CEO and The William C. Steere Sr. President
The New York Botanical Garden
Since 1989 Gregory Long has been devoted to the restoration and revitalization of The New York Botanical Garden, one of the world’s greatest botanical gardens and research institutions. His leadership has not only contributed to the Garden’s resurgence, but also shepherded the Garden through periods of extreme austerity. With a unique understanding of the public/private partnership that is the foundation of New York’s cultural organizations, he has developed innovative public programs, creative financing methods, and best-practice strategic planning programs. Since the 1970s, he has brought visionary stewardship to the rebuilding of public institutions as they respond to contemporary challenges and devise ways to thrive in the 21st century.
Gregory Long was elected President and Chief Executive Officer of The New York Botanical Garden in 1989. He assembled and led a management team that has revitalized the Garden, initiating a comprehensive, long-range planning process that is both the blueprint for the Garden’s renaissance and a model for other organizations. During his administration, the Garden has completed two 7-year strategic plans, 1993–1999 and 2001–2007, and is currently conducting a third, 2009–2015, which affirms the institution’s vitality and continued growth for the future. The Garden is in the homestretch of raising the 2009–2015 plan’s more than $475,000,000 to build endowment and fund programmatic initiatives, audience development, and capital projects as part of a comprehensive Master Plan.
The Garden's ongoing capital construction program, which began with the restoration of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory (1994–1997), has completed many new and renovated facilities, historic landscapes, and specialty gardens, including the William and Lynda Steere Herbarium, the LuEsther T. Mertz Library, the Pfizer Plant Research Laboratory, the Nolen Greenhouses for Living Collections, the Leon Levy Visitor Center, the Garden Cafe and Garden Terrace Room, the Benenson Ornamental Conifers, the Arthur and Janet Ross Conifer Arboretum, the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden, the Amy and Lillian Goldman Stone Mill, the Adam R. Rose and Peter R. McQuillan Horticulture Operations Center, the Azalea Garden, the Thain Family Forest, the Native Plant Garden, and the 825-car NYBG Parking Garage, Peter Jay Sharp Building, the first project to be built outside the Garden's grounds. In the words of a New York Times editorial, under Long's leadership, "The Garden has succeeded in its wildly ambitious effort to become one of New York City's leading cultural institutions." The City University of New York awarded Long an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in recognition of "his inspired stewardship" in helping to "make culture flourish in New York City."
Long has been honored with a wide variety of awards that underscore the important horticultural, scientific, and educational achievements he has been responsible for, including Common Cause's NYC Cultural Leadership Award; The Cultural Landscape Foundation's Ten-4-Ten Stewardship Award; The New York Botanical Garden's Founders Award; and the Native Plant Center's Acorn Award.
Long, a leader in New York's cultural community for more than three decades, is a member of the Steering Committee of the Cultural Institutions Group of New York City and served as Chairman of the Cultural Institutions Group from 1992 to 1995. He is a member of the Association of Science Museum Directors and the Board of the Preservation League of New York State. He is a former member of the Mayor's Advisory Commission on Cultural Affairs and the Board of the Natural Science Collections Alliance. Long is also a former member of the Board of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, the Advisory Committee to the Getty Leadership Institute for Museum Management, the Board of the Jerome Park Conservancy, and Trees New York.
During his career, Long has held positions at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, and New York Zoological Society (now the Wildlife Conservation Society). Throughout the 1980s, he served as Vice President for Public Affairs at The New York Public Library, creating a strategic planning program for the institution's 86 libraries and directing the private sector portion of the largest fundraising campaign ever undertaken by any American library.
Gregory Long is the author of Historic Houses of the Hudson River Valley, published in 2004 by Rizzoli in association with the Preservation League of New York State. He is the editor of The New York Botanical Garden (2006), a beautifully illustrated volume documenting the institution's remarkable history and unparalleled collections. He has played a leadership role in The New York Botanical Garden's collaboration with Fordham University, Montefiore Medical Center, and the Wildlife Conservation Society as founding members of the Four Bronx Institutions Alliance (FBIA), with the common goal of beautifying, improving, and creating a new identity for their shared neighborhoods.