Posted: 1/23/2024 | Print Friendly Version

Date: January 23, 2024 
Contact: Missouri Botanical Garden Public Relations Dept.  
Phone: (314) 577-0286 (media use only)  
Email: (media use only) 


For immediate release 

Missouri Botanical Garden President Dr. Peter Wyse Jackson Announces Plans to Transition to President Emeritus 

Dr. Wyse Jackson will remain in role while search for new President proceeds and continue to serve the Garden and St. Louis community as President Emeritus 

(ST. LOUIS) Today, Missouri Botanical Garden President Dr. Peter Wyse Jackson announced his plans to transition to the role of President Emeritus after a new President is in place. Dr. Wyse Jackson will remain in the role of President while the search for a new President proceeds and will continue to support the Garden’s international commitments and priorities in the St. Louis community while in the role of President Emeritus.  

Over the past 14 years, Dr. Wyse Jackson has honored and built on the Missouri Botanical Garden’s legacy, furthered its global impact and strengthened its connections within the St. Louis region. 

“I have been privileged to lead this extraordinary institution and team for nearly 14 years, a role that has been and continues to be a highlight of my career,” said Dr. Wyse Jackson. “At this stage of my life, it is time for me to contribute to planning and assuring a strong future for the Garden. I have been communicating with the Board of Trustees about this decision over the past year, and I am very grateful that the Board has asked me to continue in the role of President Emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden. I have grown to love St. Louis and the Garden’s community and will continue to play a vital role in helping to advance them both.”  

During his tenure, Dr. Wyse Jackson furthered the purpose of the Missouri Botanical Garden, making it an integrated, global center for plant research and conservation, education and display. Some of Dr. Wyse Jackson’s most notable contributions to the Garden include: 

  • Elevating the value of the Garden’s horticulture and displays, creating an amazing living collection for the public to enjoy.  

  • Growing the Garden’s endowment threefold and maintaining a balanced budget every year during his tenure. 

  • Establishing a Seed Bank to supplement on-site plant conservation globally and locally. 

  • Enhancing the Garden’s infrastructure and the restoration of its historic fabric, including the Stephen and Peter Sachs Museum Building and Herring House, as well as the planning, construction and launch of the Jack C. Taylor Visitor Center, which opened in 2022.  

  • Expanding the Garden’s overall real estate footprint, including the launch of the Oertli Family Hardy Plant Nursery and the Bertha Pfautch Annex, among several other properties. 

  • Strengthening the Garden’s commitment to research, particularly within the realms of sustainability, plant conservation and ecological restoration. 

  • Adding significant new cultural programming offerings, from the annual Garden Glow and Lantern Festivals to this year’s ‘Chihuly in the Garden’ exhibition, each of which have seen record attendance. 

  • Breaking new ground in community outreach, particularly within the City of St. Louis and schools throughout the region. 

The Missouri Botanical Garden Board of Trustees has engaged a global search firm to support the process of finding the next President.  

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I want to extend my sincere gratitude to Dr. Wyse Jackson for his incredible work over the past 14 years, as well as his continued commitment to the Missouri Botanical Garden moving forward,” said Mike Stern, Chair, Missouri Botanical Garden Board of Trustees. “While there is no specific timetable for Dr. Wyse Jackson’s transition into the role of President Emeritus, we will now begin a global search process to identify the next leader with Dr. Wyse Jackson’s support to ensure a smooth transition.” 



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, 165 years after opening, the Missouri Botanical Garden is a National Historic Landmark and a center for science, conservation, education and horticultural display.