Encinitas CA— San Diego Botanic Garden is pleased to announce that Ari Novy, Ph.D. formerly Chief Scientist at Leichtag Foundation in Encinitas, CA and Executive Director of the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, DC, began his new role as the President & CEO of San Diego Botanic Garden (SDBG) on Tuesday.
Dr. Novy will be in charge of all aspects of the oversight and management of the Garden, along with a $3M annual budget and 36 employees. Dr. Novy will also work closely with the SDBG’s Board of Directors on planning the long-term vision and direction that the Garden will take in the next 15-20 years
“I am so excited to join the San Diego Botanic Garden team,” said Novy. “San Diego Botanic Garden is a living celebration of the plant kingdom. Coastal San Diego Country offers one of the most hospitable climates in the world for gardening and showing off the world’s plant biodiversity. I can think of nowhere else I’d rather run a botanic garden.”
Former President & CEO Julian Duval, who was at the helm of SDBG for 24 years, will remain an SDBG employee, until his retirement on January 23, 2019. He will be focusing on the completion of the Madagascar Garden and the Dickinson Family Education Conservatory, currently completing construction and slated to open the first quarter of 2019.
Dr. Novy was selected from 42 candidates from around the nation after a year-long search by SDBG’s Board of Directors. As former Executive Director of the U.S. Botanic Garden, one of the oldest, most prominent and most visited gardens in North America, Dr. Novy has considerable experience running botanical institutions. The U.S. Botanic Garden had an annual budget of $14M and approximately 70 employees during Novy’s tenure. While at the U.S. Botanic Garden, Dr. Novy oversaw renovation of the Garden’s historic Bartholdi Park, produced original botanically themed theater, and welcomed over 1.2 million visitors per year. He also reestablished botanical collection expeditions for the first time since the 1850s.
Dr. Novy is a plant biologist with degrees from New York University and Rutgers University. He remains an active researcher, holding research appointments at the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC and University of California-San Diego. He currently serves on the boards of the Cornell Alliance for Science, Botanic Garden Conservation International-US, Live It Learn It (a Washington, DC based experiential learning non-profit focusing on Title 1 school children) and the Friends of the U.S. Botanic Garden. Dr. Novy has served on many advisory panels during his career including the White House Council of Environmental Quality, the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization and the Scientific Advisory Panel of Botanic Garden Conservation International. He is currently an Environmental Commissioner of the City of Encinitas.