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Director of the Training Center

This job is no longer available

Portland, OR, USA

Portland Japanese Garden’s International Japanese Garden Training Center (TC) offers learners of all levels the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the Japanese garden and the other art forms connected to it. As the Garden’s educational wing and the only such program outside of Japan, TC teaches the traditional skills and techniques for creating and fostering Japanese gardens, while acquainting learners with the Garden’s cultural heart, in addition to offering a critical bridge to the repository of historical and academic knowledge through its global network of individuals and institutions. Learners range from elementary school students using haiku to express their thoughts and dreams, to general garden novice enthusiasts, to accomplished garden professionals and researchers. Workshops, themed tours, school programs, lectures, and professional-level programs including seminars and intensives take place at the Garden and offsite venues.

The Training Center Director (TC Director) reports to and assists the Arlene Schnitzer Curator of Culture, Art, and Education (Curator of CAE) in ensuring that the overall TC programmatic direction is aligned with the larger organizational mission and goals. The TC Director delivers this through creating curriculums for the TC and its programs in conjunction with the Garden Curator, while providing oversight for each of the activities/programs. These programs are expected to meet TC’s core standards and values and respond to the learning needs of a variety of participants from diverse backgrounds . The TC Director currently supervises a team of two, consisting of a Program Manager and Program Assistant.

The TC Director will initially be located at our remote office, just off the Sylvan exit of Highway 26, with the possibility to work remotely up to two days per week. Upon completion of the Institute campus (2025), located approximately 3 miles from Portland Japanese Garden, the TC Director’s office is anticipated to relocate to the Institute campus. Travel to and from PJG’s primary campus in Washington Park, and its soon-to-be-developed secondary campus in NW Portland, is expected.

Areas of Responsibility: 

Primary Duties 

Programmatic planning and curriculum development

  • In collaboration with the Garden Curator and Curator of CAE, plan TC’s year-to-year program schedule, with attention to scheduling, target audiences, programming by other departments, facility and resource availability and budget
  • Take a proactive role in identifying, proposing, and building collaborative and strategic partnerships with a wide range of individuals, organizations, local community groups, and national and international organizations relating to landscape architecture, Japanese gardens, and related arts
  • Create, carry out, evaluate, and, on an ongoing basis, refine curriculum structure and teaching materials for existing programs
  • Curate, organize, and present a themed public speaker series, collaborating with other departments on theme and focus as appropriate
  • Develop, implement, and continually refine and monitor accreditation, certification, and evaluation procedures with targeted professional associations for professional-level educational programs in the US and Japan
  • Work cooperatively and proactively with the Development department to help identify and solicit appropriate funding sources and, in collaboration with the Grants Administrator, work with other relevant departments to ensure that grants are correctly used and tracked
  • Procure, manage quality control, and supervise the work of outside contractors including educators, videographers, curriculum writers, and others as needed to support programs
  • The TC Director occasionally travels to Japan and elsewhere in the US to research programmatic possibilities and network with other cultural/academic/landscape professionals and other key partners to explore collaborative project possibilities through partnerships

Training facility maintenance/development

  • In collaboration with the Garden Curator and Curator of CAE, devise plans to maintain and refine the current TC facilities, both on-site and off-site, while identifying and developing new facilities according to TC and its participants’ growing needs
  • Provide assistance and advice on ways in which the new Japan Institute campus can better serve TC’s programmatic activities and the community at large

Outreach and communication

  • Collaborate with the Marketing department to develop and implement marketing strategies and communications materials for target audiences
  • Represent TC through outreach at events in the wider professional community to propagate TC’s mission and build a robust network while recruiting quality students
  • Produce monthly content for promoting TC’s programs through the Garden’s media channels including newsletter, magazine, website, and others
  • Supervise and manage the Program Manager and Assistant
  • Create, manage and track annual budgets and projected revenue and expenses.
  • Occasional other duties as assigned

Other Responsibilities  

  • Familiarize oneself with the organization and the Employee Handbook
  • Get to know fellow staff members, developing trust, establishing credibility, encouraging teamwork, and creating an atmosphere of open, honest, two-way communication 
  • Serve as a role model for Garden volunteers, providing support and encouragement to volunteers in their roles across the Garden
  • Maintain a high level of professionalism in manner and appearance
  • Adhere to Garden Dress Code (business casual)


Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply for jobs unless they believe they meet every one of the qualifications as described in a job description. We are most interested in finding the best candidate for the position, and that candidate may be one who comes from a less traditional background. If you are interested in applying, we encourage you to think broadly about your background and qualifications for this role.

  • At least 5 years’ experience in research, both field and theoretical, on Japanese garden/landscape design and practice, with a successful track record in teaching and/or program development and management at vocational institution or other education-centered organizations
  • Bachelor's degree required
  • Excellent verbal, written, and interpersonal skills
  • Must be proficient in Microsoft Office, especially Outlook, Word, and Excel
  • Proficiency in Japanese or Spanish is a plus

Special Requirements

  • Must be able to remain in a stationary position and/or move about the Garden for several hours
  • Must be able to lift up to 25 lbs. on occasion
  • Occasional evening and weekend work required
  • Valid driver’s license and reliable vehicle to travel between the various Garden campuses (mileage reimbursement provided)

Compensation & Schedule

  • Salary:  $75,000 - $85,000/year
  • This is a full-time, salaried position with 40 – 45 hours per week. Schedule is generally Monday through Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm.
  • Benefits:
    • health, dental, and vision insurance (premium 100% covered for employees), with partial deductible reimbursement
    • 401k plan (after 6 months, with 4% employer match after 1 year)
    • flexible spending accounts for medical and dependent care expenses
    • paid time off:
      • Vacation: 3 weeks per calendar year to start, with periodic increases per the employee handbook
      • Sick: 10 days per calendar year
      • Holidays: 10 holidays per year
    • free access to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
How to Apply: 

To apply, please submit a resume, cover letter, and three work-related references through our online Career Center (link provided below). Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please no phone calls or hand delivered applications. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Additional Information: 

COVID-19 Vaccination Policy: For the safety of our staff, volunteers, and guests, Portland Japanese Garden requires all staff and volunteers to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, including the booster. Candidates must be fully vaccinated by their hire date and must provide proof of vaccination upon hire.

Organization Info

Portland Japanese Garden

Portland, OR, USA
51-200 employees
About Us

Inspiring harmony and peace.

Why Work For Us?: 

The Portland Japanese Garden is renowned as the most authentic and finest Japanese garden outside of Japan. The Garden typically has a year-round staff of 95+ FTE’s and 30+ seasonal staff, supplemented by over 200 volunteers. All of our staff play a vital role in helping our visitors experience the beauty and tranquility of the garden and expand their understanding of Japanese culture. 

A few of the benefits our employees enjoy include:

  • Working at a beautiful, authentic Japanese garden, overlooking the city
  • Incentives for alternative transportation for your commute to work
  • A workplace culture that prioritizes hiring and promoting from within
  • Access to the Garden for you, your family, and your friends
  • The opportunity to attend a variety of cultural events
  • Reciprocal access to other area attractions, such as the Lan Su Chinese Garden, Portland Art Museum, and the Oregon Zoo
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Listing Stats

Post Date: 
Sep 18 2023
Active Until: 
Oct 18 2023
Hiring Organization: 
Portland Japanese Garden