Director of National Programs  

Full-Time, Salaried, Exempt


Position Summary

The American Horticultural Society (AHS) seeks a horticultural educator and visionary leader in the field of horticulture to develop and manage a robust portfolio of national programs. The Director of National Programs will set a strategy to ensure AHS maintains and establishes impactful programs and serves as a champion for gardeners and horticulturists.

This is an exciting time to join AHS as the organization celebrates 100 years of sharing horticultural knowledge. The Director of National Programs will play a pivotal role in creating programs that engage gardeners nationwide to reinvigorate AHS’ impact on the art and science of horticulture.

About the American Horticultural Society

AHS’ mission is to share with all Americans the critical role of plants, gardens, and green spaces in creating healthy, livable communities and a sustainable planet. Today, AHS stands strong with approximately 22,000 members. Our national programs include the Great American Gardeners Awards, National Children & Youth Garden Symposium, Travel-Study Tours, and a Reciprocal Garden Admissions Program. AHS publishes The American Gardener magazine six times a year as a primary membership benefit. The AHS website offers resources ( to horticulturists, gardeners, and a wide range of stakeholders.

The Society is headquartered at River Farm, a 25-acre garden property overlooking the Potomac River in Alexandria, VA. By joining AHS’ outstanding team of professionals, you can lead our efforts to expand AHS’ programs and share our knowledge of plants, gardens, and green spaces with a growing number of gardeners with a wide range of skills.


Serving as a member of the Leadership Team and reporting to the President and CEO, the Director of National Programs will contribute to the overall strategic direction of AHS.

Responsibilities include:

  • Creating a strategy and plan for AHS programs that serve different audiences in the fields of horticulture and gardening
  • Developing and implementing in-person and virtual educational programs to enhance AHS’ impact and reputation
  • Representing AHS as a national leader and a public voice in the field of horticulture
  • Working closely with the communications team to create and distribute resource-rich content focused on plants, gardens, landscapes, and environmental trends
  • Providing leadership to existing AHS programs:
    • The Great American Gardeners Awards that celebrate achievements, encourage excellence, and inspire innovation in horticulture
    • National Children & Youth Garden Symposium that brings together educators and horticultural professionals annually to provide resources that engage youth in gardening
    • Travel-Study Tours to explore horticulture and gardens around the world
    • Reciprocal Admissions Program – 300+ public gardens across North America
  • Developing knowledge of trends, research, leaders and peers in the field of horticulture; staying current with new relevant research and able to translate science into interesting, effective, and exciting communications for horticulturists and gardeners
  • Participate in occasional AHS travel-study trips, optional
  • Generate program updates and reports for management and board
  • Support development of program budgets and monitor performance to budget
  • Support Development Department efforts in acquiring horticulture-related program sponsors

Education, Experience, and Skills Required

  • Minimum of 8-10 years of relevant and increasingly responsible experience in the horticultural field
  • Master’s or PhD degree in horticulture, environmental science or ecology, or closely related field of expertise. An equivalent combination of skills, education, and experience that demonstrates expertise in plants and soil science may be considered
  • Understanding of and ability to communicate the value of gardens and landscapes to culture and connect them to people
  • Experience in developing and managing horticultural programs and in creating or supporting publications
  • Experience with public speaking and presenting to various audiences
  • Nonprofit experience, a plus
  • Ability to work with and support diverse colleagues and audiences
  • Excellent organizational, interpersonal, written, and verbal communications skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently, set priorities, and manage multiple tasks with meticulous attention to detail


The Director of National Programs is a full-time salaried position that includes generous vacation, holiday, individual health, dental, vision, and 403b benefits. Compensation will range from $100,000 to $130,000, depending on experience.

To Apply

Qualified candidates should send a cover letter and resume to with the subject Director of National Programs. Please submit all materials in Adobe PDF or Microsoft Word, only. Deadline for submitting materials is November 11, 2022. Applicants will be considered on a rolling basis.

AHS is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We value a diverse workforce and strongly encourage applicants of all backgrounds to apply, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, or disability.

In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification form upon hire.