SALT LAKE CITY — Mayor Ben McAdams has named Martin Jensen as the new director of Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation.

Jensen has been serving as associate director of the county's department of community services.

Jensen has seven years' experience as a Salt Lake County employee, including as director of marketing and public relations for the parks department, and he has worked for NASA and the U.S. Forest Service.

“The future we choose for Salt Lake County includes a well-oiled parks and recreation department that works every day for the families who live, work and play along the Wasatch Front,” McAdams said. “I know Martin Jensen believes in the value of parks and recreation to families in our community and supports this effort.”

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue the tradition of providing diverse recreation opportunities for county residents,” Jensen said.

Michele Nekota, the department's former director, retired in April.

Jensen was named the outstanding professional of the year by the Utah Recreation and Parks Association in 2012. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Utah State University. He also received a Master of Public Administration from the University of Utah and is a certified parks and recreation professional from the National Recreation and Parks Association.