Dede Petri

As president of The Garden Club of America, 2017-2019, Dede oversees 201 clubs and nearly 18,000 members around the country.

Before GCA, Dede practiced law in New York City and Washington, DC and then set out on her own, helping in 1995 to launch a nonprofit dedicated to higher education reform. She served as president of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni for 13 years and now is Senior Fellow.

Since 2008, Dede has served on the board of the Mount Vernon Ladies Association. She was president of All Hallows Guild, Washington National Cathedral, where she chaired the Olmsted Woods restoration project, recognized by the Washington Post, Landscape Architecture Magazine, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation as a groundbreaking urban woodland restoration. She has also been a board member of the National Museum of Women in the Arts; the National Wildlife Refuge Association; National Association for Olmsted Parks; Friends of the National Arboretum; Paine Art Center and Gardens; Georgetown Garden Club; and U.S. Capitol Historical Society.

She received an A.B., Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude, from Harvard College and a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School.

For over a century, the GCA has been a recognized leader in horticulture, conservation and education, and an aggressive advocate for a robust pipeline of environmental leaders who can restore, improve and protect our environment. Annually, the GCA awards over $300,000 in scholarships to exceptional students around the country. The GCA has also recently helped craft legislation promoting the hiring of botanical experts on federal lands, offering student loan forgiveness for those trained and employed in botanical science fields.