Senior Vice President, Science & Conservation

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2345 Tower Grove Ave., St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America Req #260
Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Responsible for providing Science leadership in support of the Garden across multiple domestic and international locations.  Responsible for defining, developing, funding and implementing scientific and conservation strategies, and business plans in support of the Garden’s overall strategic plan. Effectively manages organizational change while working in a collaborative environment.  Recruits, leads, develops and motivates a professional research team; engages collaboratively with staff and responds effectively to their concerns.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Leads and directs the Science & Conservation Division to further strengthen the Garden’s global mission of plant science, conservation and sustainability. 
  • Leads the strategic development, delivery, and assessment of the department’s programs and initiatives.
  • Oversee and manage the communications of scientific programs and initiatives, expanding the Garden’s global reach and influence.
  • Ensures financial sustainability of the Science and Conservation division by nurturing existing relationships with current donors and partners while identifying and securing new funding opportunities.
  • Develops a sustainable operating budget that is aligned with available resources.
  • Initiates, cultivates and sustains partnerships that enable long-term, mutually beneficial relationships between the Garden and universities, botanical research institutions, communities, and other scientific organizations. 
  • Provides oversight in grant research, proposal preparation and writing in support of the Garden’s mission.
  • Recruits, leads, develops, mentors and motivates a professional research team.
  • Appraises, evaluates and reports the division’s activities and results on a regular basis.
  • Initiates, conducts and publishes significant independent research for publication in books and peer reviewed journals.
  • Maintains scientific research projects that involve students, staff and external collaborators.
  • Behaves and communicates in a manner that promotes and fosters a culture of teamwork and cooperation, within division and throughout the Garden, with co-workers, supervisors/managers, volunteers, visitors and employees. 

Supervisory Responsibilities:  Directly supervises a team of scientific managers and employees.


  • Visionary Leadership - Displays passion and optimism; Inspires respect and trust; Mobilizes others to fulfill the vision; Provides vision and inspiration to peers and subordinates.
  • Business Acumen - Understands business implications of decisions; Displays orientation to profitability; Demonstrates knowledge of field and competition; Aligns work with strategic goals.
  • Cost Consciousness - Works within approved budget; Develops and implements cost saving measures; Contributes to revenue through external proposals; Conserves organizational resources.
  • Change Management - Develops workable implementation plans; Communicates changes effectively; Builds commitment and overcomes resistance; Prepares and supports those affected by change; Monitors transition and evaluates results.
  • Ethics - Treats people with respect; Keeps commitments; Inspires the trust of others; Works with integrity and ethically; Upholds organizational values.
  • Strategic Thinking - Develops strategies to achieve organizational goals; Understands organization's strengths & weaknesses; Analyzes opportunities and competition; Identifies external threats and opportunities; Adapts strategy to changing conditions.
  • Diversity - Demonstrates knowledge of EEO policy; Shows respect and sensitivity for cultural differences; Educates others on the value of diversity; Promotes a harassment-free environment; Builds a diverse workforce.
  • Professionalism - Approaches others in a tactful manner; Reacts well under pressure; Treats others with respect and consideration regardless of their status or position; Accepts responsibility for own actions; Follows through on commitments.
  • Judgment - Displays willingness to make decisions; Exhibits sound and accurate judgment; Supports and explains reasoning for decisions; Includes appropriate people in decision-making process; Makes timely decisions.
  • Oral Communication - Speaks clearly and persuasively in positive or negative situations; Listens and gets clarification; Responds well to questions; Demonstrates group presentation skills; Participates in meetings.
  • Written Communication - Writes clearly and informatively, Always using correct spelling and grammar; Varies writing style to meet needs and audience; Presents numerical and financial data effectively; Able to read and interpret complex information and reports.
  • Interpersonal - Focuses on solving conflict, not blaming; Maintains confidentiality; Listens to others without interrupting; Keeps emotions under control; Remains open to others' ideas and tries new things.
  • Safety and Security - Observes safety and security procedures; Determines appropriate action beyond guidelines; Reports potentially unsafe conditions.



