Dr. Sarada Krishnan is Director of Horticulture and Center for Global Initiatives at Denver Botanic Gardens where she is responsible for directing the design and maintenance of the horticulture displays and collections, and for developing and leading global projects. She has several years of experience in public and commercial horticulture. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture from India, where the focus was on tropical horticulture. She has a Master of Science degree in Horticulture from Colorado State University, with a research focus on the propagation of native Colorado flora specializing in plant tissue culture. Her doctorate research at University of Colorado, Boulder, focused on the conservation genetics of wild coffee (Coffea spp.) in Madagascar. Sarada owns coffee plantations in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica.
In 2016/2017, Sarada was involved in developing the Global Strategy for the Conservation of Coffee Genetic Resources in collaboration with the Global Crop Diversity Trust and World Coffee Research. The main goal of the Strategy is to ensure the conservation and use of coffee genetic resources for a positive, sustainable future of the crop and for those dependent on coffee for a livelihood.
Sarada has served as a board member of the Association of Zoological Horticulture, Butterfly Pavilion, Colorado Native Plant Society, Colorado Nursery & Greenhouse Association and the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s Noxious Weed Advisory Committee. She is a faculty affiliate with Colorado State University’s Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture and a member of the Board of Directors of Plant Select®, City of Westminster Parks, Recreation, Libraries and Open Space Advisory Board, and the Ulaanbaatar Denver Sister Cities Committee Executive Board. She also serves on the USDA National Genetic Resources Advisory Council and on the board of VGIF (Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund), a nonprofit organization providing small grants for grassroots projects that empower women and girls in developing countries. She has published numerous papers and chapters on coffee genetic resources, botanic gardens and sustainable agriculture in peer reviewed journals and books.