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Elizabeth Newman Wilds Director of Cornell Plantations - Cornell University USA

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Dear BGCI professionals,

Cornell Plantations and Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences seek candidates for The Elizabeth Newman Wilds Director of Cornell Plantations:

Cornell Plantations is seeking an exceptional individual to serve as the Elizabeth Newman Wilds Director to lead Cornell University’s botanical gardens, arboretum and natural areas, Upstate New York’s premier public garden and one of Ithaca’s major cultural institutions.

From Cornell University's beginning, there was a resolve to amplify and even expand upon the campus' rich natural treasures. At the university's opening ceremony in 1868, the eminent naturalist Louis Agassiz remarked that no other area could compete with Cornell's surroundings in the opportunities offered for the study of natural history. Cornell Plantations traces its roots to 1875 and serves as an exemplary University public garden with a mature and diverse botanical garden, arboretum, the fourth largest holding of natural areas among North American public gardens, and a rich educational program which serves learners of all ages.

Within Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell Plantations is an integral program and place whose mission is to preserve and enhance diverse horticultural collections and natural areas for enrichment, education and support of scientific research.  The 3,515 acres of natural and cultivated areas are adjacent to Cornell’s central campus and throughout Tompkins County.  Worldwide tourists, Cornell faculty and students, local community members, and Cornell alumni are attracted to Plantations throughout the year with approximately 150,000 visitors annually.  During the growing season, Plantations employs up to 70 full- and part-time staff, including interns, students and temporary employees.  An annual operating budget of $2.8 million supports active conservation, horticulture, education and outreach programs.

A dedicated team of experienced and passionate program leaders and staff along with a robust volunteer corps and an active and supportive donor base help Plantations achieve its mission to preserve and enhance diverse horticultural collections and natural areas for the enrichment and education of academic and public audiences, and in support of scientific research.  

The E.N. Wilds Director will provide the leadership, vision and strategic direction for Cornell Plantations, comprised of Cornell’s botanical gardens, arboretum and natural areas.  In addition, the director will have primary responsibility for institutional development, initiation and implementation of major programmatic and capital improvements, and the establishment of the fundraising strategies required to achieve these goals. In addition, she/he will manage day-to-day operations and activities, a $2.8 million budget, and a staff of up to 70 full- and part-time employees.

A full description of the position along with application instructions can be found hereReview of application materials will be begin on September 26, 2013 and will continue until a suitable candidate can be found.

If you are not interested in applying, we kindly ask you to share this opportunity with professionals you feel could be potential candidates.

We would also greatly appreciate any suggestions you may have for candidates we might reach out to directly; you can share these names with me and our search committee will be in touch with them.

On behalf of the Search Committee, I thank you in advance for any assistance you are able to provide,

Sonja M. Skelly

Director of Education    Cornell Plantations


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