San Diego Botanic Garden names new directors


San Diego Botanic Garden (SDBG) recently announced that Sam Beukema, former SDBG Senior Adult Education and Events Manager, is SDBG’s new Director of Operations, and Susanne Brueckner, former SDBG Senior Youth Education Manager, is SDBG’s new Director of Education.

Beukema, who has worked at SDBG for the past five years, was formerly in charge of Adult Education and Events.. He also worked at The City of Vista and the YMCA managing a wide variety of recreation and community services programs. He has a bachelor’s degree in parks and recreation management from San Diego State University.

In his new role at SDBG, Beukema will be responsible for the general day-to-day operation of the 37-acre SDBG. He will report directly to President and CEO Julian Duval.

“Sam has been a vital asset to SDBG for the past five years in a very wide range of responsibilities,” said Duval. “We are fortunate to have such a proven individual to welcome as the Director of Operations for the Garden”

Brueckner, former SDBG Senior Youth Education Manager, takes on a new role as Director of Education. In her new role at SDBG, Brueckner will be responsible for youth and adult education and events. She will report to Duval.

Brueckner has worked at SDBG for the last 14 years as a volunteer, Seeds of Wonder Program Manager, Children’s Garden Manager and Senior Youth Education Manager. She also worked at universities in Munich, Germany, Leipzig, Germany, and Tallahassee, Fla., as a graduate student and in post doc positions. She has a diploma in biology from Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany, and a Ph.D. in neurosciences from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.

“Many of the Garden’s educational programs have been developed by Dr. Susanne Brueckner over her many years of service to SDBG,” said Duval. “It is an important sign of the growth in the Garden’s pursuit of its educational mission that we now have a Director of Education position and Dr. Brueckner is the perfect fit for this new role.”