Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Colonial Williamsburg has a new president and CEO. And he’s a familiar face

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation announced Cliff Fleet as its new president and CEO late Friday afternoon. (WYDaily/Courtesy Colonial Williamsburg)
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation announced Cliff Fleet as its new president and CEO late Friday afternoon. (WYDaily/Courtesy Colonial Williamsburg)

After months of searching, Colonial Williamsburg has finally announced a new president and CEO.

At approximately 4:30 p.m. on Friday, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation sent a news release announcing Cliff Fleet as its new leader.

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“Cliff brings a lifelong passion for Colonial Williamsburg’s mission and its importance to the national debate about America’s revolutionary principles,” said Thurston R. Moore, chairman of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. “That, combined with his demonstrated leadership and business success, makes him uniquely qualified to build on Colonial Williamsburg’s reputation as a leading voice in the story of America’s beginning.”

Fleet will fill the position previously occupied by Mitchell Reiss, who was CEO and president of the Foundation for five years. Reiss announced in June that he would be stepping down October 2019.

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Since 2014, Fleet has served as the president of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation and as a board member of JYF since 2009. In addition, he serves as vice chairman for development strategy on the board of trustees for the William & Mary Foundation and earned degrees in history, religion, business administration and law from the college.

Fleet also currently serves as president and CEO of 22nd Century group, was former president and CEO of Phillip Morris USA and is also currently a business professor at William & Mary.

“I am honored to accept the position of president and CEO of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. I have long admired its leadership role in the Commonwealth and across America as it educates all of us on our nation’s founding principles,” Fleet said.

Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doiron is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She graduated from Roanoke College and is currently working on a master’s degree in English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Alexa was born and raised in Williamsburg and enjoys writing stories about local flair. She began her career in journalism at the Warhill High School newspaper and, eight years later, still loves it. After working as a news editor in Blacksburg, Va., Alexa missed Williamsburg and decided to come back home. In her free time, she enjoys reading Jane Austen and playing with her puppy, Poe. Alexa can be reached at

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