The New York Botanical Garden announced that Dr. Carrie Rebora Barratt is stepping down as the institution’s CEO and William C. Steere Sr. President following her two year tenure.
Barratt assumed the role in July 2018 and became NYBG’s first female president. While the Board searches for Barratt’s successor, NYBG Director J.V. Cossaboom will fill in during the interim.
“My two-year tenure at the Garden, including leadership in this unprecedented time, has helped me see our changing world with new perspective. The Garden has the strong foundation in place to seize new opportunities of significant scope in our community in the Bronx and beyond,” Barratt said in an official statement.
Among her myriad contributions to the Garden included staff and Board Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committees which created an institutional DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) plan, a $17.7 million restoration of the palm dome of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, developing vital educational programs and enriching and expanding digital content, expanding biodiversity studies and presenting the largest botanical exhibition in history, “Brazillian Modern: The Living Art of Roberto Burle Marx.”
“I express my profound gratitude and respect for the staff and Board and am immensely proud of the work we have done together to strengthen the Garden’s role as a world leader in the botanical and horticultural dimensions of climate change, sustainability, food security, and human wellness in body and mind. I depart after a period of considerable thought about my own path and have chosen this moment as an opportune time to act, when we have closed out our fiscal year with a balanced budget and are ready to welcome the public back,” said Barratt.
Prior to working at NYBG, Barratt spent 34 distinguished years at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she worked as a curator. The Chicago native earned her B.A. from the University of Illinois, an M.A. in art history from UCLA and a Ph.D from CUNY. She currently lives in Manhattan.
“We are grateful to Dr. Barratt for the important contributions she has made to the institution,” said J. Barclay Collins, chairman of the Board of Trustees. “We especially appreciate her role in leading the institution through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. She leaves the Garden in a strong financial and operational position as we head into our reopening, scheduled for later this month.”