Gregory Long is Chief Executive Officer and The William C. Steere Sr. President of The New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, New York.
Early Years and Education:
Gregory Long was born in 1946 in Kansas City, Missouri, and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He graduated from New York University in 1969 with a degree in art history.
After a brief stint at the Brooklyn Museum, Long held positions at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, and the 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. In 1989 he was elected the eighth President and Chief Executive Officer of The New York Botanical Garden.
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 founded in 1891. 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.
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 (2002), the LuEsther T. Mertz Library (2002), the Pfizer Plant Research Laboratory (2006), the Nolen Greenhouses for Living Collections (2005), the Leon Levy Visitor Center (2004), the Everett Children's Adventure Garden (1998), the Garden Cafe and Garden Terrace Room (1997), the Benenson Ornamental Conifers (2004), the Arthur and Janet Ross Conifer Arboretum (2004), the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden (2007), the Lillian and Amy Goldman Stone Mill (2010), the Adam R. Rose and Peter R. McQuillan Horticulture Operations Center (2012), the Azalea Garden (2011), the Thain Family Forest (2011), the Native Plant Garden (2013), the Seasonal Walk (2014), and the 825-car NYBG Parking Garage, Peter Jay Sharp Building (2012), 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."
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. 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."
Public and Board Service:
A leader in New York's cultural community for more than three decades, Long 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 Boards of the Preservation League of New York State and the Glimmerglass Festival. 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. 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.
Flora Illustrata: Great Works from the LuEsther T. Mertz Library of The New York Botanical Garden Foreword by Gregory Long,
Magnificent Trees of The New York Botanical Garden Foreword by Gregory Long,
Gardens of the Hudson Valley Foreword by Gregory Long,
A New Strategic Plan: Into the 21st Century 2009-2015,
The New York Botanical Garden Edited by Gregory Long and Anne Skillion,
Site Lines | The New York Botanical Garden,
Historic Houses of the Hudson River Valley,
In the News:
Gardens Illustrated, "Horticultural Who's Who: Gregory Long",
Crain's New York Business, "New York Botanical Garden Gets $28M Windfall",
Bloomberg, "...28 Million Honoree...",
The Wall Street Journal, "...New York Botanical Garden gives $28 Million to Celebrate CEO's Anniversary",
Crain's 5boros, "His Secret Garden: Take a Walk on the Wild Side with Gregory Long of The New York Botanical Garden",
The Huffington Post, "In the Garden Again: At Chelsea With the Roses",
The Huffington Post, "In the Garden Again: Doing Good and Doing Well",
Date of birth
Place of birth
Kansas City, Missouri
Date of death
Place of death
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license