Vice President of People and Culture

Website The Morton Arboretum

Search for the Vice President of People and Culture

The Morton Arboretum

Lisle, Illinois




The Morton Arboretum (the Arboretum), globally recognized for its century-long commitment to tree- focused science, conservation, and education, seeks a strategic and collaborative leader to serve as its Vice President of People and Culture. This inaugural Vice President will oversee a team and program that ensures the institutional culture and employee work environment are operating at the highest levels and are guided by the Arboretum’s core values in decision-making, actions, and behaviors to advance its mission and strategic goals. They will serve as a member of the leadership team and as a partner with other senior executives to build organizational capacity to change and achieve greater effectiveness by developing, improving, and reinforcing strategies, structures, and processes that enable all staff to do their jobs well and grow professionally. The Arboretum has been named a “Top Workplace” by The Chicago Tribune and the incoming Vice President of People and Culture will strive to continue this trend, providing people-first leadership to the Arboretum’s diverse network of more than 425 employees and over 900 volunteers.


The Vice President of People and Culture will join an engaged and experienced leadership team under Jill Koski, the Arboretum’s new president and CEO. The focus on people and culture within the organization is critical to the strategic direction of the Arboretum as it enters its second century. The elevation of this role demonstrates a commitment to creating a sense of belonging and pathways of success for all people who work with and engage with the Arboretum. The Vice President will be integral to building and maintaining a shared culture of collaboration, inclusion, and sustainability to amplify its impact.


A thought leader in human resources, this individual must bring a creative, forward-looking mindset to the role and have deep knowledge of trends in the field to support talent acquisition and development to meet changing workforce needs and best advance the Arboretum’s success. The Vice President will be able to identify and leverage synergies across the Arboretum’s main functional areas of human resources and determine how to best structure a people strategy that prepares the Arboretum for long-term success across the wide array of institutional job roles and responsibilities from guest services to plant collections and science to education and administrative positions. The incoming Vice President will work across the organization to advance the institution’s commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility. In addition, the Vice President will lead the mapping, interdepartmental coordination, and expansion of the Arboretum’s internship and mentorship programs as it develops a new generation of tree advocates, stewards, and professionals.


As the Champion of Trees, the Arboretum is committed to scientifically informed action to benefit trees, both locally and globally. The Vice President will be the champion of its people. The successful candidate will have a minimum of 7 years of experience and a proven track record of providing strategic human resources leadership in complex organizations. The anticipated salary range for this position is $180,000-$220,000.


The Morton Arboretum has retained Isaacson, Miller to assist with this search. Review of applications, nominations, and expressions of interest will begin immediately and continue on a confidential basis until an appointment is made. Applicants should send a cover letter and resume or curriculum vitae. Nominations, applications, and inquiries should be sent electronically and in confidence to:


The Morton Arboretum is a champion for diversity, supporting a culture of inclusion that attracts, inspires, and engages people to achieve success. The Arboretum is committed to hire and develop employees based on job-related qualifications irrespective of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, or veteran status. To increase diversity in professions related to the public garden realm, we encourage applications from underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans.


The Morton Arboretum is dedicated to complying with our obligations as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All applicants are guaranteed equal consideration for employment.

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