Director of Science and Conservation

  • Full Time
  • Hawaii

Website ntbg National Tropical Botanical Garden

Perpetuating tropical plants, ecosystems, and cultural heritage

National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG) is recruiting for a full-time Director of Science and Conservation to start early spring 2024.

NTBG is a not-for-profit institution dedicated to enrich life by perpetuating tropical plants, ecosystems, and cultural heritage. Our network of five botanical gardens, preserves and research facilities encompasses nearly 2,000 acres with locations in Hawaiʻi and Florida. Our collections include the largest assemblages of native Hawaiian plant species and breadfruit cultivars in existence, as well as herbarium (PTBG) and a conservation seed bank. Many of the species in our collections are threatened and endangered or have disappeared from their native habitats. Our strongest asset is our staff. In our preserves and beyond our gardens, we build biocultural conservation programs that are founded in science, best practices, cultural values, and aligned with community priorities. We strive for horticultural excellence and best practice collections stewardship and offer education programs and public engagement opportunities that help deepen people’s relationships with plants.

The successful candidate will provide strategic leadership to ensure and enhance the conservation impact of NTBG’s science and conservation programs across our five gardens, preserves, and living and herbarium collections. Particular focus is on implementing best science and biocultural conservation practices supporting NTBG’s ambitious five-year strategic plan through continued development of staff and programs and with our many local, national and international communities and conservation partners. This includes floristic surveys, a Pacific flora program, a GIS and drone program, conservation assessments, and effective biocultural conservation of plant and crop diversity at genetic, species and agroecosystem scale in alignment with the Global Biodiversity Framework, Global Strategy for Plant Conservation and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. The position is part of NTBG’s senior leadership team and effectively represents the organization and builds trustful relationships and enthusiasm for plant conservation towards multiple stakeholders.


  • A PhD degree in botany, plant science or conservation areas, and several years of research and leadership experience ideally from a botanical garden, museum, university, or other relevant research institution or environmental nonprofit organization.
  • A solid reputation for publishing and communicating high quality research, including applied conservation work and synthetic papers discussing best practice or identifying new fields or research gaps.
  • A broad understanding of all areas of science and conservation of relevance to the garden including tropical plant diversity, conservation assessment, monitoring, in situ and ex situ collections, biocultural conservation, community engagement, sustainable food security, and climate change impacts across islands systems and urban and rural environments.
  • A proven ability to work at a strategic level, experience with fundraising, and staff development including supervising and mentoring graduate students and early career researchers.

For full job description go to

Apply via email including full cv and publication list and a cover letter explaining your motivation and relevant leadership experience to:

Deadline to apply: October 31. Interviews early November.

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