Director of Interpretation and Exhibitions

Department: Education
Reports to: Vice President of Education

The director of Interpretation and Exhibitions is responsible for planning, developing, and implementing outstanding interpretation programs and exhibitions consistent with Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s (BBG’s) mission and brand. This is a high-energy and high-profile job that requires a creative leader adept at working with many key stakeholders and BBG departments. This position works closely with the vice president of Education and Interpretation on projects of all scales.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Supervise manager of Interpretation and external contractors and volunteers assigned to interpretation programs and projects.
  • Oversee opening and ongoing operations of BBG’s Discovery Garden, an informal garden setting for programming and exhibitions, opening June 2015, and its staff and programming, including the manager of the Discovery Garden.
  • With senior staff from other departments, identify the need and opportunity for interpretive programs and special exhibitions and take the lead role in planning, developing, and implementing excellent interpretation programs for BBG, including but not limited to staff and volunteer training in interpretive techniques; interpretive signage and exhibitions; print and web materials; podcasts and/or cell phone guides; special exhibitions; programs; and other new interpretive projects.
  • Manage all aspects of interpretive project development, including conception, budgeting, researching, writing, collecting images or recordings, routing for credits and approval, production, and installation.
  • Manage program and site interpretive evaluation of all types.
  • Inventory, review, maintain, and update all existing interpretive content and update the master interpretive plan.
  • Work with other BBG staff to creatively direct design, editing, and production of interpretive activities, or otherwise coordinate these activities with outside agencies and manage the process to ensure timely deliveries.
  • Manage the planning, implementation, training, and long-term strategy of live interpretation and informal drop-in programming, including tours, stations, and other pop-up programs for general audiences.
  • Write RFPs, negotiate contracts, and manage projects with external vendors such as designers, writers, content experts, media producers, fabricators, evaluators, and other contractors as needed.
  • Serve as curator of the Steinhardt Conservatory Gallery by researching potential artists; scheduling and curating exhibitions; and managing contracts, insurance coverage, and correspondence with artists. As curator, the director coordinates with BBG staff on gallery maintenance, design, editing, and production of printed matter such as postcards, labels, and biographical and interpretive materials; works with artists to install and de-install gallery shows; and plans and supervises weekend gallery receptions.

Secondary Responsibilities:

  • Distribute materials efficiently and effectively.
  • Ensure that all materials are in compliance with the American Disabilities Act.
  • Oversee front-end, formative, and summative evaluation of projects, as needed.
  • Collaborate with BBG grant writer to identify and apply for grants to support the exhibition and interpretation programs at BBG.
  • Perform any other departmental duties as directed by supervisor, including long-term scheduling, budgeting, and academic dissemination of work.


  • Master’s degree preferred in exhibition development, education, museum studies, interpretation, or similar field
  • Knowledge of horticulture, botany, natural history, or environmental science
  • Five years’ management experience in interpretive planning and implementation and/or exhibition planning and implementation
  • Proven leadership ability and management supervisory skills
  • Excellent writing and communication skills; good research abilities
  • Ability to lead teams, develop effective relationships with staff and external vendors
  • Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously
  • Competency with Microsoft Office Applications; knowledge of print, graphic, and other media production processes
  • Ability to work weekends as required and to travel to conferences and professional events when necessary
  • Ability to lift and carry 20 pounds for the purposes of sign placement, installation, removal, exhibit repair, etc.
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