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Job ID: 166299

Executive Director of the South Carolina Botanical Garden
Clemson University

Date Posted Aug. 31, 2021
Title Executive Director of the South Carolina Botanical Garden
University Clemson University
Clemson, SC, United States
Department Forestry & Environmental Conservation OR Plant & Environmental Sciences
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Director/Manager
  • Agronomy/Plant & Soil Sciences
Clemson University: College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences: Cooperative Extension Services
Executive Director of the South Carolina Botanical Garden

Location: Clemson, SC

The South Carolina Botanical Garden (SCBG) offers 298 acres of gardens and arboretum for research, conservation, outreach, and education. The SCBG is a living laboratory with extensive plant and natural resource collections. This position offers exciting opportunities for plant-passionate candidates to creatively expand on the Garden's existing collections and sustainability focus.
The Executive Director will collaborate with colleges, departments, and cooperative extension to develop and carry out the vision of the SCBG within the operating and reporting structure of the Cooperative Extension Service. They will have a tenure-track faculty appointment in the Forestry and Environmental Conservation Department or the Plant and Environmental Sciences Department within the College of Agriculture Forestry and Life Sciences. They will report directly to the Director of the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service.
SCBG Mission: To serve as a holistically managed landscape fostering a healthy ecosystem and experience for the public; while serving as an interdisciplinary resource focusing on teaching, research, and outreach that advances awareness and understanding of our plants, animals, minerals, and our culture.
Specific Duties
  • The Executive Director will provide a broad, integrative vision to grow the reputation of the gardens in South Carolina and the nation. The Executive Director will work with the Clemson University Foundation Development Office to create and implement fundraising activities that benefit the SCBG, including grant proposal preparation, donor events, and project and capital fund campaigns. The Executive Director will develop, refine, and publicize programming consistent with the SCBG mission based on resource availability and acquisition.
  • The Executive Director will develop, implement, and manage the SCBG operational budget in consultation with the Director of the Cooperative Extension Service and the Vice-President of Public Service and Agriculture. The Executive Director will also oversee all aspects of the daily management and operation of the SCBG and its staff (13 full-time staff) and serve as the SCBG's lead representative to internal and external stakeholders.
  • The Executive Director will facilitate integrating educational programming into appropriate Cooperative Extension Service program teams and enhance the development of applied research, demonstrations, and education.
  • The Executive Director will be required to perform other duties as assigned and appropriate for this position.

  • The Executive Director must have a Ph.D. (preferred) or terminal degree (required) in botany, horticulture, natural resource management, or a related field.
  • The Executive Director must also have at least 5 years of experience as a director with supervisory and budgetary oversight in an applied horticulture setting such as a public or private botanical garden or arboretum, an educational institution, or other relevant experience.
  • The Executive Director must have demonstrated experience with annual giving and project and capital fundraising campaigns.
  • The Executive Director must also demonstrate outstanding oral and written communication skills. Advanced experience as a public speaker in the areas of garden and planting design, plant taxonomy and distribution, plant/garden history, or a combination thereof are desirable.
  • The successful candidate for Executive Director must have the qualifications to meet the standards for a tenure-track faculty appointment as a Professor within the Forestry and Environmental Conservation or Plant and Environmental Sciences Department.


All applicants must apply at To receive full consideration, application materials must be received no later than November 15, 2021.

  • Statement (2 pages or less) describing your leadership style and philosophy, vision for the SCBG, and how you have demonstrated a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • CV
  • Unofficial transcripts (An official transcript for highest degree earned is required prior to the start of employment for the selected candidate.)
  • References (names and contact information for five)

Should you have any questions related to the position, please contact Dr. Greg Reighard, search committee chair, (

Clemson University is an AA/EEO employer and does not discriminate against any person or group on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, pregnancy, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status or genetic information. Clemson University is building a culturally diverse faculty and staff committed to working in a multicultural environment and encourages applications from minorities and women.

Please reference in your cover letter when
applying for or inquiring about this job announcement.

Contact Information

  • Kelsey Crawford
    Forestry & Environmental Conservation OR Plant & Environmental Sciences
    Clemson University


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