  • Documented scientific record with a minimum of ten years experience and publication record.
  • Minimum ten (10+) years relevant and increasingly responsible experience with a record of successful career growth leading to significant management responsibilities at an executive level, leadership experience and a proven track record in strategic business planning preferably in a non-profit, learning organization.
  • Demonstrated abilities in successful grant writing, fundraising, and negotiating and managing budgets.
  • Budget development and management skills; advanced understanding of financial operating budget process.
  • Five (5) years’ experience in personnel management with a management style that is visible, accessible, and transparent. Demonstrated ability to recruit, lead, motivate, and supervise staff.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively at all levels; must feel comfortable interacting and working with other departments.
  • Demonstrates highest level of professional and ethical conduct, knowledge and understanding of organizational policies, procedures and systems, maintains confidentiality.
  • Must be able to manage multiple priorities, work under pressure, demonstrate and instill in staff members a high degree of professionalism, integrity, loyalty and service to the organization.
  • Scheduling flexibility is required to work evenings, weekends, or holidays as needed.
  • Ability to travel frequently (local, domestic or international).
  • An appreciation of the importance of modern molecular, genomic, and data-driven approaches to plant biodiversity, systematics, ecomomic botany and related area.
  • A dynamic, collaboratively minded individual with proven abilities in interdesciplinary
  • Extensive fundraising and public speaking experience, ability to articulate to the lay audience the Garden’s science programs and mission. 
  • The requirements and duties listed are representative and not exhaustive of the knowledge, skill, and/or abilities required.


  • PhD Botany, Biology or related field required.
  • Prior experience working in non-profit environment helpful.
  • An equivalent combination of education, skills and experience may be considered.

Language Skills:  Ability to communicate effectively in English (oral/written).

Mathematical Skills:

  • Proficient College Math Aptitude - Ability to perform addition, subtraction, multiplication and division; calculate percentages and decimals, etc.
  • Ability to understand, analyze and create budgets.

Reasoning Ability: 

  • Ability to exercise independent judgment in the observation, analysis and resolution of issues.
  • Ability to exercise independent judgment in the allocation of resources.

Computer Skills:

  • Advanced proficiency in navigating through various PC applications including but not limited to Microsoft Office Suite (i.e., PowerPoint, Excel, Word, and Outlook).
  • Experience in database management.
  • Solid Internet research skills.
  • Ability to use e-mail to communicate with Garden staff in order to answer questions and service their needs. 

Certificates, Licenses, Registrations:

  • Must possess valid driver’s license prior to employment.
  • Must be able to obtain and maintain a passport for international travel.
  • Must be able to obtain visas, vaccinations and immunizations for all countries where travel is required.

Physical Demands: 

  • Ability to lift up to 25 lbs.
  • Ability to utilize computer keyboard (typing) and sit for extended periods of the work day.
  • Operates copier, printer, fax, and computer.
    • Ability to walk about facility frequently throughout work day, and sit for extended periods of the work day (may sit up to 50% of work day).
    • Ability to travel independently for long periods on airplanes, trains and other conveyances both domestic and international.
    • Ability to walk, stand, kneel, or climb as required and move about for extended periods of time.
    • Physical fitness necessary for project visits and field studies involving multi-week hikes/rides/camping in difficult terrain.
    • May be required to perform tasks at varying heights and at high altitudes.
    • Ability to understand field safety requirements and wear personal protective equipment, as needed.
    • Ability to work in extreme weather conditions.
    • May require working long hours to meet deadlines.

    Work Environment: 

    • Office and laboratory environment in St. Louis and overseas; overseas assignments, including in developing countries and/or in remote and rugged regions.
    • Outdoor setting; ability to work outdoors in all weather conditions (i.e., in temperatures over 100°F as well as temperatures below 0°F, in rain, snow and other inclement weather conditions as needed).
    • Comfortable working in immediate proximity to general public, in a friendly manner, answering questions.

    Other details

    • Pay Type Salary
    • Missouri Botanical Garden, 2345 Tower Grove Ave., St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America