BRIAN TRADER, PH.D.
A visionary and community-minded leader, Brian Trader, Ph.D., brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden where he has served as President and CEO since early 2021. Brian’s background includes leadership management at premier public gardens, horticultural expertise, and a commitment to the community. Brian believes in the healing power of gardens — as a place people can come to be nurtured and restored — and is passionate about connecting people and plants to improve the community.
Previously, Brian served as Deputy Executive Director and Director of Horticulture at the Delaware Botanic Gardens where he managed one of America’s newest public gardens. During his time there, he expanded two garden areas, secured competitive grants, and built a programming calendar to engage diverse communities. Previously, he served as Director of Domestic and International Studies at Longwood Gardens, one of the preeminent gardens in the United States and internationally. During his tenure at Longwood, Brian mentored and supervised over 700 emerging public horticultural professionals from around the world and collaborated with public garden leaders throughout the world to facilitate research, student and staff exchange, and outreach.
Brian grew up on the Eastern Shore as part of a farming family, where he developed a life-long passion for plants. He earned his doctorate, master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Virginia Tech and has also taught at Virginia Tech, Mississippi State University, and the University of Delaware. Brian has published extensively about the role of public gardens and horticulture, and has presented on those topics at educational forums internationally. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Award and the American Public Gardens Association’s Award for Program Excellence. He currently serves on the ChamberRVA board as the Henrico Council Chair.Back to Leadership Page