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Smithsonian Gardens-Director, Smithsonian Gardens-Mon, 12/02/2019 - 12:41pm

Director, Smithsonian Gardens


Smithsonian Gardens
Washington , DC 20560

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Job Description 

Director of Smithsonian Gardens
As a vital and vibrant part of the Smithsonian Institution experience, Smithsonian Gardens engages people with plants and gardens, informs on the roles both play in
our cultural and natural worlds, and inspires appreciation and stewardship.
Smithsonian Gardens extends the Smithsonian’s museum experience in a public garden setting with over 180 acres of outdoor gardens including numerous public exhibition gardens often called the Smithsonian Institution’s “museum without walls.” Smithsonian Gardens staff produce interior exhibits and horticultural displays around the Smithsonian, develop educational programming, and manage and curate artifact, archival, and living collections.
With a workforce of over 60 employees, a team of over 60 volunteers, active and engaged student interns, an annual budget of approximately $7 million, a large and modern greenhouse complex, and extensive educational and outreach programs, Smithsonian Gardens — a fully accredited museum — is a vital part of the Smithsonian experience.

Duties & Responsibilities 

While also supervising staff, the Director of Smithsonian Gardens reports directly to the Director of Smithsonian Facilities and serves as the principal advisor to Institution leadership on all aspects of Smithsonian’s public garden exhibition management. The Director of Smithsonian Gardens also participates in implementation of Smithsonian Facilities’ management policies. The Director of Smithsonian Gardens sets priorities and provides executive leadership in developing and implementing all programs, policies, and operations of Smithsonian Gardens. The Director also formulates Smithsonian Gardens’ strategic plan and ensures it complements Smithsonian Facilities’ and the Institution’s strategic planning goals. This role encourages professional development and continuing education. The Director also keeps abreast of the latest public and private sector public garden developments, promotes innovation, and builds strong connections with Smithsonian and other museums, other public gardening organizations, and the larger gardening community.
Smithsonian Gardens’ Director also coordinates fundraising and development efforts, explores collaborative programs with other museums and research organizations, and develops detailed annual budget requests while overseeing expenditures.

Education and Experience 

Basic qualifications for this position include a Bachelor’s degree in horticulture or related field or a combination of education and experience. Successful applicants need to have at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-15 level such as demonstrated knowledge and leadership skills related to planning and managing public garden exhibitions, collections, and educational programming. The applicants must have clear leadership experience including goalsetting and developing strategies, have the necessary skills for
program and budget planning and management, a proven understanding of fundraising, and be able to lead and manage a multidisciplined, diverse team.

Application Instructions 

You can learn more about the Director of Smithsonian Gardens position and apply online at or The recruitment will only be open for a short period of time. If you have questions about this position, contact Smithsonian Facilities Director Nancy Bechtol at

Full Name 
Nancy Bechtol