MassHort Announces New President

Congratulations to James Hearsum, recently appointed President and Executive Director of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. (Photo credit: Perry Chlan)
Congratulations to James Hearsum, recently appointed President and Executive Director of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. (Photo credit: Perry Chlan)

The Massachusetts Horticultural Society recently announced the appointment of James Hearsum as its new President and Executive Director.

Hearsum, who is expected to join MassHort in early 2020, has been the Executive Director of St. Andrews Botanic Garden in Scotland since May 2014. He will succeed Suzanne Maas, who has been the interim head of the MHS since the fall of 2018.

“We are extremely excited to have James join us and lead <us> to the next levels in our strategic growth plans,” said Wayne Mezitt, chair of the Society’s Board of Trustees.

“His leadership at St. Andrews <…>, extensive background in the field and high energy, position James to lead our great organization and create an incredible experience for our thousands of members and our broader community.”

As Executive Director of St. Andrews Botanic Garden, Hearsum has been responsible for renewal in all aspects of the organization’s guest experiences, outreach, and educational programs.

Notable developments include the establishment of a sustainable Urban Farm, a Butterfly House and Community Hub, in addition to focusing on horticultural excellence. Prior to St. Andrews, Hearsum was Curator at the Royal Botanic Garden of Jordan.

A member of the Charted Institute of Horticulturists, Hearsum began his career in the UK as a working gardener and nursery manager before attending Writtle College for his undergraduate degree in Horticulture and the University of Cambridge for Practical Horticulture and Plantsmanship. He also was a participant in the Longwood Graduate Program in Public Horticulture in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.

Founded in 1829, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society is dedicated to encouraging the science and practice of horticulture and to developing the public’s enjoyment, appreciation, and understanding of plants and the environment.

MHS, located in the heart of the Wellesley and Dover communities, is open for classes, symposia, trainings and workshops year-round. For more information, be sure to visit www.masshort.org.

Best Wishes, James Hearsum!