Become part of Hawaii’s conservation story

Amy Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden (the Garden), one of the most important curated collections of native and cultural plants in the Pacific, seeks an Executive Director to lead the organization’s strategic mission. Reporting to and working with the Board of Directors of the 501(c)3 non-profit organization “Friends of Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden” (the Friends), the Executive Director will develop the Garden’s potential by assuming the lead role in ensuring the Garden’s continued stability so that key Garden activities such as conservation and promotion of Hawaiʻi’s biocultural heritage, ecological restoration, knowledge generation and education, food sovereignty, and community building can continue to flourish. Until recently a prized property of Bishop Museum, the Garden’s transition to community ownership represents a unique opportunity for a highly motivated individual with relevant knowledge and career goals that align with the mission of the Garden and its stewards. We encourage applications from candidates with diverse backgrounds who can demonstrate their capacity and passion to rise to the challenge of fulfilling the Garden’s potential.



Type: Full-time (FTE) 40 hrs/wk, at-will, exempt.

Compensation: Annual salary starting at $ 73,000 depending on experience, plus benefits. Possible on-site housing.

Workplace Location: Amy Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden, Captain Cook, Hawai’i Island.

Employer: Friends of Amy B. H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden

Application Deadline: Immediate acceptance of applications. Applications accepted until the position is filled. Interviews begin November 2023.

Application Instructions: Email cover letter, résumé, and contact information for 3 professional references to:



The Executive Director will have broad responsibility to:

1) Direct implementation of the Friends strategic plan and mission in accordance with the Board, and participate in ongoing planning including grant proposals/applications and management of grants.

2) Lead fundraising efforts to ensure economic sustainability of the Garden and its associated mission-driven activities.

3) Supervise and help evaluate (directly or indirectly) all other Garden staff and contractors. Responsible for personnel actions, under advisement with the Friends Personnel Committee.

4) Oversee the operation and ongoing development of Garden systems and governing policies, including administration and finance, plant collection management and accessions, archaeological resources, human resources, public relations and digital presence on the Friends mission.

5) Ensure compliance with all Friends contracts, MOUs, and other agreements and relevant laws/regulations.

6) Faithfully represent the Friends/Garden to performance evaluation, maintenance, funding and organizational partners and the community.

7) Initiate and participate in ongoing planning activities, including community forest master planning (and others), ensuring participation of appropriate Garden staff, Friends Board, and community members.

8) Oversee the execution of Garden projects, ensuring sufficient human resources (staff and contractors) are available to deliver on promised outputs and goals.

9) Build strategic partnerships with public, private, community, and research institutions to forward the Friends/Garden’s mission.

10) Liase with and report to the Friends Board (through meetings and written reports, as agreed) on a regular basis.

11) Other tasks as identified by the incumbent and the Board.



1. Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, with at least one degree in a field related to the Friends/Garden’s core mission. Relevant experience will be considered.

2. 6 years relevant work experience, with a minimum of 3 years in management/administration in a supervisory capacity.

3. Possess and apply a basic knowledge, appreciation of, and/or interest in Hawaiian culture, native and canoe plants, and Hawaiian prehistory.

4. Previous experience with biodiversity conservation, ethnobotany, island ecology, forestry, historic/cultural resources, public gardens, and/or related fields.

5. Proven track -record in grant writing and fundraising.

6. Ability to work independently; demonstrated strong management and team-building skills.

7. Exceptional verbal, written, and interpersonal skills.

8. Proficiency in Microsoft Office applications, social networking platforms and document archival/filing systems.

9. Commitment to the goals and values of the organization.



1. Experience working with volunteers and committed to volunteer involvement

2. Knowledge of nonprofit administration standards of practice and compliance

3. Working knowledge/familiarity with local community and relevant Hawaiian terminology

4. Hands-on experience in garden maintenance, nursery management, agriculture, habitat restoration, historic/cultural resources, and/or forestry

5. Appreciation and respect for diverse cultures, working styles, and perspectives that comprise a high-functioning nonprofit.



This is a full time equivalent exempt position. Benefits include medical and other basic coverage. The position is currently supported for 3 years; additional years dependent upon future successful fundraising, with which the Director is expected to be the lead. Office and occasional outdoor work, some on uneven terrain. Some weekend activities. Limited travel. Acceptance and review of applications until the position is filled, beginning immediately.



We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, citizenship or immigration status, color, disability, ethnicity, familial status, gender identity and/or expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other protected status. In compliance with federal law and as a condition of employment, all employees must be able to provide proof of eligibility to work in the United States. If you are an individual with a disability and would like to request reasonable accommodation as part of the employment selection process, please contact Marie Morin at mariemorin24@



The Friends of Amy B. H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden is a community-based nonprofit founded in 2016 that owns and manages the ethnobotanical Garden/Community Forest (Garden) located in Captain Cook, Hawaii Island. The Friends purchased the decades-old Garden in 2019 after several years of fund-raising and after several years of closure prior to the purchase. The grand re-opening of the Garden was held in February 2020, after which the covid pandemic caused partial re-closure. The Friends have been rebuilding the Garden’s programs since then. Several recent grants have provided an opportunity for us to hire an Executive Director to work in coordination with the Friends Board.



The Mission Statement of the Friends is: “As stewards of the Garden’s legacy, we cultivate opportunities for everyone to enjoy our Hawaiian botanical and cultural resources through educational programs, scientific research, recreation, and conservation for the islands and the world.” The Garden’s deed now ensures that it will be preserved as an open green space in perpetuity. The Garden is the only federally designated Community Forest in the Pacific. The13.6- acre Garden is home to many unique native and endangered Hawaiian plants as well as Polynesian canoe plants of cultural importance, living collections of kalo (taro) and other agroforestry cultivars, a large intact archaeological remnant of the Hawaiian agricultural Kona Field System, representative plant zone groupings, and a Hawaiian Heiau. The Friends have an evolving Strategic Plan, and planned programming includes providing educational, recreational, and research opportunities. Our website is Our Vision Statement is: “Ka mālama’ana I ka mo’omeheu. I mea e ola ai mai kēia mua aku. Preserving culture. So that there is life to come.


  • Posted On

    November 8, 2023
  • Closing Date

    January 31, 2024
  • Organization

    Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden
  • Location

    Amy Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden, Captain Cook, Hawaiʻi Island
  • Position Type

    Full Time
For more information about Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden and this opportunity please visit our website at, contact us at Contact Phone or via email at

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