Director of Horticulture and Landscape

Application Deadline


Jamaica Plain , Massachusetts

The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, a 281-acre museum of trees teaching the world about plants, is seeking a Director of Horticulture and Landscape. With one of the most biodiverse collections of temperate woody plants in the world, combined with world-class scientific resources, and a commitment to diverse programming, the Arnold Arboretum has been a leader in horticulture since its founding in 1872. As part of the Boston Parks system, it is free and open to all daily; we host three to four million visitors each year.

Position Summary:  Reporting to the Faculty Director of the Arnold Arboretum, the Director of Horticulture and Landscape is responsible for the care and maintenance of the living collections and provides strategic leadership to the horticulture departments. Combined, the Horticulture and Plant Production Departments are home to 24 FTEs, including managers, horticulturists, gardeners, and arborists. The team increases to 38 FTEs with seasonal staff and interns. The Director of Horticulture and Landscape provides creative direction for landscape development, renovations, and installations with knowledge of garden design, plant combinations, and the history of this Fredrick Law Olmsted landscape. The Director of Horticulture and Landscape provides strategic oversight and expertise in horticulture practices to maintain and enhance the landscape and living collections.

The Director of Horticulture and Landscape is a collaborative leader who forges strong relationships with colleagues across the Arboretum and with external peers in support of the Arnold Arboretum’s mission, values, and strategic priorities. The Director reports to the Faculty Director of the Arboretum, serves as a member of the senior leadership team, and plays a vital role in institutional planning and promoting a culture that values diversity, inclusion, and belonging. The Director will work in close partnership with the Keeper of the Living Collections and the Faculty Director to define and implement the vision of the living collections, including planning operations to mitigate the threats of global change. 

We welcome interested applicants to view our website at: to learn about our events at Read about our land acknowledgment at and our statement on the legacy of slavery: 

Position Description

Functional areas of management:   

  • Provide strategic leadership to the horticulture departments. Direct work of two managers in critical programmatic areas, including integrated pest management, plant propagation & production, soils health, mature tree preservation, and tree risk assessment. 
  • Develop, assess, and monitor annual horticulture and plant production plans and budgets. 
  • Work with horticulture staff and the Keeper of the Living Collections to develop plans to seasonally move nursery inventory into the landscape for approximately 600 accessions annually. 
  • Develop staffing strategies with managers; serve as principal Arboretum management representative during union contract negotiations; and develop collaborative working relationships with internal union representatives.
  • Work with the Director of Institutional Advancement to develop and present fundraising proposals to potential supporters.
  •  Collaborate with and represent the Arnold Arboretum with various city and state agencies, as well as with departments at Harvard University, to ensure effective operations of the Arboretum’s landscape for the health and safety of the plants as well as the public visitors. 
  • Under the direction of the Keeper of Living Collections, lead domestic and international plant collecting expeditions.
  • Work closely with other Arboretum departments to foster collection and landscape use, educational programming, and public communication.
  • Represent the mission and work of the Arnold Arboretum in professional organizations and publications, including the Arboretum’s quarterly magazine Arnoldia and external publications.
  • Direct the institution’s fleet operations, including the development of long-term transition plans to more sustainable alternatives. 

Basic Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in horticulture, landscape architecture, plant sciences, or a related field, plus a minimum of seven years of work experience in some area of horticultural maintenance and/or botanical garden background.  
  • Prior management/supervisor skills, including developing and mentoring a team of highly skilled horticulturists and/or arborists. Proven progressive leadership with a lens of fostering a collaborative team environment, ensuring a community where inclusion, diversity, and equity are foundational. 
  • Experience with development and maintenance of budgets, and management of applicable contracts/vendor relationships.