Dr. Susan Pell is the Executive Director at the United States Botanic Garden. As a botanist and an educator, she has spent her career at botanic gardens and has traveled the world to collect plants for scientific study. During her tenure at The New York Botanical Garden and Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Susan had the opportunity to teach a diversity of plant science topics to students from toddlers to retirees, to develop interpretation for the public, and to direct molecular research and plant taxonomic studies using samples she collected on her expeditions.
Susan moved to Washington, D.C. in 2013 for an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellowship at the National Science Foundation. That experience strengthened her dedication to excellence in STEM communication and botanical education. At the U.S. Botanic Garden, Susan has served as Public Programs Manager and Deputy Executive Director, where she was responsible for the Garden’s programs in science, education, communication, interpretation, visitor services, and special events. She is dedicated to helping the Garden achieve its mission of demonstrating the importance of plants to the well-being of humankind, and to diversifying the offerings and visitorship of the Garden.
Susan grew up in the Midwest and in the South, where she learned to appreciate the diversity and beauty of nature and the importance of plant cultivation. She utilizes her expertise in botany, science communication, education, and mentoring to show people the awesomeness of plants every day.
Susan holds a bachelor's degree in biology from St. Andrews University in North Carolina and a Ph.D. in plant biology from Louisiana State University. In her personal time, she enjoys spending time with her wife and their two young daughters gardening, cooking, preserving food, biking, and hiking.