Director of Education & Community Programs – San Francisco Botanical Garden Society

San Francisco Botanical Garden Society (SFBGS), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is seeking an energetic and highly motivated individual with strong leadership, organizational, managerial, communication and interpersonal skills to fill the position of Director of Education and Community Programs.

About San Francisco Botanical Garden Society

SFBGS works in partnership with the City of San Francisco Recreation and Park Department to support San Francisco Botanical Garden, whose 55 acres in Golden Gate Park include more than 8,000 different kinds of plants from around the world.

SFBGS’s twofold mission is to build communities of support for the Botanical Garden and to cultivate the bond between people and plants. With the help of its members, donors and volunteers, SFBGS funds Garden improvements, provides curatorial and plant collections management services, propagates plants for the Botanical Garden and for sale to the public, maintains the Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture, offers year-round educational and community programming, operates the Garden Bookstore and Plant Sale, and annually welcomes more than 300,000 visitors from San Francisco, the Bay Area and all over the world.

The Director of Education and Community Programs is a new position at the Botanical Garden, overseeing and providing strategic leadership for educational and community programs. Responsible for classes and public programs, youth education, volunteer services including docent training, and the library, the Director will be a program professional with experience in education, interpretation and program development at a high level. The Director will assess existing programs and lead the reorganization and development of programs as needed to better serve SFBGS’s target audiences and help position the institution to more effectively fulfill its mission to create communities of support for the garden and to cultivate the bond between people and plants.

The Director of Education and Community Programs will determine the unique contribution the Botanical Garden can make to community understanding of biodiversity, sustainability and horticulture, and will build upon the core strengths of the organization to create integrated and aligned programs, helping to build deeper connections between the Botanical Garden and the communities we serve.

Existing resources include:

– an expanding youth and family education program currently serving over 12,000 children per year

– a volunteer program providing more than 40,000 hours of volunteer time to the entire organization annually

– an active docent corps of over 100 garden interpreters

– the most comprehensive horticultural library in Northern California with over 27,000 volumes, including an extensive children’s collection and rotating art exhibitions

The Director of Education and Community Programs will have particular responsibility for rebuilding the programs serving adult audiences, working in collaboration with marketing, development and curatorial departments to determine an appropriate mix of programming. In addition, the Director will work closely with curatorial staff to improve Garden interpretation through signage, technology and live interpretation. The Director will seek opportunities to engage with other institutions to leverage Garden resources with meaningful collaborations.

The Botanical Garden Society is in a time of transformation and growth and is currently implementing a staff reorganization to support the achievement of ambitious goals. The Society will build a Nursery:Center for Sustainable Gardening (CSG) complex within the next four years, a development which is expected to transform educational opportunities at the Garden. The CSG will be a LEED certified building with a green roof, a working nursery with a public orientation, designed to engage and educate visitors. The Director will work in collaboration with the Curatorial Department to guide the program planning process and will assist the Development Department with fundraising as needed.


Manage the growth and development of an Education and Community Programs department charged with developing deeper connections between SFBGS and the communities it serves

Determine new direction for classes and programs for adults, defining target audiences, developing programming and establishing SFBGS’s unique contribution to the community

Working within the parameters of the SFBGS/Recreation and Parks Department lease and management agreement, explore potential for new programming and develop a portfolio of high quality, coherent, targeted and relevant programs

Oversee current operation of a youth program serving over 12,000 children annually, a 27,000 volume horticultural library, and a volunteer program providing over 40,000 hours of volunteer time annually

Provide leadership and direction for established docent program, including review and development of new training program

Develop and track metrics to measure effectiveness of program offerings

Manage Head Librarian, Volunteer Services Manager, Director of Youth Education; hire and manage staff support for docent and community programs

Work closely with Curatorial Department to develop interpretive offerings accessible to a diverse range of visitors

Work closely with Visitor Experience and Marketing Department to communicate a consistent message

Support the work of the Development Department in raising funds for the Garden, including the Nursery:Center for Sustainable Gardening

Serve on in SFBGS Leadership Team to guide the implementation of institutional goals

Education and Experience:

Significant experience delivering public programs

demonstrated experience building new programs targeted to adult learners

experience with program assessment and evaluation

Content knowledge/expertise related to the Garden’s mission, Master’s degree or equivalent

Managerial experience including at least five years of leading a team in program design, implementation and evaluation

Experience in the non-profit sector

Familiarity with supporting the fundraising enterprise


Ability to work across organizational functions

Ability to recognize and harness potential synergies, within the department, across the institution and with external partners

Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing

Collaborative management style

Willing to take hands-on approach where needed

Available for evening and weekend events and programs as needed

Ability to participate in event set-up, including lifting and carrying up to 30 lbs

Ability to stand, or sit at a desk and computer, for extended periods of time

This list is not meant to be all-inclusive and may be expanded to include other duties, responsibilities and expectations that management may deem necessary from time to time.

How to apply

Please submit resume and cover letter outlining background, experience, interest and salary requirements via email, to SFBGS hopes to fill the position as soon as possible. Interested applicants should apply at their earliest convenience. No phone calls please.

San Francisco Botanical Garden Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes applications from individuals who will contribute to its diversity.