Job Detail

Head of Public Programs

Location: Jamaica Plain, MA

The Head of Public Programs leads and manages Arnold Arboretum’s public program initiatives, which include visitor and youth education as well as community outreach and engagement. They not only advocate for innovative public programming that leverages the Arboretum's renowned collections to connect with a broad audience, but they also diversify its reach in both content and delivery methods. The Head manages a dynamic team, including a currently open position, the Program Manager for Visitor Engagement (requisition 54569BR).

The Head of Public Programs will facilitate and collaborate on educational initiatives and public events with other Arboretum departments, University divisions, and external constituencies. They will lead a team of managers to design and implement exceptional programs that increase the audience’s understanding and appreciation for plants, the natural world, and civic engagement with related important topics. The Head of Public Programs represents the Arnold Arboretum and its unique qualities and attributes within the City of Boston, Harvard University, and the world of arboreta and other botanical gardens.

As an Olmsted-designed open and free landscape, the Arboretum is reconfirming its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion through a variety of new initiatives. The Arboretum is also committed to building a diverse community within our staff. We strongly encourage people of all backgrounds to apply.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Develop and implement a strategic and cohesive public programs plan that ensures excellence in the design, delivery, and assessment of all formal and informal visitor experiences. This includes in-person and virtual classes and programs for both adults and youth, public tours, events, and exhibits.
  • Directly oversee and inspire the work of the Program Manager for Visitor Engagement, the Manager of Children’s Education, and the Digital Programs and Content Manager; and indirectly their staff and volunteers. This includes curriculum and content development, training, and growth.
  • Serve as advocate and representative for the department by sharing successes externally and communicating departmental needs internally.
  • Closely collaborate and partner with the Director and other departments (Institutional Advancement, Living Collections, Research, and Library) to advance the Arboretum’s mission through public programming.
  • Serve as the Public Programs' primary contact for all community-based affairs with local constituencies.  Identify opportunities to attract new and diverse audiences, while increasing the engagement with current visitors and members.
  • Assist in the preparation and management of departmental annual budgets.
  • Establish and cultivate professional networks to ensure content and programs are leading edge.
  • Occasional night and weekend work required for special events

Basic Qualifications:

Candidates MUST meet the following basic qualifications in order to be considered for this role:

  • Graduate Degree in education, museum studies, public gardens management, plant sciences, or a related field.
  • Seven or more years of experience working within a public garden, museum, or related educational setting including creating visitor engagement programming at an institution with multiple audiences.
  • Four plus years of staff and volunteer management
  • Demonstrated experience in reaching, welcoming, and including underserved audiences in programming and outreach efforts.
  • Intermediate to advanced computer skills including the Microsoft Office Suite.

Link to apply:

Employer Info

125 Arborway
Jamaica Plain, 02130


  • Manager

Back to Job Listings