WILLIAMSBURG, Va., November 8, 2018 — The Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation Board of Trustees announced the appointment of a search committee today at its semi-annual meeting to recruit an executive director for the state educational agency that oversees Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown.
The appointment of a search committee is the beginning of a process for the agency’s next executive director to succeed Philip G. Emerson, who has served as executive director for 28 years. He has not announced a firm retirement date at this time.
“For 32 years, Phil has guided us in transforming our commemorative sites into nationally acclaimed museums,” said Speaker M. Kirkland Cox, chairman of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation Board of Trustees, noting his total tenure with the agency. “As the largest provider of structured museum education programs in the Commonwealth, we have garnered key public and private resources to strengthen awareness of Virginia’s role in the United States to a national audience. He has aided us in working with seven governors, key members of the legislature, and many significant partners. While we very much regret his decision to retire, we appreciate his long-term planning to aid us in this important leadership transition.”
As the third executive director in the agency’s 64-year history, Mr. Emerson has led the agency during year-round operations and facility improvements of the two nationally accredited living-history museums. During his tenure, the Foundation has implemented national educational programs and outreach to schools across the Commonwealth. The Foundation served as the lead state agency to oversee Virginia’s role in the America’s 400th Anniversary commemoration in 2007 and planning for the 2019 Commemoration, American Evolution. Under his leadership, the Foundation has invested more than $160 million in museum facilities and exhibits to reach national audiences to engage them in the story of America’s beginnings, while supporting economic and tourism growth in the Greater Williamsburg area.
The search committee will be chaired by H. Benson Dendy III, chairman emeritus of the Board of Trustees. Board chairman and vice chairman, Speaker M. Kirkland Cox and Senator Janet D. Howell, will serve as ex officio members of the committee. Other members of the search committee include Lt. Gov. John H. Hager as vice chair, Delegate Christopher K. Peace, Delegate Kenneth R. Plum, Senator Thomas K. Norment, Jr., Senator Frank M. Ruff, Jr., Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Inc., President Clifford B. Fleet, A. Marshall Acuff, Jr., Chief Stephen R. Adkins, Sr., Frank B. Atkinson, Suzanne O. Flippo, Daun Hester, Professor Ervin L. Jordan, Jr., and Judy F. Wason.
The Foundation released a request-for-proposal in September to identify a national recruitment firm to aid in the search, and it hopes to have the firm retained to begin the executive director search in early 2019.