Brooklyn Botanic Garden president named new head of Quarryhill Botanical Garden

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Scot Medbury, current president of Brooklyn Botanic Garden, has been named the new executive director for Quarryhill Botanical Garden in Sonoma Valley.

Medbury, 60, will take over his new position in February 2020, succeeding William McNamara, Quarryhill’s current president and executive director, who is retiring Oct. 1.

The move marks a return to the Bay Area for Medbury, who served as director of the San Francisco Botanical Garden and Conservatory of Flowers before moving to New York City in 2005.

“Following an extensive international search for a new Executive Director, we are proud to welcome Scot Medbury as the next leader of Quarryhill Botanical Garden,” Harvey Shein, chairman of the board for Quarryhill Botanical Garden, said in a statement released Thursday.

“For 32 years Quarryhill has thrived under the direction of William McNamara, and we knew Bill could only have been succeeded by someone as renowned in the horticultural world as Scot Medbury.” Shein added.

Medbury has been involved in the curation, cultivation, and interpretation of botanical collections for 40 years, having held appointments at gardens in New York, California, Hawaii, Washington state, Great Britain and New Zealand.

For the past 14 years, he has served as President and CEO of Brooklyn Botanic Garden, where he led a $124 million capital campaign that has transformed that garden for its second century of service.

Prior to moving to New York, Medbury was the director of both the San Francisco Botanical Garden and the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers, where he oversaw a $25 million restoration that returned the Conservatory to being one of San Francisco’s most beloved attractions.

He currently serves as chair of the New York Coalition of Living Museums, on the governing boards of the Center for Plant Conservation, Botanic Gardens Conservation International-US, and the International Dendrology Society, and is an advisor to five American public gardens, including Quarryhill Botanical Garden, where he is also a past trustee.

Medbury holds two degrees from the University of Washington in Seattle: a master’s degree from the UW Center for Urban Horticulture and a bachelor’s from the Jackson School of International Studies.

The Quarryhill Botanical Garden is home to one of the largest collections of scientifically documented, wild-source Asian plants in North America and Europe, many of which represent ancestors of horticultural favorites found throughout the western world.

The 25-acre wild woodland garden, just off Highway 12 in Glen Ellen, has grown into a world-renowned botanical institution, providing living examples of the threatened temperate flora of East Asia.

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