Danforth Plant Science Center President & CEO Announces Leadership Transition Plan

ST. LOUIS, MO., July 1, 2024 – Today, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center President and CEO Jim Carrington, PhD, announced he will step down on July 1, 2025. 

“I’ve been so fortunate to have had this opportunity over the past 13 years,” said Dr. Carrington. “We’ve been able to do so much because of our exceptional people, our partners and our supporters. But it’s time to plan for a transition, and I know the Center will benefit greatly from the renewal of perspective, ideas and talents that come with a new leader.”

Penny Pennington, managing partner, Edward Jones and chair, Danforth Center Board of Directors, will lead the search for a new President. The search process will be inclusive, actively engaging the Danforth Center community - as well as stakeholders in the St. Louis region and beyond.

“Jim followed tremendous leaders at the Center, and he has taken this remarkable institution to new heights of mission impact helping us gain renown in the field and forge new partnerships that extend worldwide,” said Pennington. “We will benefit from his leadership over the next year and celebrate his impact as he approaches his retirement milestone.”  

Carrington has led the Danforth Center in delivering on its mission since 2011. Under his leadership, the Danforth Center has grown significantly through doubling its staff, expanding the scope of scientific research, and developing new facilities like the William H. Danforth building on the main campus and the 140-acre Field Research Site in  St. Charles County. Dr. Carrington set priorities for new plant science research initiatives, and for moving the products of research into the marketplace through spin-out company formation and development of the 39North innovation district.  

“Though a transition date is set, I’m not yet done,” Dr. Carrington said. “I’ll be working to ensure that opportunities for the next President, and for members of the Danforth Center community, are as abundant as they were for me when I started.” 

About The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
Founded in 1998, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is a not-for-profit research institute with a mission to improve the human condition through plant science. Research, education, and outreach aim to have an impact at the nexus of food security and the environment and position the St. Louis region as a world center for plant science. The Center’s work is funded through competitive grants from many sources, including the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Agency for International Development, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and through the generosity of individual, corporate, and foundation donors. Follow us on Twitter at @DanforthCenter

Media contact: Karla Roeber, VP Public and Government Affairs, kroeber@danforthcenter.org