Though Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation executive director Philip Emerson hasn’t announced a firm retirement date, the foundation’s board of trustees has appointed a search committee to find his successor.
The appointment of the committee is the first step in the process of finding a successor for Emerson, who’s served as executive director of the agency for 28 years, according to a foundation news release.
The foundation’s request for proposal to find a recruiting firm was released in September. A firm is expected to be retained to start the search early next year.
“For 32 years, Phil has guided us in transforming our commemorative sites into nationally acclaimed museums,” Kirk Cox, chairman of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation Board of Trustees and speaker of the House of Delegates said in the release. Emerson’s total tenure with the agency is 32 years. “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.”
Emerson hasn’t announced exactly when he will step down, the release states.
Emerson, 59, is preparing for his retirement, foundation spokeswoman Tracy Perkins wrote in an email.
“He remains very committed to providing adequate time for the boards to conduct a national search and to assist with this important leadership transition,” Perkins wrote.
Emerson is the foundation’s third executive director. During Emerson’s tenure, he oversaw the foundation’s role as a leading agency in the 400th anniversary of Jamestown in 2007 and planning for the 2019 Commemoration, which notes the 400th anniversary of key events in early Virginia history, such as the first recorded arrival of Africans in English North America. The foundation invested more than $160 million in facilities and exhibits during his tenure, the release states.
The search committee will be chaired by H. Benson Dendy III, the chairman emeritus of the board of trustees. Ex-officio members of the committee will be Cox and Sen. Janet Howell. The other members of the committee are former Lt. Gov. John H. Hager, who will serve as vice chairman, Del. Chris Peace, Del. Kenneth Plum, Sen. Thomas Norment, Sen. Frank Ruff, foundation president Clifford Fleet, A. Marshall Acuff, Stephen Adkins, Frank Atkinson, Suzzane Flippo, Daun Hester, Ervin Jordan and Judy Wason, the release states.
The foundation oversees both the American Revolution Museum and Jamestown Settlement.
Jack Jacobs, 757-298-6007, firstname.lastname@example.org, @jajacobs_