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Cornell Plantations seeks an exceptional leader

August 26, 2013

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.

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.

The E.N. Wilds Director will provide the leadership, vision and strategic direction for Cornell Plantations.  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 postion can be found here.

To apply, please submit your application materials electronically via the following link: Review of application materials will begin on September 26 and will continue until a suitable candidate is found.

If you have any questions, please feel free to begin your inquiry by contacting Shan Varma (e-mail:; telephone: 607-255-3192).