National Association for Interpretation (NAI)


Founded in 1988 from two existing organizations, the Association of Interpretive Naturalists and the Western Interpreters Association, the National Association for Interpretation (NAI) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit professional organization dedicated to advancing the profession of heritage interpretation. It currently serves about 5,000 members in the United States, Canada, and over thirty other nations. Individual members include those who work at parks, museums, nature centers, zoos, botanical gardens, aquariums, historical and cultural sites, commercial tour companies, and theme parks. Commercial and institutional members include those who provide services to the heritage interpretation industry.

The NAI seeks to inspire leadership and excellence to advance heritage interpretation as a profession. The organization’s goals are to:

  • Provide opportunities for professional development of individual members
  • Strengthen and support academic programs
  • Provide opportunities for growth of the profession
  • Develop multiple communication strategies to keep members informed about the organization’s operations
  • Preserve the history of the organization
  • Improve existing programs, products, and services
  • Provide a meaningful structural framework for operation of regions, sections, and chapters
  • Encourage cultural and professional diversity among membership
  • Improve brand identity of organization
  • Promote financial stability through fundraising and thoughtful fiscal management and oversight
  • Encourage ongoing board training and development opportunities
  • Promote leadership development and opportunities
  • Use integrated planning approach for strategic planning to address specific issues, long-range planning, and annual business planning

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