Careers in the Plant Sciences

Executive Director

University of Utah - Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

Position Title: Executive Director
Position Type: Permanent Position
Application Review Begins: Monday, September 09, 2019
Application Deadline: Friday, October 11, 2019
Institution: University of Utah
Department/Division: Red Butte Garden and Arboretum
Field (e.g., systematics):
City: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
General Information: Red Butte Garden has launched a nationwide search for a new Executive Director (ED) to succeed a seventeen-year incumbent who will be retiring in the Spring of 2020. The new ED will build upon the Garden’s strong foundation to increase the organization’s visibility, extend its educational programs, strengthen its financial resources, update and implement its Master Plan for future growth, and generally continue to expand Red Butte’s local and national influence and recognition.

The ED reports to the Chief of Staff in the Office of the President and works closely with a variety of departments within the University, the Garden’s Advisory Board, and Garden staff to develop and implement the strategic vision, priorities, and policies of the Garden. The ED is directly responsible for the overall management and direction of Red Butte Garden.
Qualifications/Requirements: Minimum Qualifications:
• Bachelor’s degree and evidence of continuing education commensurate with being a thought-leader;
• At least five years of leadership experience, preferably within a largely self-funding organization that has a large membership base and volunteer program;
• A record of experience that includes planning, budgeting, fundraising, and supervision of staff;
• Experience marketing a mission and being the “face” of an organization in the community;
• A forward-thinking leader with a record of developing and participating in the implementation and achievement of strategic plans/objectives and financial goals;
• Strong business sense and financial acumen, with the ability to understand the reality behind the numbers and to manage accordingly;
• Notable operational skills as evidenced by knowledge of finance, information systems, contracts, and the organizational dynamics of a not-for-profit organization;
• Strong aptitude for fundraising within a university or non-profit organization;
• Skilled at public communications, with exceptional speaking and writing capabilities;
• Comfortable with current trends in the use of digital media and technology for marketing, fundraising, education, and operations.

Preferred Qualifications:
• Advanced degree – Masters or Doctoral;
• Eight or more years of leadership experience, preferably within a largely self-funding organization that has a large membership base and volunteer program;
• Background in horticulture, botany, or a related discipline;
• Experience with the presentation of concerts and other performing arts or large public events.

Successful Candidate Must Be:
• An empathic, ethical person of unquestioned integrity and personal character who honors commitments, communicates expectations clearly, deals with people in a straightforward fashion and maintains a strong team within the organization;
• A polished and self-assured professional who will successfully interact with people of influence;
• An individual who makes good decisions and performs well under pressure;
• A charismatic individual who will embrace promoting the Garden and building relationships within the community;
• A visionary, entrepreneurial and strategic thinker who is organized and plans well while bringing enthusiasm and innovation to the task at hand;
• A diplomatic person who is able to deal effectively with a wide variety of constituents while also possessing the executive presence necessary to perform successfully at senior levels;
• A committed person who passionately adopts the Red Butte Garden mission and is able to communicate it to others;
• A socially conscious individual committed to resource conservation and environmental sustainability.
Responsibilities: • Providing a strong voice as an advocate for the Garden and its needs within the University community;
• Directing, mentoring, and developing staff;
• Formulating the annual budget and monitoring expenditures and revenues on a regular basis;
• Developing donor, sponsor, and patron relationships and raising funds to support the Garden’s operations, programmatic initiatives, capital development goals, and planned giving program;
• Evaluating ongoing programs and the development of new program initiatives;
• Overseeing all risk management efforts related to the gardens, facilities, and events;
• Providing expertise and guidance on the development and implementation of a new master plan, strategic plan, and interpretive master plan;
• Ensuring that new gardens, facilities, and other developments meet the aesthetic standards established by existing facilities;
• Providing the Garden’s Advisory Board with meaningful involvement in the organization and opportunities to assist in the development of long-range plans, strategic plans, fundraising, special events, marketing, and other primary functions of the Garden;
• Representing the Garden as the primary spokesperson to all constituencies, including the media, University of Utah, State of Utah, donors, members, volunteers, and the local community.
Application Instructions (submission methods, etc.): For more information or to offer recommendations or nominations:

Angela VanGorder
Senior Consultant/Project Administrator
Summit Search Solutions, Inc.
Direct: (919) 367-6767

Confidential review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled; parties who apply by October 11th will be given first consideration. Please submit a PDF version of your CV/resume and letter of interest upon application. All applications and nominations will be held in confidence. To apply online go to:
Compensation Range:
Contact Name: Angela VanGorder,