An Iowa native, Kim Perez was named CEO of the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden (the Botanical Garden) in March 2021. As its top leader, Perez drives a bold vision for the future. She is directly responsible for this vibrant 14-acre public garden, which offers enduring guest experiences, transformative educational opportunities and engages a wide range of communities.
Perez's extensive nonprofit and social service expertise complements the Botanical Garden’s devotion to being a community-focused and community-welcoming environment for those of all backgrounds, experiences, and abilities. She strongly believes public gardens and green spaces can and should play an essential role in building relationships to strengthen communities.
Her previous experiences include serving as President and Chief Executive Officer for The Cradle which is one of the foremost adoption agencies in the country. Perez was responsible for bolstering the organization’s capacity to continue leading the way in services for building and strengthening families for years to come. She also was Executive Director of People’s Resource Center, a non-profit helping low-income families. Earlier in her career, Perez held several leadership positions at the social services agency Lifelink, where she was Vice President of Child and Family Services.
Perez earned a master’s degree in social work from Loyola University Chicago and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa. She, her husband and son are lifelong Midwesterners and enjoy spending time with family and friends, experiencing different places and meeting new people.