Chief Executive Officer and William C. Steere Sr. President
On July 1, 2018, Carrie Rebora Barratt, Ph.D., became the ninth CEO and President of The New York Botanical Garden and the first woman to hold the position. She came to the Garden following a distinguished 34-year career at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she worked as a curator and transitioned from research and scholarship to governance and administration, most recently serving since 2009 as Deputy Director, leading visitor-focused, mission-aligned initiatives for the institution during a transformational period in the Museum’s history.
Dr. Barratt succeeds Gregory Long, who over the course of nearly three decades boosted the Garden’s standard of excellence in horticulture, science and conservation, education, exhibitions and publications, and public programs. Her experience and focus on culture for public good and wellness will influence and guide her leadership of one of the world’s preeminent botanical gardens with unparalleled resources devoted to the relevance and diversity of plant research and display.
An accomplished curator at The Met, Dr. Barratt oversaw the display and digital cataloging of more than 10,000 works of American fine and decorative art on view in The Luce Center, the American Wing’s visible storage facility. A proven administrator, she led the team that renovated the American Paintings and Sculpture galleries and oversaw restoration of the installation’s monumental centerpiece, Washington Crossing the Delaware. A pacesetter in the cultural community for decades, she has lectured and published extensively in conjunction with major exhibitions and other projects.
At NYBG, Dr. Barratt brings her focus to the living collections: more than one million plants, spectacular display gardens, and award-winning architecture across the 250-acre National Historic Landmark landscape. Her track record for enhancing visitor engagement matches the Garden’s reputation for groundbreaking research, creative educational programs connecting art to science, human life to living collections, science-based conservation programs, enhanced educational offerings from pre-K through post-graduate studies, and vibrant exhibition and public programs that serve ever-growing and diverse audiences.
Dr. Barratt will work with Garden staff across the organization on gold standard research and presentation of the collections, spearheading the global obligation to cultural heritage and preservation of plants. She will serve as a leader in on-site visitor experience by implementing the Garden’s master plan for capital and infrastructural projects, including climate studies and key renovations indoors and out, to ensure a safe and attractive environment for art and people. By leveraging digital platforms for online research and collections access, she will maintain and grow on-site and remote visitor engagement with the collections as well as the institution.
A native Chicagoan, Dr. Barratt received her bachelor’s degree at the University of Illinois, a master’s in art history from UCLA, and a doctorate from the City University of New York. As a resident of New York City since 1984, she has made it her passion and her business to connect to support and study nature, culture, and education in this great city; the three are inextricably linked at NYBG.