Brookgreen Gardens ( is a not-for-profit museum, public garden, native wildlife zoo, educational institution, and a National Historic Landmark.  It is located in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, about 18 miles south of the center of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, well-known as a beach resort community for visitors from around the country and other parts of the world.  The impetus for Brookgreen Gardens came in 1930 when philanthropist Archer M. Huntington, heir to the industrial fortune of Collis P. Huntington, and his wife, sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington, bought 6,635 acres of land on the South Carolina coast.  Through the 1930s, they continued to acquire land, eventually accumulating more than 9,000 acres. As they discovered the beauty of their land that comprised the site of four historic rice plantations, they envisioned the perfect setting for Anna Hyatt Huntington’s highly regarded sculpture. Soon Anna designed and Archer built a distinctive garden around the old landscape features, and they added other sculptors’ works to the display of Anna’s pieces.  Thus was born Brookgreen Gardens, which the Huntingtons opened to the public in 1932.

Archer Huntington distilled his statement of purpose for Brookgreen Gardens into a compelling phrase.  The place was, he said, to be the “quiet joining of hands between science and art.”  Today, more than ever before, Brookgreen is accomplishing that purpose by intertwining these two disciplines in its display gardens, sculpture exhibitions, animal, and cultural exhibits.  Brookgreen understands science to have meant what we would today broadly term ecology, and utilizes its treasured land, zoo, and nature preserve to help the public understand both the tension and the synergy of nature.  The story of this land and cultural history of its people stands side by side with the artistic heritage of the American sculptor.  Outside any one traditional museum discipline, Brookgreen is still embarked upon its founders’ unique multi-disciplinary mission of collecting, conserving, and exhibiting American figurative sculpture in a cultivated garden setting, preserving and displaying native plants, animals, and cultural materials of the South Carolina Lowcountry, and educating a diverse audience about sculpture, horticulture, and the ecology and history of this region. Brookgreen has achieved accreditation by both the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and is a member of the American Public Gardens Association (APGA).

Today, the Board of Trustees, increasingly representative of both the state and the region, sees Brookgreen as a critical cultural asset within one of the country’s fastest growing areas.  The past decade has witnessed a remarkable transformation of the organization, a time when a wide array of new interpretive opportunities has been presented to the public.  Applying modern museum standards to its collections and display garden standards to its horticulture, Brookgreen’s staff has identified a powerful Lowcountry story that encompasses plants, animals, land features, and the epochal creation by African-Americans of the most lucrative agricultural system in 19th-century America.  Brookgreen has become a dynamic and varied learning environment, but an environment that is still imbued with a sense of quiet spirituality that has deep roots in its long past.

We are currently seeking a dynamic leader with extensive experience with museums or historic sites, large display gardens or zoological institutions to continue Brookgreen Gardens’ commitment to excellence in 2017 and beyond.  The right candidate must have significant leadership experience; excellent strategic vision; strong operational management skills; and a proven track record of developing effective relationships with board members, donors, and other key individuals.

Brookgreen Gardens operates on an annual budget of $8,201,000, derived from admissions, memberships, investments, education, gifts and grants, and retail services.  The President oversees a full-time staff of 74, a part-time staff of 75, over 425 volunteers, and works with a board of 20 trustees.


Key Responsibilities


The President is the Chief Executive Officer of Brookgreen Gardens. The President reports to the Board of Trustees, and is responsible for the organization’s consistent achievement of its mission and financial objectives.  Specific responsibilities include:


  • Oversee the day-to-day operation and administration.
  • Maintain a professional, respectful work environment.
  • Work closely with board and staff to set short-term and long-term strategic plans.
  • Establish standards to measure progress of operation and strategic plans.
  • Ensure conservation and maintenance plans for the institution are properly managed.

Board Relations:

  • Maintain a strong and effective relationship with the board.
  • Support the board’s best practices for governance.
  • Ensure that the board has timely information and staff reports to make meaningful decisions.

Budget, Finance, and Fundraising:

  • Adhere to sound financial practices.
  • Work with the staff and the board to prepare a responsible budget and establish proper controls.
  • Take an active leadership role in fundraising through the stewardship, cultivation, and solicitation of existing and prospective donor relationships.


  • Maintain Brookgreen’s high standard of excellence through innovative exhibitions and creative, relevant educational programming.
  • Establish a strong and effective management team and a respectful, professional workplace environment.
  • Oversee the conservation, exhibition, and housing of Brookgreen’s collections according to accepted standards and best practices.
  • Establish collaborative working relationships with key state, regional, and community leaders.
  • Seek opportunities to promote Brookgreen Gardens through speaking engagements and leadership participation in professional networks.



A Bachelor’s degree is required along with ten plus years of leadership experience in a museum, historic site, large public garden or zoo.  In addition, the right candidate will have the following desired qualifications:

Desired Qualifications:

  • Visionary and strategic planner who can see opportunities for organizational growth, renewal, and mission advancement.
  • Experienced leader with a commitment to positive collaboration with the board, staff, and volunteers and the ongoing implementation of organizational best practices.
  • Skilled leader who can recruit, retain and motivate professional staff and adhere to clear, accountable operating goals.
  • Enthusiastic, experienced fundraiser to grow Brookgreen’s financial resources.
  • Dynamic, personable leader who will inspire staff, board, volunteers, donors, and visitors.
  • Excellent communicator who can clearly articulate Brookgreen’s vision and needs.
  • Hands on leader possessing the natural ability to support an organizational culture that emphasizes a sense of ownership, teamwork, and innovation.

To Apply:

Qualified applicants should submit the following information to by May 15, 2016:

  • Cover letter discussing your interest and unique qualifications for the position.
  • Current resume.
  • Names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses for three references (we will obtain permission from the candidate before contacting references).

These materials should be submitted online by the deadline of May 15.

Job Information
  • Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, 29576, United States
  • 27285747
  • March 8, 2016
  • President and CEO
  • Brookgreen Gardens
  • Directors/Administrators
  • No
  • Full-Time
  • Indefinite
  • BA/BS/Undergraduate
  • Over 10 Years
  • 0-10%