Longwood Gardens today announced the appointment of Kate Santos, Ph.D., as Director, Research and Conservation, to lead the organization’s science-based activities, strategically driving excellence in research, conservation, land stewardship, and ecology with local, national, and global impact.

Santos comes to the position having 15 years of experience leading for-profit business functions in horticulture. Most recently, she founded Kate Santos LLC, a botanical consulting firm, bringing solutions to the world’s most growth-oriented horticultural companies. Prior to starting her own business, she spent six years at Dümmen Orange, where she served as North America Operations Director and Regional Director of Supply Chain for the Americas, managing leadership teams across North America, Central America and South America. Santos also spent part of her career leading Research and Development at Costa Farms in Miami, FL. She earned her Doctor of Environmental Horticulture from the University of Florida, and her Bachelor of Science in Plant Biology from the University of New Hampshire.

“We are thrilled to have Kate as our new Director of Research and Conservation,” said Longwood Gardens Vice President of Horticulture Sharon Loving. “Kate is a respected botanical expert who has worked on a diverse group of projects to create lasting impacts in the art, science, and sustainability of horticulture. Her experience and vision make her a perfect fit for this position.”


“I am honored to be chosen as the Director of Research and Conservation at Longwood Gardens,” said Santos. “Longwood is internationally recognized for its legacy of plant exploration, plant conservation, and environmental stewardship and I am eager to work with Longwood’s impressive team of professionals to continue to elevate and advance Longwood’s important work in research, conservation, and stewardship,” said Santos.

The Research & Conservation division is one of four divisions in the Horticulture Department at Longwood, which also includes Floriculture and Conservatories, Horticultural Operations, and Outdoor Landscapes. The Research & Conservation programs include plant breeding, exploration, and evaluation; ecological stewardship and land management; plant conservation; and soils and compost management.

About Longwood Gardens

In 1906, industrialist Pierre du Pont (1870-1954) purchased a small farm near Kennett Square, PA, to save a collection of historic trees from being sold for lumber. Today, Longwood Gardens is one of the great gardens of the world and the most visited public garden in America, encompassing 1,100 acres of dazzling gardens, woodlands, meadows, fountains, 10,010-pipe Aeolian organ and grand conservatory. Longwood continues the mission set forth by Mr. du Pont to inspire people through excellence in garden design, horticulture, education and the performing arts, through programming that includes exhibitions, musical performances by leading artists, renowned horticulture education programs, horticulture research, environmental stewardship and community engagement. Open daily, Longwood is one of more than 30 gardens in the Philadelphia region known as America’s Garden Capital. For more information, visit longwoodgardens.org.