Conservation Director of Research

Atlanta Botanical Garden

Atlanta, Georgia

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details $95,000 minimum
Required Experience 7+ years


Responsible for the leadership and effectiveness of the Southeastern Center for Conservation (SECC) Research team, which produces world-class scientific research with important practical applications to advance plant conservation. Provide strategic leadership, in cooperation with the Vice President of Conservation & Research and Director of Applied Conservation, to set and meet program objectives and priorities. The mission of the SECC is to lead innovative strategies and partnerships to conserve imperiled plants and natural communities.



  • In collaboration with the Vice President of Conservation & Research and Director of Applied Conservation, lead strategic development and implementation of objectives for scientific research, training, and outreach opportunities for scientists, students, and professionals in the Southeastern Center for Conservation (SECC)
  • Develop, coordinate, and implement the Garden’s research strategic plan, including conservation genetics, community ecology, restoration, seed bank, and in vitro research programs
  • Appraises, evaluates, and reports the Department’s activities and results on a regular, systematic basis.
  • Fosters a culture of respect, diversity, and inclusion; Demonstrates effective and prudent use of Garden resources; maximizes contributions during work hours.


  • In partnership with the Vice President and other leadership staff, support institutional fundraising
  • Work both independently and/or collaboratively with Vice President and Research Staff to obtain funding for research projects through grants and private sources
  • Develops a sustainable research operating budget aligned with available resources.
  • Carries out and coordinates efforts to identify funding sources and prepares and submits proposals to raise funds to support initiatives within the SECC, including raising funds for the Director’s independent research program and supporting the Research Scientists with funding proposals.

Staff Management & Project Management

  • Provides leadership to, and directly manages the program’s team of research
  • Leads and supports individual research scientists for maximum productivity inresearch, research funding, peer-reviewed scientific publications, service to professional communities, and public outreach.
  • Ensures that all project deliverables are being completed in a timely manner, challenges are appropriately met, research staff are appropriately completing tasks, and grant budgets are being adhered to
  • Supervises the research scientists and their support staff. Duties include recruitment and selection, scheduling and job assignments, performance feedback, and staff development and training in keeping with the SECC’s policies and
  • Administers the research team to ensure effective research safety, fiscal planning and management, grant and contract reporting, personnel management, decision making, communication, staff recruitment and training, and adherence to Gardens
  • Behaves and communicates in a manner that promotes and fosters a culture of teamwork and cooperation, within the Department and throughout the Garden, with co-workers, supervisors/managers, volunteers, visitors, and employees.
  • Demonstrates commitment to responsibilities and is adaptable to changes; Effectively prioritizes, troubleshoots, and takes appropriate actions; follows policies and procedures, meets deadlines, quality, and safety standards; strives to proactively, address visitor and internal colleagues’ concerns


  • Develops and pursues opportunities for research, collaboration, funding, and enhanced relationships with appropriate agencies, people, and institutions, in line with Garden and SECC direction and priorities.
    • Initiates, cultivates and sustains partnerships that enable long-term, mutually beneficial relationships between the Department and other entities, including within the Garden as well as universities, botanical research institutions, communities, other scientific organizations and the private
  • Writes, reviews, and facilitates grant proposals, institutional reports, and publicity materials
  • Establishes and maintains contact with professionals, community networks, professional organizations and other institutions with interests similar to those of the Department in an effort to promote strengthened


  • Conducts own research in an area of strategic importance to the Garden, while establishing a nationally and internationally recognized program.
  • Presents and communicates findings to professional and academic peers at conferences and symposia.
  • Initiates conducts, and publishes significant independent research that involves students, staff, and external collaborators and prepares results for publication in books, peer-reviewed journals, and other appropriate


  • Minimum of ten or more (10+) years of relevant and increasingly responsible experience with a record of successful career growth leading to significant management responsibilities, leadership experience and a proven track record in strategic business planning, preferably in a non-profit, learning
  • D. in biology, botany, horticulture, conservation, or related subject and five years of related experience.
  • Seven to ten or more (7-10+) years of experience in staff management, including conflict resolution and other related management experience.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively at all levels; must feel comfortable interacting and working with other departments.
  • Strong presentation and public speaking skills.
  • Demonstrates the highest level of professional and ethical conduct, knowledge and understanding of organizational policies, procedures, and systems, and maintains confidentiality.
  • Must be able to manage multiple priorities, work under pressure, and demonstrate and instill in staff members a high degree of professionalism, integrity, loyalty and service to the
  • Scheduling flexibility is required to work evenings, weekends, or holidays as needed.
  • Ability to travel frequently (local, domestic and international).
  • Demonstrated record of research excellence, with a worldwide network of collaborators.
  • Experience in administration, including personnel management and budgeting.
  • Evidence of ability to manage multiple large-scale projects
  • Established record of interdisciplinary collaboration, preferably with conservation and/or restoration
  • Experience in strategic planning for a research organization is highly
  • Demonstrated success in securing external funding, including competitive government grants. Experience in negotiating and managing project budgets.
  • Budget development and management skills; advanced understanding of the financial operating budget process.
  • Proven grant writing skills as well as identification and securing of funding through private and government sources
  • Documented scientific record with a minimum of ten or more (10+) years of experience and publication record.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license and a good driving
  • Valid passport


Ability to spend long hours working independently in a wide range of weather and temperature extremes, including office work and extended periods at a computer. Work independently and often alone. Ability to lift 50 lbs, climb flights of stairs, and work in strenuous conditions.


Excellent organizational and time management skills. Ability to effectively respond to multiple, changing and often conflicting priorities is essential. Must be able to effectively interact with the general public and co-workers, and peer professionals.

The above job duties and responsibilities describe the general nature and level of work for employees in this position, but this is not intended as an exclusive or all-inclusive inventory of all duties required of employees in this job.

It is the policy of the Atlanta Botanical Garden to provide equal employment opportunity (EEO) to all persons regardless of age, color, national origin, citizenship status, physical or mental disability, race, religion, creed, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, genetic information, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law. In addition, reasonable accommodations will be made for qualified individuals with disabilities.


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When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category Admin & Leadership, Botany, Ecology
Tags Outreach