The Desert Botanical Garden is a major cultural institution in the Phoenix metropolitan area with a multi-faceted mission: conservation, education, research and exhibition of desert plants. It welcomes 450,000 visitors annually – roughly 50% local and 50% tourists.
The Director of Education serves as a member of the Garden’s senior management team, which collaboratively leads all aspects of the Garden’s operations, planning and budgeting. Therefore, while primarily responsible for the leadership of the Education Department, the Director of Education must also develop a strategic understanding of all aspects of the Garden’s mission and operation, and work seamlessly with the senior leadership team in managing the overall operation of the Garden.
As the leader of the Garden’s Education Department, the Director will instill a love of learning among all staff and volunteers, and infuse that same spirit in all of the Garden’s educational offerings. The Director of Education will also work closely with the Garden’s Board committees focused on education and audience engagement. The Director of Education knows the benchmarks of excellence in the garden/museum profession, and ensures that the Garden’s programs are at the forefront of all such benchmarks.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
- As the leader of the Garden’s Education department, the Director will maintain a commitment to, and knowledge of, benchmarks of excellence in the garden/museum professions, and serve as a model of excellence to instill a love of learning among staff members and volunteers throughout the Department and the Garden.
- Lead the Education Department and encourage staff members to strategize and plan for both short term and long-term goals and objectives in a collaborative and inclusive manner.
- Lead and supervise the Program Director of Volunteer Services, the Program Director of Adult Education and the Program Director of Children’s Education as well as all other staff members responsible for Education Department programs. Meet regularly to mentor, coach, review goals and assess progress. Plan and conduct regular department meetings, and ad hoc meetings, as necessary, to encourage and facilitate communication, discussion, planning, and evaluation.
- Collaborate with the senior staff in business planning, program development and budgeting.
- Work collaboratively with, and provide guidance for, the Garden’s Board committees focused on education and audience engagement.
- Represent the Garden’s Education Department and participate fully in activities related to the APGA and to maintaining accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums.
- Responsible for the hiring of a diverse and inclusive team of staff members as required, and for conducting yearly performance evaluation and employee performance monitoring in compliance with all Garden policies and procedures.
- Oversee all Education programs to ensure consistency with the Garden’s long-range plans, and interdepartmental initiatives.
- Provide strategic leadership and planning to oversee the successful implementation of the Garden’s plan for the Myrna H. Berger Children’s Garden, engaging and inspiring Garden staff and volunteers, and new audiences, when capital funds become available.
- Develop and oversee the annual Education Department Plan and participate in the development of the combined annual operating budget for the Garden. This includes collaboration with the Garden’s Development Department to identify, develop and submit proposals for education programs to funding entities such as IMLS, NEA, NEH and local, regional and national foundations.
- Participate fully in the daily activities and rhythm of the Garden. This includes: attendance at Garden staff meetings, senior staff meeting Board meetings, as assigned, team meetings and events; assist with reports, articles and proposals, participating in appropriate museum/garden organization, encouraging staff participation in these organizations and representing the Garden in community collaborations, as assigned.
- Collaborate and inspire Education Department participation in the design and interpretation of Garden exhibits, special events and other projects as assigned by the Garden’s Executive Director.
- Assess the completeness and scientific accuracy of all material and programs created by the Education Department.
- Track progress and evaluate the effectiveness of all major initiatives and programs undertaken by the Education Department.
- Assume responsibility for maintaining effective working relationships with all volunteers.
- Collaborate with the Horticulture Department to grow and maintain the highest standards for the Desert Landscape School and public horticulture programming.
1. Bachelor level degree
2. Graduate level degree preferred
3. Significant experience (at a senior level) in a public garden, museum, and/or cultural organization, in educational entrepreneurship or a related field
4. Track record of managing growth and change in a dynamic environment
5. Proven success in taking major projects from conceptualization to completion
6. Exceptional leadership and team building skills
7. Excellent communication skills