Open Position: Vice President of Horticulture & Landscape

March 5, 2019

Mount Auburn Cemetery is seeking a qualified candidate to fill the role of Vice President of Horticulture & Landscape.

The Vice President of Horticulture & Landscape (VPHL) is responsible for visionary and inspirational leadership and effective management of the Horticulture Department, with three direct reports (Superintendent of Grounds, Horticultural Curator, and Wildlife Conservation & Sustainability Manager) and a total departmental staff of 17 full-time and 34 seasonal (including internships) positions and a departmental budget currently at $2.2 million. 

The VPHL is responsible for the design and implementation of landscape improvements that achieve long-term strategic objectives such as increasing plant diversity, enhancing the sustainability and wildlife habitat value of the landscape, and preserving the historic character of this 175-acre “National Historic Landmark” and Level III accredited arboretum, which has over 5,000 trees and more than 20,000 plants overall, representing 115 different botanical families and comprising more than 2,000 different taxa. 

The VPHL has overall responsibility for preparation of the annual departmental budget for approval by the Board of Trustees, and is responsible for prioritizing, setting and achieving annual and long-range goals for all sections of the Horticulture Department, while adhering to the approved budget.  The VPHL works with the Chair of the Horticulture & Landscape Committee of the Trustees to schedule meetings, set agendas and prepare materials.

The VPHL serves as a member of the staff Executive Leadership Team (ELT), along with the President & CEO, Executive Vice President & CFO, Vice President of Preservation & Facilities, Vice President of Cemetery & Visitor Services, and Director of Institutional Advancement. The ELT is responsible for assisting the Trustees of the Cemetery in formulating the strategic vision for the organization and leading the staff in the planning and successful execution of goals, both annual and long-range, in support of the Cemetery’s strategic initiatives and mission.


*Supervises the Superintendent of Grounds, Horticultural Curator and Wildlife Conservation & Sustainability Manager.  Meets individually and collectively with all three direct reports on a regular basis to ensure excellent communication and the efficient and effective management of all sections of the Horticulture Department.

*Provides oversight and support to the Superintendent of Grounds, who is responsible for managing the daily activities of 12 full-time staff and 32 seasonal employees and interns within the Arboriculture, Gardening, Grass/Grounds Maintenance, Greenhouse, Recycling, and Vehicle & Equipment Services sections of the department to ensure that Mount Auburn’s high standards are upheld with respect to on-going maintenance of the grounds, trees, shrubs, flowers, groundcovers, and grass.

*Provides oversight and support to the Horticultural Curator, who supervises a full-time Plant Records Manager and two to three interns with responsibility for maintaining plant records and high curatorial standards for the Plant Collections, strategic planning for horticultural initiatives, landscape management practices and responses to pest/disease/invasive-species problems, and the design of new landscape plantings.  The Curator also provides oversight and direction for greenhouse/nursery in plant production planning, crop sequencing, and staged growing of plants for eventual use on the grounds. 

*Provides oversight and support to the Wildlife Conservation & Sustainability Manager, who is responsible for leading company-wide efforts to be a model of environmental stewardship by reducing resource consumption, waste generation and greenhouse gas emissions in response to climate change trends, and by expanding educational programming along these lines.  The Sustainability Manager coordinates the rapidly growing volunteer Citizen Scientist program at Mount Auburn, collaborating with a number of local universities and environmental organizations.

*The VPHL is responsible for prioritizing, setting and achieving annual and long-range goals for all sections of the Horticulture Department, working with the President and other members of the Executive Leadership Team to ensure effective organization-wide planning.

*The VPHL prepares and presents annual departmental budgets to the Horticulture & Landscape and Finance Committees of the Trustees and is responsible for adhering to the approved annual operating and capital budgets of the Horticulture Department.

*Serves as the primary staff liaison for the Horticulture & Landscape Committee of the Trustees, working with the Committee Chair to schedule meetings, set agendas, and prepare meeting materials.  Responsible for following up with Committee members and staff on all assigned tasks.

*Attends all meetings of the Executive Leadership Team and the Trustees of Mount Auburn Cemetery.

*Works closely with the Director of Education & Visitor Services and other members of the Visitor Services staff to develop innovative programming that educates the public about the Cemetery’s historical and horticultural significance and its role as an environmental steward.

*Fosters relationships with cultural and institutional partners, working with representatives of partner institutions on programming and marketing initiatives. 

*Works with the Institutional Advancement Department to secure funding for appropriate projects.

*Supports and assists the activities of other departments as appropriate and needed, working closely with the appropriate Vice President.


*B.S. Degree in Horticulture, Landscape Architecture, Botany or related field (Masters degree preferred), and/or relevant work experience in public gardens management.

*A minimum of seven (7) years of experience working at a public horticultural institution, with increasing supervisory responsibility, including conducting annual performance evaluations and managing staff performance.

*Demonstrated ability to train, lead and manage staff and volunteers.

*Demonstrated ability to prepare and manage complex budgets.

*Demonstrated experience and skills with garden and landscape design.

*Demonstrated ability to be innovative, think strategically, and carry out strategic and long-range planning.

*Knowledge of ecologically sustainable products, equipment, techniques and concepts.

*Expertise in plant taxonomy and familiarity with temperate plants that grow in the northeastern United States.

*Must possess strong computer skills and be familiar with Microsoft suite of programs (WORD, EXCEL, PPT, etc.).  Experience with BG-Base (or equivalent), BG-Map (or AutoCAD), and/or ESRI products desirable.

*Demonstrated ability to maintain a professional demeanor and an empathetic manner in stressful, emotional situations.

*Demonstrated good communication skills, in person, in writing, via telephone or other electronic media.

*Willingness to work effectively as part of a diverse team.

*Must present a good professional image in dress, grooming and personal hygiene per the Cemetery’s dress code policy.

*Must possess valid driver’s license.


*Must be able to access all areas of the Cemetery, including the grounds, Administration Building, Chapels, Greenhouse, Operations Center and Preservation Services Building to meet with staff and attend meetings.

*The position requires sitting, often for long periods of time. It also requires standing and walking at regular intervals within a normal and professional office environment and uneven terrain as found on the Cemetery grounds.

*The position requires the routine use of standard office equipment such as but not limited to, computers, laptops, printers, phones, photocopiers, scanners and file cabinets.

*Must be able to go up and down stairs.

*Must be able to drive Cemetery vehicles within and outside the grounds as needed.

*Must be able, using a stool and/or other equipment, to balance, stoop, crouch, kneel or crawl, talk and hear, read and reach high shelves containing files and supplies at any location within the office, including the vaults. Must occasionally lift and/or move objects up to 35 pounds.

All employees of Mount Auburn Cemetery are “at will’ employees and must adhere to Mount Auburn’s “Code of Conduct.” This job description in no way states or implies that these are the only duties to be performed by an individual in this role. An employee will be required to follow any other instructions and to perform any other duties requested by their supervisor

To apply please submit a cover letter and resume, as MS Word documents, by email to stating the job title in the subject line.  You can also mail a cover letter and resume to Mount Auburn Cemetery, 580 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, Attention:  Human Resources.  No telephone calls please.

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