Richard Schulhof has accepted the position of Chief Executive Officer at the L.A. County Arboretum, effective in early October.
A native of Los Angeles, Schulhof comes from Harvard University’s Arnold Arboretum in Boston where for the last seven years he has served as deputy director. Before that, Schulhof was executive director of Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge. Previously he completed horticultural internships at the Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino and the Mildred Mathias Gardens at U.C.L.A.
Schulhof has an undergraduate degree in landscape architecture from U.C. Berkeley and master’s degrees in public garden administration from the University of Delaware and in forestry from Harvard.
Schulhof has created new programs supporting science education in both Boston and Los Angeles schools. Through collaboration with school districts and private foundations, his programs have offered teacher training, field trips and in-class instruction. Working with the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Park Service, he has launched programs interpreting historic landscapes.
Russ Guiney, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation, expressed his strong support and enthusiasm for the selection. “When the search committee began its comprehensive national search a little over a year ago, we were seeking an inspiring and dynamic leader with a commitment to excellence, a strategic thinker. While there were several very qualified candidates, the search committee unanimously endorsed the selection of Richard Schulhof, recognizing his deep passion for the natural world, extensive institutional experience, and demonstrated scholarly expertise.” Burks Hamner, president of The Arboretum Board of Trustees expressed “the Board of Trustees is looking forward to welcoming Richard, whose vast experience and knowledge will enhance and expand our existing programs.”
Schulhof brings to The Arboretum a strong commitment to public education and a strong interest in serving urban communities. “Finding new ways to bring the fascination and beauty of plants to greater Los Angeles is the aim,” Schulhof commented. “I am most honored to accept this important position, and I look forward to working with a very dedicated community—staff, volunteers, The Arboretum Foundation, the County Parks Department—to help more people discover this magical place. With fascinating plant collections, a magnificent landscape, and remarkable history, the possibilities are unbounded, and I look forward to working to realize The Arboretum’s potential and goal of becoming one of the world’s truly great public gardens.”
In this April 2009 video, Richard Schulhof, then Deputy Director of the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University, in Cambridge, MA, talks about what he does, his educational and professional background, and his favorite parts of his job. – Video provided by the Center for Public Horticulture at UD.