ABOUT MT. CUBA CENTER
Mt. Cuba Center inspires an appreciation for the beauty and value of native plants, and works to conserve native flora through community engagement, collaborative efforts, and independent research. Our gardens highlight native plants in naturalistic and formal gardens, and our natural lands comprise a variety of habitats supporting a diverse array of wildlife. Through our programs, we foster appreciation of native plants and catalyze that energy to motivate a community of conservation. We are committed to building a collaborative, inclusive work environment, and are perennially named one of Delaware’s Best Workplaces.
Our new Director of Conservation & Research will act as a strategic business partner to develop and lead all conservation and research initiatives. They will be responsible for producing results that advance understanding of native plants and healthy ecosystems, further conservation efforts, and effectively engage the public and professional community in Mt. Cuba Center’s mission. Working collaboratively with the senior leadership team, this individual will lead the organization in carrying out the strategic goals and founding intention of Mt. Cuba Center.
Mt. Cuba Center’s numerous programs, partnerships, and education and outreach efforts propel research and conservation efforts throughout the Piedmont region. Connecting our research expertise with an appreciation of native plants and their ecological value is the core of our comprehensive mission. Accordingly, as the new Director of Conservation and Research you will have a deep appreciation for Mt. Cuba Center’s role as a conservation leader and be able to think creatively about how to lead and share our seminal research in native species and the conservation of natural lands and plant species.
PRIORITIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Lead Mt. Cuba’s Conservation, Research & Collections Management Programs: Provide strategic direction and leadership to our research programs including horticultural trials, native plant propagation and production, and the ecological management of our natural lands. Collaborate with staff, universities, organizations, community, and others to advance Mt. Cuba Center’s research objectives; oversee contracts and project management of fellowships and university collaborations; oversee research publications that investigate the horticultural and ecological value of native plants, and our living and nonliving collections management programs.
Provide Trial Garden, Greenhouse & Natural Lands Oversight: Oversee the operation of our renowned trial garden, over 1,000 acres of natural lands, and soon to be built, state of the art, net-zero energy, production greenhouse.
Staff Leadership: Successfully recruit, lead, develop and inspire staff who can successfully collaborate with internal and external constituencies to help realize the core objectives of our organization’s ambitions, ensuring clear communication and accountability across the team.
Program and Project Administration: Oversee the envisioning, development, implementation and evaluation of strategies for furthering the achievement of MCC’s overall vision, mission and program goals, and direct all aspects of the execution of those strategies. Work cooperatively with the management team on adopting and implementing organization-wide systems, and help guide and execute the strategic goals of the institution to support Mt. Cuba Center’s mission.
Strategic Partnership: Assist the Executive Director in maintaining Mt. Cuba’s relationships with multiple external parties by interpreting and explaining MCC and its programs. Represent MCC in professional organizations and at professional and community meetings and events as requested. Serve as a strategic business partner by collaborating with the Board of Managers and serving on Board Committees to carry out the organization’s founding intention.
IDEAL EXPERIENCE AND CHARACTERISTICS
Minimum requirements include a Master’s degree in horticulture, ecology, botany or related plant science field from an accredited university and 10 years’ experience in horticultural, ecological, or conservation research with at least 5 years’ management experience. Must have exceptional written, verbal, and presenting communication skills, be proficient in broad horticultural and plant identification knowledge, particularly plants of the eastern United States, and have proficiency with sound scientific and plant research techniques.
The successful candidate will be an exceptional leader and have demonstrated ability in sound reasoning and judgment in making practical business decisions, in organizing, managing, and motivating others, and in effectively fulfilling organizational leadership roles and building meaningful partnerships. Ideal candidates will have an entrepreneurial spirit, curiosity and enthusiasm, and the ability to adapt and work effectively in a competitive environment.
Mt. Cuba Center is committed to inclusivity and encourages qualified candidates from all cultures and communities to apply.