful beaches – oh, and the restaurants. 

A hand holding blue, green, and white sea glass.

Carrie holding sea glass she found on the beach.

What is a favorite memory you have from your time in the Outer Banks?   

My wife and I got married on the beach here in 2014, hard to top that memory. 

Carrie Hardin and her wife.

Carrie and her wife.

How did you end up in your current position with the National Park Service? 

Great question! I’d like to think it was just fate, but I applied for this position with no hope of actually even being contacted for an interview.  My wife and I made plans back in 2015 to one day (sooner rather than later) to end up on the Outer Banks. The plans got more serious in 2022 when we sold our house in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and signed a two-year lease on a house in Richmond, Virginia, with the hope that we would be here by spring 2024. Getting selected for this position accelerated the plan for me, and my wife is still working her way here full time (she is here part time right now). 

What does a typical workday or work week look like for you?    

Every day and week are different (which is something I like about my job). Some days or weeks I feel like I am starting to get a handle on this job and then there will be a day or week where I get reminded, I still have a ton to learn. I think I am a long way away from having a day or week that seems like something that would be considered “typical.” 

What do you enjoy most about working at in our Outer Banks national parks?  

All three parks are unique on their own and each offer a very different meaning/significance to the Outer Banks, both the local community and the visitors. I like that I get to be a part of ensuring people can continue enjoying each park’s uniqueness.