THE DR. WILLIAM HUIZINGH EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Ken Schutz has held executive leadership positions at cultural institutions for more than 35 years, and he has been at the helm of the Desert Botanical Garden since 2001. During his tenure there, he has managed construction of $35 million in new exhibits and facilities, doubled local attendance, initiated dynamic new education and research projects and raised more than $15 million in gifts and pledges for the Garden’s endowment.
When Ken first interviewed to be the Garden’s Executive Director in 2001, the search committee described his ultimate task as making sure the Garden no longer remained Phoenix’s “best-kept secret.” He and the Garden’s leadership team have met that challenge head-on, and Ken describes his greatest professional satisfaction as the regional and national prominence the Garden has achieved for its excellence in desert plant conservation and exhibition.
On a national level, Ken was appointed to the board of the Institute for Museum and Library Services by President Obama in 2016, and will complete his 5-year term in 2021. He served as an accreditation commissioner for the American Alliance of Museums from 2015 to 2019, and as President of the American Public Gardens Association from 2013 to 2015. Ken was selected as a Piper Fellow by the Virginia G. Piper Trust in 2003. Prior to moving to Phoenix, Ken held the position of Executive Director of the Science Museum of Western Virginia, and before that he was Director of Marketing and development for the Baltimore Zoo. He holds an M.B.A. from the University of Virginia, an M.S. degree from Johns Hopkins University and a B.S. from Bucknell University.