Lee Clippard Appointed Interim Executive Director
The Wildflower Center is pleased to welcome Lee Clippard as its interim executive director beginning May 1. He takes the reins from Patrick Newman, who began a new post as the CEO and president of the recently merged Botanical Research Institute of Texas and Fort Worth Botanic Garden.
A graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, Clippard has been a passionate advocate for native plants for two decades. He learned early on the quiet joys and lessons that can be found through gardening and time spent observing nature. Prior to his appointment as interim executive director, he served as the deputy director of communications and experience for the Wildflower Center.
“Joining the staff of the Wildflower Center in 2014 was a dream achieved, and now I find myself with the extraordinary honor of leading the organization through this important transition,” said Clippard. “I am wholeheartedly committed to our mission, to honoring the vision of Lady Bird Johnson, and to supporting the work of our great staff who promote native plants and provide wonderful opportunities for the community to connect with the environment.”
Lee has a bachelor’s degree in biology from UT Austin and a master’s degree in entomology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He still sometimes gets asked to identify insects, but he generally leaves that to the experts. Prior to joining the Center, he was the senior director of communications for the university’s College of Natural Sciences from 2005 to 2014.
At the Wildflower Center, Lee has overseen marketing and communications for the opening of the Luci and Ian Family Garden and the national launch of the Sustainable SITES Initiative. His team helped grow annual attendance at the Center from 140,000 people per year to 215,000. He has overseen a transformation of the Center’s award-winning magazine and major increases in social media presence and engagement. He has appeared in local and state media numerous times and has been an integral part of many strategic fundraising and infrastructure projects.