Ms. Shimizu received her Associate of Science degree in Horticulture and Landscape Design from Temple University, a Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture from Pennsylvania State University, and her Master of Science degree in Horticulture from the University of Maryland. She recently received the honorary degree of Doctor of Science from Washington College, Chestertown, Maryland.
Prior to assuming her current position, Ms. Shimizu was the Managing Director of the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, Virginia. She previously served as Assistant Executive Director of the U.S. Botanic Garden, as well as having worked at the U.S. National Arboretum, where she was a curator. Ms. Shimizu has also worked in public gardens in England, Germany, Belgium and Holland.
She began the position of Executive Director of the U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG) in November 2000. She is responsible for the overall operation of the USBG, including horticulture, public programs, conservation, operations and administration. With a staff of 67, Ms. Shimizu strives to ensure that the USBG is continually improving and serving the American people in the way that George Washington envisioned in 1796. Under her leadership the Garden has been a founding partner of the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) as well as the opening of the new National Garden in 2006. She completed the coordination of a new book on the Botanic Garden titled, A Botanic Garden for the Nation, published by the Government Printing Office. The U.S. Botanic Garden has gained national recognition for its innovative and exciting exhibits as demonstrated by awards received as well as the hosting of the American Public Gardens Association Exhibits and National meeting in June, 2007, the Sustainability exhibition in 2008, as well as through its National partnerships with botanical institutions.
Ms. Shimizu is well known through her work as one of the hosts of The Victory Garden, a gardening show broadcast on public television stations internationally. In addition, she can often be heard on National Public Radio and has written and lectured extensively in her field. Her awards include: The Thomas Roland Medal for outstanding contributions to horticultural education from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society in 2009, The American Horticultural Society, Professional Award in 2008, The Architect of the Capitol Honor Award in 2007, National Garden Clubs, Inc., Award of Excellence in 2007, The Garden Club of America, Honorary Member in 2005, The Architect of the Capitols Award for Leadership in 2004, Temple University, Outstanding Alumna Award in 2004, Germantown Academy, Outstanding Alumna Award in 2003, American Horticultural Society, Distinguished Lecturer Award in 1997, International Herb Association, Otto Richter Award for Outstanding Educator in 1996, The Herb Society of America Award for Outstanding Achievement in Horticulture in 1986, and Pi Alpha Zi Horticulture Honor Society in 1976.
Ms. Shimizu currently serves on is an Advisory Committee Member for Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, and on the Advisory Committee of the American Botanical Council, Austin Texas.
In addition she has served on the Board of Botanic Gardens Conservation International, U.S., as a Director at Large for the American Public Gardens Association, as a panel reviewer for the National Academy of Sciences: U.S. Agency for International Development, Bureau for Economic Growth, Agriculture, and Trade, as an Advisory Board Member of the American Horticultural Society, Alexandria, Virginia, as well as Honorary President of the Herb Society of America, and National Chairman of Botany and Horticulture. She has also been an International and National flower show judge.