Posted: 4/25/2022 | Print Friendly Version

Date: April 25, 2022 

Contact: Missouri Botanical Garden Public Relations Dept.  

Phone: (314) 577-0286 (media use only)  

Email: (media use only)  



Michelle Martin Bonner Brings More Than 20 Years of Diversity and Inclusion Experience to Garden 


For Immediate Release 

(ST. LOUIS) The Missouri Botanical Garden is pleased to announce Michelle Martin Bonner as the new Director of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging. Martin Bonner will begin on April 25, 2022.  


Reporting directly to Garden President Peter Wyse Jackson, Martin Bonner will focus on developing and strengthening new and valued collaborative relationships with all stakeholders, as well as ensuring that all staff are both able and encouraged to contribute, be valued, and belong. 


“This opportunity is multi-faceted. I look forward to developing and strengthening partnerships, as well as coaching our Garden family to help guide the Garden,” noted Martin Bonner. “I am looking forward to leading the development of strategic initiatives supporting efforts so that the Garden is a place where everyone can feel they belong."


Martin Bonner is a native St. Louisan with extensive work in community engagement, education, law, and child advocacy. She brings more than 20 years of professional experience to the Garden, including 16 years with the law firm of Thompson Coburn in multiple roles including Professional Development & Diversity Manager. She most recently served as the Executive Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at St. Louis Community College.  


“We understand what a critical role this is as we announce Michelle Martin Bonner’s appointment to the Garden’s senior leadership team,” Garden President Dr. Peter Wyse Jackson said. “We will ensure that our culture values all our visitors and staff and treats them with dignity and respect. Michelle’s considerable talents and experience will help inform our strategic plan as we take this journey together.” 


“The ability to connect the intersection of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging and the mission of the Garden to exemplify the nexus of conservation and quality of life is necessary for the sustainability and growth of our most significant renewable natural resources,” Martin Bonner said. “With the collective support of my colleagues, board members, staff, and community both locally and globally, we will ensure that the Garden is a resource and beacon of light for all that visit to enjoy and learn through its beauty and ambiance.” 



The Missouri Botanical Garden’s mission is “to discover and share knowledge about plants and their environment in order to preserve and enrich life”. Today, 163 years after opening, the Missouri Botanical Garden is a National Historic Landmark and a center for science, conservation, education and horticultural display.