Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation executive director announces retirement
Philip G. Emerson was with the foundation for 33 years.
Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation Executive Director Philip G. Emerson will retire at the end of December after serving in a leadership role there for 33 years, the foundation announced Monday.
Emerson was named executive director in May 1991, making him the third executive director in the agency’s 62-year history. The Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation operates two living-history museums, Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. This year, Jamestown Settlement marked the 400th anniversary of several historic events in 1619, including the first meeting of a representative legislative assembly, the arrival of the first ship carrying enslaved Africans and the first Thanksgiving.
While Emerson was executive director, the foundation invested more than $160 million in the museums and implemented educational programs at both history museums and in Virginia schools. He guided the foundation through two reaccreditation reviews and supported efforts to grow its collection of artifacts.
The Luray native is a graduate of Randolph-Macon College and joined the foundation in May 1986 as the director of public affairs and marketing. The Board of Trustees has given Emerson the honorary title of “Executive Director Emeritus” and named the Central Support Complex after him.
Emerson, a graduate of the Virginia Executive Institute, was also president of both the Williamsburg Area Chamber of Commerce and the Randolph-Macon College Society of Alumni.
The foundation plans to announce a new executive director by the end of the year.