Botanic Gardens Conservation International
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Update on BGCI US

9 September 2013

BGCI US is undergoing three exciting changes we would like to share with you:

1) Dr. James Affolter (Director of Research at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia and Professor of Horticulture at the University of Georgia) was recently elected as BGCI US Board President. Jim brings an impressive record of leadership in plant conservation and more than 25 years of involvement with BGCI, including serving on the BGCI US Board since 2009. Prior to joining the University of Georgia faculty in 1993, Jim served as Curator of the University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley and Director of Cornell Plantations. He has been the Chair of the Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance since that organization was founded in 1995. With this transition we thank Scot Medbury (President, Brooklyn Botanic Garden) for his leadership and service as BGCI US Board President for nearly 5 years, and are grateful that he remains on the BGCI US and BGCI Boards of Directors. To see a full list of the BGCI US Board of Directors, visit

2) Abby Hird (BGCI US Research Associate and Project Manager) has been promoted to BGCI US Program Director. Abby moved from the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University to Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden earlier this year, and we are thrilled that she is ready to step into the Program Director position. Abby, a graduate of the Longwood Graduate Program and 2008-2010 Putnam Fellow at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, has been with BGCI US since 2010. She has played a key role in BGCI US programs, including the North American Collections Assessment and the Care for the Rare program. With this promotion, Abby will be taking the lead on developing and implementing BGCI US's programs with BGCI members and partners across the United States.

3) Andrea Kramer (BGCI US Executive Director) has announced her plans to transition out of the Executive Director role by the end of 2013. Andrea has been in the role of Executive Director since the BGCI US office moved to the Chicago Botanic Garden in 2008. Since then she has helped build the programs and board of BGCI US. Andrea will be taking on more responsibilities as a Conservation Scientist at the Chicago Botanic Garden, and in this role she will remain actively involved and supportive of BGCI. The BGCI US Board of Directors and BGCI are working to redefine the BGCI US Executive Director position and plan to post a new position announcement during the 5th Global Botanic Gardens Congress ( in Dunedin, New Zealand in October 2013.

Thank you for supporting BGCI, we look forward to our continued work together!

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