President & CEO, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden


Richmond, VA


Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden (LGBG) reveals the unity and integration of human and plant life, celebrates the fundamental significance of the natural world, and enriches communities through horticultural and educational excellence and innovative outreach initiatives.


The Garden encompasses 82 acres, four lakes, 5,500 unique genera of plants within 15 distinct outdoor gardens, 11 major buildings including a conservatory and greenhouse, plus an 80-acre satellite site, the Lewis Ginter Nature Reserve. Annually, LGBG engages over 17,000 students in innovative and exciting education programs. This cadre of identified learners is just a fraction of the more than 400,000 annual visitors to the Garden. In recent years, the Garden has been honored with inclusion in several top ten lists for botanical gardens in North America.


The Garden seeks a proven leader who can demonstrate a successful career of consistently moving an organization forward in pursuit of its vision. This individual will bring leadership characterized by an ability to garner broad community support, increase visibility of the organization and carry forward major new projects and programs.


She/he/they will approach the work in an inspirational, visionary, passionate manner that is authentic, trustworthy, innovative and resilient.  Driven by relationships and building meaningful connections across multiple groups, including Garden staff, volunteers, donors, partners, businesses, civic groups, public officials, visitors, members, and other stakeholders, the ideal candidate will have an effective, transparent and direct communication style with a culturally sensitive, equity mindset.


The Garden seeks a leader who is an exceptional communicator whose passion is evident by their ability to energetically and enthusiastically articulate the vision and aspirations of the Garden.  Experience at a high level in fundraising and donor engagement is highly preferred.  The ideal candidate will demonstrate a proven track record in obtaining major individual gifts, corporate sponsorships, foundation support, and government grants.  Successful experience in leading a capital campaign is a plus.  


A proven ability to manage and lead an organization is required.  This includes experience in hiring, coaching and delegating resulting in a high-quality team of tightly coordinated, professional and accountable staff members.  Of critical importance is the candidate’s ability to transform ideas into specific, goal-driven project outcomes. Strategic and business-principled decision-making experience, including expertise in crisis management, must be evident.  Experience in project management, from basic infrastructure improvements to large-scale capital construction projects, is ideal. Solid, demonstrated skills in operations, finance and business management are expected.


Leading with respect and being an active listener, the ideal candidate will be a dynamic, high-energy partner.  A confident leader who is also flexible and humble and views all involved in the organization through an asset/strengths-based lens, will be important.  She/he/they will be a strong strategic thinker with a collaborative, engaging approach to decision making that reflects the core values of the communities the Garden serves. The ideal candidate should also have a desire to improve diversity and inclusion in hiring, garden access and programs. The ideal candidate is a responsive and accessible leader, capable of connecting with all aspects of the organization through strong interpersonal skills.  


Specific experience with public gardens is preferred but not a requirement, however, an affinity and passion for the mission of public gardens must be demonstrated. Senior-level leadership in a similar venue that aspires to deliver an extraordinary visitor experience is highly desirable.  Experience in nonprofit management and governance is preferred.


A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university is required; a master's degree is preferred.  Affiliation with local, state, or national professional or trade associations related to the Garden’s mission would be a plus.


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