The Hawaiʻi-based National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG) announced that effective January 1, 2019, the congressionally chartered institution’s new Director and Chief Executive Officer is Janet L. Mayfield. NTBG’s Board of Trustees approved Mayfield to succeed Charles R. “Chipper” Wichman, Jr. who served as Director and CEO from 2003–2018.

Prior to accepting the role of NTBG’s Director and CEO, Mayfield held dual responsibilities as the organization’s Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer (2003–2018). Mayfield previously served as NTBG’s Controller from 1997–1999. She has a background in accounting, finance, education, and the management of not-for-profit organizations.

Mayfield is looking forward to the diverse challenges this new position holds for her and said: “It is an honor to be selected by our National Board to be the next Director and CEO of NTBG. Our staff is remarkable in their dedication to achieving our mission of perpetuating the survival of plants, ecosystems, and cultural knowledge of tropical regions. Many, like Chipper, have made this their life’s work. As global citizens, it is our responsibility to be part of a solution to curb the tide of extinction and mitigate the threats of climate change. I am humbled and eager to be taking the helm of an organization with such an imperative and timely mission.”

Starting in 2019, Wichman will remain President of NTBG, with a focus on fundraising and external affairs. He will continue to represent NTBG in local, national, and international initiatives and conferences while reporting to Mayfield. NTBG’s institutional governance and operational management decisions will be executed by Director and CEO Mayfield.

Wichman is very excited about the transition and said: “After working to advance the mission of NTBG over the past 40-plus years, I am eager to take on this new role which will allow me to focus my passion for the gardens and the critical work we are doing in a deeply meaningful way. The world is at a crossroads and it is important that we all up our game and do even more to protect the bio and cultural diversity on our island earth.”

In a statement, NTBG’s Chairman of the Board, Mr. Thomas D. Hewitt said: “For more than 15 years, Janet and Chipper have worked effectively as a team to lead and advance this organization, making NTBG a recognized global leader in tropical plant conservation, science, and education. I look forward to great things from them under their new leadership roles.”

National Tropical Botanical Garden ( is a not-for-profit, nongovernmental institution with nearly 2,000 acres of gardens and preserves in Hawai‘i and Florida. The institution’s mission is to enrich life through discovery, scientific research, conservation, and education by perpetuating the survival of plants, ecosystems, and cultural knowledge of tropical regions. NTBG is supported primarily through donations and grants.