Courtney Allen joins as the Arboretum launches its 150th anniversary celebration

The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is pleased to announce the selection of Courtney Allen as Head of Public Programs. In this position, Courtney will strengthen the Arboretum’s ability to engage the public and act as a community resource connecting people with nature through outreach and educational programming free of charge. This strategic hire comes as the Arboretum celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2022.

This timely and intentional expansion of the institution’s public programs department highlights the Arboretum’s unwavering commitment to providing equitable access to its landscape and plant collections. During its sesquicentennial, the Arboretum’s public programs will focus on creating welcoming and inclusive experiences—both in-person and online—for everyone interested in deepening their relationship with nature.

“Courtney’s addition to our public programs team comes at a critical time for the organization and the people that it serves,” said William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum. “Over the last two years, we saw the highest number of visitors in our modern history, making our role as a cultural institution and supporter of public health increasingly important as more people recognize that our relationship with plants is integral to our humanity. With Courtney and her team, we will be able to meet this demand and continue engaging, educating, and inspiring the public.”

Courtney attended the University of Pennsylvania, where she received her Master of Science in Historic Preservation, and Smith College, where she completed her undergraduate degree with a focus in medieval as well as landscape studies. For over a decade, Courtney has supported several other institutions in creating vision and strategic frameworks for institutional learning initiatives that uplift the prominent role of public parks and green spaces for societal well-being—initiatives that are critical now more than ever in our recovery and the future of cities. Courtney is a thought leader in museum and landscape education with a passion for conservation, green spaces, and transformative education that steers the world in a more educated, inclusive, and sustainable direction. Most recently, Courtney served as the Director of Public Programs at the Native Plant Trust, and prior, she spent several years planning and implementing learning initiatives at the renowned Huntington Library, Art Museum, & Botanical Gardens.

“Public access to open space and transformative education have been at the core of my work throughout my career, and I’m delighted to join the Arboretum at this pivotal moment in its history,” said Allen. “It is a privilege to connect people with plants and one another, both within the Boston community and around the globe, as well as to encourage equity in this historic landscape.”

To learn more about public programs and opportunities at the Arboretum visit: