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Houston Botanic Garden Announces New Executive Director

Courtesy of Claudia Gee Vassar

Board of Directors votes to promote Interim Executive Director, Claudia Gee Vassar, to permanent position

HOUSTON – November 28, 2017 – Houston Botanic Garden (HBG) board of directors voted to promote Interim Executive Director Claudia Gee Vassar to the position of Executive Director and General Counsel effective November 1, 2017. Since joining HBG in September 2016, Vassar has led the organization’s $30 million Grow Houston’s Garden fundraising campaign which has raised over $21.6 million.

“Part of success is the right combination of people. Claudia’s tenacious work ethic and ability to build relationships across different backgrounds make her the right person to lead our team,” said Board of Directors Chair Nancy Abendshein.

“Working to bring the botanic garden’s vision to reality is very special to me. To think my children and future generations will enjoy this special place with people from all across the city is incredibly meaningful,” Claudia Gee Vassar stated.

Vassar is a native Houstonian and Rice graduate who earned a law degree from the University of Virginia. After practicing law for a decade, Vassar began consulting work with local non-profits, providing valuable guidance through cycles of transition and growth. Vassar has completed major consulting projects for organizations such as Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice, Young Audiences of Houston and Main Street Ministries.

In 2015, HBG entered into a lease agreement with the City of Houston to transform the 120-acre Glenbrook Golf Course into a botanic garden. West 8, an internationally renowned landscape architecture firm, has created a master plan that provides a road map for developing the botanic garden in phases over the next 30 years. The Grow Houston’s Garden campaign will fund the first phase of development, which is set to begin early 2018.