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Press Releases

The communications office of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin provides media with timely, accurate information about the Wildflower Center. Below are recent press releases related to Center events and to staff expertise on conservation practices, native plant gardening, nature education, and native plant resources and research findings. For more information or photos beyond those on the newsroom site, please contact:

    Media Manager
Barbra Rodriguez

June 2, 2004

New Executive Director

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center today announces the appointment of a new executive director. Susan K. Rieff will assume her duties as executive director in mid-July 2004.

Rieff steps down from her position as policy director for land stewardship for National Wildlife Federation to join the Wildflower Center. At NWF Rieff was responsible for national policy development and program direction for NWF's land-related projects and activities nationwide. Prior to her position at NWF, Rieff served as Deputy Chief of Staff for the U.S. Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C. where she was responsible for directing major policy initiatives and interagency projects.

"I have long admired Mrs. Johnson's dedication to the condition of our natural environment and her vision for a more beautiful American landscape," said Rieff. I'm eager to build on the tremendous work of the former executive director, Bob Breunig, by increasing the Center's role in promoting the importance of native plant preservation and spreading that message nationally."

"Susan's extensive experience in environmental and natural resources policy is extremely valuable in helping the Wildflower Center to broaden the reach of its mission," said Melanie Barnes, board president. "We are honored that she would choose to join us in our work to promote conservation and restoration of native plants."

Currently Rieff is a part-time visiting professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs where she teaches seminars in environmental policy. She recently served on the board of directors for the Travis County Children's Advocacy Center and the Austin/Central Texas Sustainability Indicators Project.

Rieff replaces the executive director position vacated in December 2003, by Dr. Robert Breunig, who resigned to lead the Museum of Northern Arizona Flagstaff.

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