Director of the Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks
John Hallas served as the assistant bureau director for three years before being named the director of the Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks. A native of Homestead, Allegheny County, John is married and is the father of two daughters.
A veteran of eight years service with the U.S. Army, Hallas served two years in the reserves in a Combat Engineers unit, followed by six years of active duty, serving in a Field Artillery unit at Fort Bragg, N.C., and an Infantry unit at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. He was honorably discharged in 1993 with the rank of Sergeant.
A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Hallas holds bachelor degrees in natural science, with a concentration in geology and anthropology, with a concentration in archeology.
Joining the DCNR team in 2000 as a park manager trainee, Hallas served at various parks throughout his career. In 2001, he was promoted to assistant park manager at Hickory Run State Park Complex, based in Luzerne County, and was promoted again in 2003 to park manager at Tobyhanna State Park Complex, headquartered in Monroe County. Beginning in 2004, he served six years managing Ohiopyle State Park, Fayette County, followed by three years as regional manager of State Park Region Two, based in Butler County. In January 2013, he was appointed to the assistant director post, working out of the bureau’s Harrisburg headquarters.
DCNR secretary Cindy Adams Dunn complimented John on his appointments. “After joining the DCNR team in 2000, John was assigned key administrative posts at several large and demanding state parks across the state, all the time displaying the intelligence, enthusiasm, and energy needed to oversee the Bureau of State Parks,” Dunn said. “A system’s already excellent record of resource management, visitor satisfaction, and varied recreation and education can only get even better under John’s leadership.”
“This appointment and the opportunity to continue serving Pennsylvania’s state parks leaves me deeply honored,” Hallas said. “The privilege of working with an exemplary and deeply committed team of professionals to conserve our natural and cultural heritage in the commonwealth always has been at the center of my passion for my career.
“With this new stewardship role, I enthusiastically look forward to leading the bureau’s efforts in providing the highest quality outdoor recreation, interpretation, and education experiences on our treasured state parklands.”